Sunday, July 12, 2009

BBA - Middle Class Brioche, aka The Brioche That's as Big as a Turkey


I am thrilled, thrilled I tell you, to have been invited to join the Bread Baker's Apprentice Slow and Steady subgroup, because BBA is closed to new members and I just found my yeast muse. When I posted that I had made Anne's yeast rolls, and then the anadama bread from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, I thought I was embarking on the journey of baking through the book on my own. Thanks, Nancy and Audrey for your kind invitations.

My yeast fear has completely abated and I now want to bake bread all of the time! While I do plan to go back and make up the breads I missed, I decided to jump in and make brioche before attacking the next recipe.

Brioche evokes images of tender buttery rolls that are splendid with jam or, gasp, Nutella. Since making this brioche intersected with the brioche tart that Tuesdays with Dorie was making, I decided to make the BBA brioche and defer making Dorie's for another time.

Before I got bitten by the yeast bug, I used to read my fellow bakers post that they whipped up a batch of brioche to use for... I thought they were insane overachievers. Wasn't something as ethereal as brioche the result of a full weekend of work, nurturing and coaxing? Uh, no. It's so easy even I can do it wrong and still get a great loaf.

Let the yeast proof with some milk and flour.

Combine the flour, yeast mixture and eggs and beat until combined, then add the softened butter a little at time. Beat with the paddle attachment of your mixer (I'm not yet brave enough to knead my doughs by hand) for about 8 minutes, spread on a sheet pan and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours or over night. Divide the dough and shape as desired.

Since my brioche pans haven't arrived yet, I made one loaf, two tartlets and stuck 13.7 ounces of dough in the freezer (can you say "sticky buns?") My loaf proofed in the oven on the dough proof cycle. developing a large blisterish thingy on it. I'm not sure what causes that, maybe adding 50% more yeast than needed?


I only made one mistake. Although I was making the middle class brioche, I referred to the rich man's brioche when measuring the yeast. The rich man's brioche requires more yeast due to the higher percentage of butter. I'm happy to say that this didn't ruin my brioche, but it did give us quite a laugh as it was baking. M. said it looked like I had a turkey in the oven. When I took it out of the oven, M. asked me how long we had to wait to have a piece. When I told him an hour, he let me know that it was unreasonable to expect him to wait that long for something that smelled so good. We cut it after 30 minutes, and it was rich, light and airy. I explained the difference between rich man's, middle class and poor man's brioche, and he was surprised that we weren't eating the rich man's. It was such a big hit that I'll be making the rich man's and then the poor man's. I think middle class is the way to go, but you won't find me complaining about eating more brioche.

Delicious, but not beautiful

9 comments:

Steph said...

Congrats on conquering yeast! Extra yeast didn't seem to hurt.. at least you got a nice height.

Audrey said...

I did that too! (read the RM's ingredients while making the MC). I'm really glad you enjoyed this...it was so good. (Oh, and we're really glad to have you with us!)

PheMom said...

Delicious is always more important than beautiful - it is food after all! Yours looks tasty to me!

Michele said...

I think your brioche looks lovely!

vibi said...

Hummm... you're wrong, it looks pretty good from here! Especially to someone like me who has no clue how to make bread... but is an expert at kneading rocks though!!! LOL

Sara said...

Brioche might be the best thing ever! I have not made the BBA version yet, but it looks great. BBA is a great book, everything we have made comes out great. Just wait until you get to cinnamon raisin bread.

sara/imafoodblog.com

Cakelaw said...

It's brekky time here, and I would love a slice of this. I can almost smell it .....

pinkstripes said...

I love the color you got on your loaf. It looks great!

Craving Ellie in My Belly said...

I tested brioche recipes from The French Laundry Cookbook, Pierre Herme (famed French Pastry Chef) and my blogging idol Joe, of Joepastry.com's recipes. They were all "middle class" I believe, except Frenchie, whose recipe produced THE BEST of the bunch. The quality of the butter used is going to change the taste a lot as well, so try to get the best you can get your hands on when you try the other 2!

--nick/imafoodblog.com