Mar 2, 2010

BBA Challenge Round 4: Brioche

The Challenge Bread

This week, we're making Brioche: Rich Man's Style!
Brioche Final

A Little History

Brioche is an Enriched French Bread.  The high butter/fat content gives it a dark crust, and a flaky, crumb.

The Ingredients

Not too much goes into brioche...well besides a ton of butter, and a handful of eggs.

  • The Sponge:

    • Bread Flour

    • Yeast

    • Milk, Lukewarm ( I used 2%)

  • The Dough:

    • Eggs, slightly beaten

    • Bread Flour

    • Sugar

    • Salt

    • unsalted butter, at room temperature, and a metric tonne of it.

Corn/Dairy Free changes

Well, I think it might be obvious what I replaced here.  I replaced the sugar with Splenda. I used Plain Silk (like I used in the Artos) for the milk replacement and Willow Run Margarine for the butter substitute.  Willow Run isn't the best (health wise) but let's be honest: there's no way to make a "healthy" brioche that doesn't taste like cardboard.

Also, I don't plan eating this everyday.

The Shaping

Mixing this dough was interesting.  I first made the sponge, then added the eggs to it until it was smooth.  In a separate bowl, I combined all the dry ingredients, save the Butter.  I then added the dry in, until they were well incorporated.  This made the dough very dense and almost bagel-esque.  The real fun began when I added the butter.

I took it a quarter stick at a time, and attempted to fully incorporate it.  I didn't want pockets of Butter melting off while baking.  It took quite a while to get all the butter mixed in.  Near the end, the dough became very wet and sticky.  I think I should have broken the butter down into smaller pieces, perhaps 1/8 of a stick at a time.  I added more flour, a tablespoon at time until I had a nice soft, smooth dough.

I then took the dough and spread it out on a piece of parchment paper in a baking sheet.  I left the pan in the fridge overnight, covering the pans with plastic wrap.

The next morning, I began to shape my loaves.  With the dough still cold, I cut the dough into small pieces, about 4-6 ounces each.   I formed them into balls, and placed them in grease loaf pans.  Each dough made about 3 loaves.  I cover the pans with plastic and let them proof for about 3 and a half hours.  I then basted them with an egg wash and let them proof for another 45 minutes, until they were about twice their original size.

The Baking

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.  I baked the loaves for about 45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the loaves reached 190 degrees.  The crust also turned a nice golden brown.  I immediately removed them from their pans and let them cool for at least an hour before putting them in plastic bags for storage.

Results and My Final Thoughts/Notes

How could any recipe that calls for a pound of butter NOT taste good?  Both the Regular and the DF/CF loaf were flaky, buttery, delicious pieces of heaven.  I found it very hard to differentiate between the two...which is hard when you're trying to avoid poisoning your wife who is allergic to milk!

As I mentioned in the mixing, I think I should have broken the butter down into smaller pieces.  I don't think it incorporated as well as should have.

I used a glass pan for one of the loaves.  I need to remember to either grease more, or flour a bit.

Up Next…

Next week, I'll be tackling Challah, a bread I have been anxious to try!

Comments? Suggestions?

So what do you think? Sound good?  Do you have any butter/milk replacements that I should try?

1 comment:

Pants said...

ooh! Challah is so good! can't wait to red about it!