Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Finally, Brioche!!!

The last few weeks of my life have been completely interrupting my life as an amateur baker. First we were gone for almost a week to Kansas City, which was fun, but since it was 90% about the kids we didn’t really get to eat as well as I would have liked. The one saving grace (as far as food because it really was a lot of fun) I had on the vacation was that I drove to Lawrence, KS the last morning we were there for some great bread from Wheatfields Bakery. Apparently Maggie Glezer once called their Kalamata Olive bread the best in the country. I have to say it was amazingly delicious.
Then when we returned from our vacation we began the process of finishing our basement. It has consumed my life for the past two weeks and as much as I can’t wait to get it finished, as I said it’s really disrupting my baking.
I actually took a day and made the brioche a while back, but I’ve been so busy I haven’t had the chance to update the blog.
To be honest, I really don’t normally care for brioche. The amount of butter is usually just too much for me. I prefer a good lean bread, but since I committed to this challenge so I will make everything. And even though my wife and I don’t care for raisins (I figure I’ll just donate the cinnamon raisin bread to my neighbors). Anyways, because of this I decided to make the middle class version of the brioche and scale it back so that I only had one small loaf.
For most of the recipes I’ve made so far in this book I use the baker’s percentages because I typically want either more or less of what the recipe calls for and I prefer using the much more logical metric system of measurement. Using the percentages and the metric system I decided I wanted a finished loaf that weighed 450 g because it’s approximately the same as a pound (actually I would have to say that it had 450 g of mass, not weighed 450 g, but I’m not a science or math teacher on this blog so whatever). My final measurements were

Bread Flour 27 g
Instant Yeast 3 g
Milk 48 g

Bread Flour 164 g
Eggs 98 g
Salt 4 g
Sugar 12 g
Butter 95 g

Total 450 g

So first I got my mise on...

Then I followed the instructions as per the book and mixed the sponge and let it hydrate.
I got the kids fed and started putting on the show.
I'm using the KA this time because it's such a small quantity of dough.
I got a nice smooth dough and since it was such a small amount I used a small Pyrex dish to rest and ferment it in.
I opted not to buy brioche pans since I'm not real crazy about the bread in the first place, and I like the look of the six small rolls.
The one mistake I made was that I forgot to put on the egg wash here, but it still looked pretty good.
And finally although it looked pretty, it wasn't quite as dark or as shiny as it should have been for a brioche,
but the crumb was amazing and my wife and girls loved it!
I'm still not really crazy about brioche, but since the rest of the family loved it I'll probably be making this recipe again.
And maybe it was the vacation, but this was the least angry I've gotten while baking in a while. The dough was incredibly cooperative and like I said it was a hit for the ladies in the house. Maybe it just sensed what would have been in store if there was no cooperation.

Next up is Casatiello, and I've got a big surprise in store for this one!

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