Sunday, May 16, 2010

Brioche in the Oven

Hello blog world! It's so very nice to see you.

It's been more than a month since I've posted here, and the time has really flown by! It's nice to be back posting and sharing a recipe. A good recipe at that; if you like sweet breads like croissants, babka, and muffins like I do, adding brioche to your arsenal will lead you down some scrumptious paths.

I've made a few yummy things during this break that went undocumented. I don't doubt they'll make return visits to my table soon, and I take comfort in the fact that though they didn't make it on the blog, creativity and desire for delicious homecooked meals was not totally lost.

Most bloggers need a break now and then; there are a few who post daily. I've said before I take my hat off to them, it's no small feat. I don't make money on this blog, so I have no requirement there to keep chugging no matter what. There are times when I'm not feeling creative or eating anything new, but I'm decent at finding something interesting to share. There are countless personal reasons why a food blogger may not post.

~I can't speak for most of them, but this is mine~

We've got our own little brioche in the oven, rising and due to emerge in November.
I like to joke that she's a girl (won't confirm for another month or so) because she's already giving me grief- morning sickness (a powerful force!) robbed me of any desire to cook or put much thought into food for a good 6 weeks. I still ate- in fact hungry like crazy- but only what I could stomach at that moment, while feeling nauseous from getting out of bed to returning there at night.

This blog break was mandatory for me; thinking about food was impossible, let alone documenting and writing about it. I'm feeling pretty normal these days- besides my slowly expanding belly- back to thinking about food and enjoying it often. I had, and have, a few odd food and craving experiences, but I'll save those for another day.

~Meanwhile, back to my lovely brioche~

I love this buttery, dessert-like bread on a special occasion, but I'd never made it myself. Be warned, it does take some ahead planning since the dough must be refrigerated overnight. The dough itself is extremely manageable and forgiving of the poking and prodding of shaping.

Fiori di sicilia is a citrus-vanilla extract often used in panettone, the Italian bread made at Christmas with a brioche dough and lots of dried fruit and nuts. The scent pairs with brioche wonderfully so I decided to add a few drops to this dough. You can easily leave this out if you don't like it. If you can't find it, a few drops of a vanilla and a lemon or orange extract could be substituted.
Take a slice and spread it with a little strawberry jam. Skip the butter; there is plenty in the dough. Trust me. You are welcome for the suggestion.

Classic Brioche
scented with fiori di sicilia
adapted from King Arthur Flour

2 3/4 cups, plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbs instant yeast
3 large eggs
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 tsp fiori di sicilia
10 Tbs cold butter, cut into pieces

Place all ingredients in a bread machine and program for the dough cycle. If you don't have a bread machine, use a stand mixer fitted with dough attachment for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not knead by hand.

Form the dough into a soft ball and place in a large greased bowl. Let rise for 1 hour, then refrigerate overnight.

Divide the chilled dough into six pieces on a floured work surface. Roll three pieces into rope and braid together, tucking the ends underneath. Repeat with the last three pieces and place in a greased baking pan. Two 8 1/2" by 4 1/2" loaf pans are ideal (I didn't have any so I used an 8x8 glass dish which worked nicely). Cover lightly and let rise for 3 hours on the counter until doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 15 minutes, then tent with foil to prevent too much browning. Continue baking for 25 minutes, then remove the foil to finish for another 10, a total of 50 minutes in the oven.

Let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pans to cool completely. If you used one 8x8 dish like me, the two loaves will have baked up touching each other, but come apart very easily.



Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your little Brioche! Although your beautiful photos and delicious recipes were missed, you were certainly up to more important things! I'm very happy for you!

Erica said...

so so happy for you :) And thrilled to see you back in action ;) The brioche looks amazing! Hope you are feeling much better and enjoying the new bump ;)

Shannon said...

congrats!!! so exciting, very happy for you two/three :) and what a lovely brioche--i love myself a slice of babka, so this is right up my alley!

Ela Beach said...

Great to see you back and with such lovely news.

Kelly said...

Awwww! Congrats. Randomly I also made brioche this weekend. It's so rich that I don't make it very often but everytime I do I am in love.

Kat said...

Congratulations! That is wonderful news.


thanks a lot..........................................