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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

B is for baking ... and also for brioche!

So, I had my first all day outing this past weekend.  I left my baby all alone all day with the husband.  It was very liberating.  The husband has been alone for an hour or two here or there- but not all day.    I think the husband appreciated me all that much more when I returned home.


What got me out of the house all day was a fun day with some friends.  We took a baking class and then had a late lunch (after eating lots of carbs).  Now I should say that I don't bake ..... really .... ever.   I like to eat baked goods, I just never bake them.  That is probably a good thing.  


The base of this baking class is brioche.   A bread with lots of butter and eggs.... you know tastes good... good for you! :)   I learned that brioche can be turned into about a million things!  You can do sweet or savory.  We used brioche to make cinnamon rolls, sticky buns and a brioche "roll".  All involved a lot of eggs and butter.... I mean a whole lot of butter... but all were yummy!   


Out teacher, Bernard,  was very enthusiastic (see photo)!  He apparently has a healthy food blog himself, but given all the butter we used I find this hard to believe!  Just kidding.... of course.  His blog has some great recipes, check it out!   


Okay, back to brioche.  We used the brioche dough to make a "roll" stuffed with fruit and nuts we actually "frosted" the bread with a thick layer of butter.  Did I mention that we used a lot of butter?  Here I am spreading more butter!


Here is a basic brioche recipe!

  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour sugar and salt. Make a well in center of the bowl and mix in the eggs and yeast mixture. Beat well until the dough has pulled together, then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes.
  3. Flatten the dough and spread it with one third of the butter. Knead this well. Repeat this twice to incorporate the remaining butter. Allow the dough to rest for a few minutes between additions of butter. This process may take 20 minutes or so. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Deflate the dough, cover and refrigerate until completely cool; about 30 minutes. At this point the dough can be left in the refrigerator for up to eight hours, in fact, the longer you leave it, the more workable it becomes.
  5. Lightly grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into two equal pieces, form into loaves and place into two lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  6. Bake in preheated oven about 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes before moving them to wire racks to completely cool.





Want to add a little "something something" to the brioche?  The options are endless.  Take the dough and  use a rolling pin to  flatten the dough (about 1/4 inch thick).  add whatever you want to the center (apples, bananas, chocolate, strawberries, nuts, nutella, etc) and roll it up.  Brush the surface of the dough with egg yolk and sprinkle some sugar on the top.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or so.  


You will get something like this once you slice it up! 

Dhanggit's Kitchen
 This dough is also the basis for cinnamon rolls, sticky buns, and can be used for a stromboli too!    How is that for multi-tasking!  Check out this recipe for brioche croissants.    Until next time.... xoxo

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