French Friday (and Saturday): Brioche

Among my guilty pleasures is reading food blogs, and I’ve stumbled upon a group of bloggers who are working their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table and who will also soon be working on a similar project with Greenspan’s Baking with Julia. The idea is simple — each month, four recipes are chosen and the group bakes and cooks, then on Friday (or Tuesday, for Baking with Julia) posts about the resulting deliciousness, with photographs, of course.

Using my stand mixer, a new appliance for me, and one with which  I am still in the “getting to know you stage,” I made the dough.  This Friday, bubble top brioche was on the menu, but because I’d made brioche only a week or two ago, I didn’t want to do the same old thing. My week-ago experiment with brioche was disappointing. The bread was dense and not as flavorful as I’d expected given that eggs, butter and sugar comprised the ingredients. Greenspan’s recipe is different than the one I used last time (one more egg and more sugar), and she recommended that the dough rest over night after a few rises (one warm and one refrigerated).  It was late Friday night by the time I got my bread going, and after the first one hour rise, I was ready for bed, but I had to wait two more hours, with half an hour punch downs of the refrigerating dough.  I admit that I only made it through two punch downs and then called it a night.  I suppose my dough was less airy because of that.

However, Saturday morning, as I contemplated the rest of the directions, I decided to go rogue.  I didn’t want to cut the dough into 36 little balls and bake them in the form of dinner rolls, so I rolled the dough out flat, covered it with melted butter and then sprinkled cinnamon sugar over the whole thing.  I rolled it tight, and let it rise in the bread pan for two more hours before baking.  I had to guess at the baking time since the rolls would take much less time than a whole loaf. The crust was a little too browned, but the innards were fantastic — sweet, buttery and cinnamon spiced, but not too overpowering. No need to slather butter on the thick slice; right out of the oven it was incredibly satisfying. The dough was lighter than my last brioche attempt, so I suppose Dorie’s recipe is the one I’ll use from now on.

Gorilla Girl’s new favorite food is toast with cinnamon sugar, so this bread with the good stuff baked right in is perfect.

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8 Responses to French Friday (and Saturday): Brioche

  1. Cher says:

    Welcome aboard!
    Cinnamon swirl brioche sounds like a delightful thing. If you are going to go rogue, that’s the way to do it.
    Have a great weekend.

  2. Susan says:

    Welcome to the group! I’m planning to join TWD, too. I love your idea – it turned out beatitully & I’ll bet it was delicious!

  3. You’re scaring me. Actually, whenever a recipe calls for yeast, I back away. Here’s the exception: I made dog biscuits for several of the dog members of my extended family for Christmas, and the recipe (from Joanne Chang’s “Flour” cookbook) called for yeast; however, I didn’t have to wait for the yeast to rise for some reason.

  4. jyourist says:

    Mmmmm…… I have to admit that this is the first photograph I can literally smell. Yum!

  5. Love the “getting to know you stage” – what a great descriptor for new appliances! This looks really delectable and I can imagine the cinnamon sugar being great enhancement!

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