Friday, November 23, 2007

Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

I hope you all feasted well, and had plenty of reasons to be thankful. I had a pretty good Thanksgiving with friends here. Dinner, of course, was awesome. More nummy carbs than you could shake a fork at. Turkey with gravy, stuffing (with dried cherries in it!), smashed potatoes, yams with marshmallows, honey glazed carrots, roasted root veggies, cranberry sauce, lingon berry sauce. Then for dessert (I didn't have any... absolutely no room left!) cranberry crumble with vanilla ice cream. Mm Mm Mm Mm Mm! But even with all those goodies, I couldn't show up at a dinner without baking something special.

I used the recipe for "Rich Man's Brioche" from The Bread Baker's Apprentice. Here is my beloved Betty mixing up the dough. This dough is intense, you've been warned. We start with some yeast, salt, sugar, a little water and about four cups of flour. Then add five eggs. Yup... five. We're just getting started. As I've said before, the secret ingredient in any food that tastes really good is butter. Lots and lots of butter. Slowly and surely I added no fewer than 2 cups of butter. Mmmmmmm butter.

This dough is almost more like a cake batter than a bread dough. It feels kinda like Pillsbury crescent rolls dough. Very rich and thick. I put it in the fridge overnight to ferment. Then it was time to shape it. For each one use 2/3 of the dough for the bottom make an indent in the center, then roll the 1/3 of the dough into a tear drop shape, and set it right down in the whole.

These will be petite brioche a tete. Or little bread with a head. I also made a big brioche a tete, and let them all rise for a couple hours. Right before putting them in the oven, I brushed them with egg white... and taking a cue from a brioche at Ken's Artisan bakery, I topped them with just a very light sprinkle of kosher salt and cane sugar for just a touch of sweet and salty crunch.

This one didn't work out as well as I had hoped. As you can see I don't have a fluted brioche pan, so I tried to improvise, but I should have flattened out the bottom round more, and used a smaller amount of dough for the top. It all just kinda spread out and the bottom ended up really dense, the top was good though.

Here are the petite brioche a tete.

Heavenly I tell you. Flaky, buttery, and super yummy. The next time I make brioche, I might try the "Middle Class Brioche" it doesn't have quite as much butter, but it's still enriched, I think it would rise a little better. I'm also thinking about getting a brioche pan because the pan I've been using just isn't working out. And I guess today wouldn't be a bad day to do that.

I thought about getting up early and going shopping today. I've done that before and gotten some really great deals. But dang.. it gets earlier and earlier every year. I just couldn't quite bring myself to get up at 4am. Sally woke me up at around 5am... so I still could have gone early, but I decided what I really wanted was sleep. So I slept in. =)

Oh... and I've been knitting! The cables are fun, and going well.

I keep thinking I'm making really good progress here... and I am. But I still have several inches to go on the body. And then I'll have to do the sleeves! And I won't be able to do them both at the same time like I normally do, so it's going to feel like it's taking a lot longer. Oh well. It'll be done when it's done.


jenn said...

that brioche looks SO good. we had a ton of really yummy stuff at thanksgiving, but we didn't have any rolls or any other bread products (unless you count stuffing or the croutons on the salad).

i'm also really impressed with your cables. that sweater is going to be way cute.

Bezzie said...

I love baking bread. So much fun. That brioche is beautiful!

Zonda said...

Oh I've never had Brioche before..darn, got any left, I'll be over LOL! Mr. Greenjeans is looking good!

Stacey said...

Yum! I love Brioche!

Your Mr Greenjeans looks great! I'm at the same spot you seems to be taking forever & then the sleeves! Argh!

Sue, aka seiding said...

Everything's better with butter! YUM!

Rebel said...

"Stacey said...
Your Mr Greenjeans looks great! I'm at the same spot you seems to be taking forever & then the sleeves! Argh!"

Yeah... but I'm about a foot shorter than you!! I guess there are some advantages to being short. =P

Magatha said...

Nothing makes bread baking more fun than one of those mixers. Not even a bread machine. Really, they do all the work. Your cables look great!

Eryn said...

The brioche looks delicious! And you're right, butter makes everything better.

Rebel said...

mags - it's true... I never would have been able to mix in all that butter by hand. Even Betty got quite a workout!