Saturday, September 21, 2013

Homemade Brioche - Feeling Accomplished

Bread has always intimidated me and it's not because I am scared of a little arm workout, even though a Bar Method workout class with my girlfriends recently kicked my butt!  I think it's the yeast and it stresses me out that those little dry beads can make or break your bread!

Currently I am learning about enriched doughs, which are doughs incorporated with yeast.  I am discovering that as long as you are good to the yeast and give them a nice warm home with plenty to eat they will be good to you.  Yeast are basically little beads of fungus that like to eat sugar.  Once you add them to your dough they have a little sugar eating party and overindulged to the point that they begin to burp.  Typically burping is rude, but when it comes to yeast, it's essential because their little burps release gases into the dough that create the rise and the little nooks and crannies.
Plated Brioche w/ Huckleberry Jam
This week I baked some brioche for class and I can't tell you how accomplished I felt pulling the golden brown loaf and rolls from my oven...and the smell...pure heaven.
Brioche Mise En Place
As you can see, the ingredients aren't too crazy, but are actually pretty basic: Flour, yeast, milk, sugar, eggs and salt.  You can put the dough in traditional brioche molds or do something a bit fancier like braiding, twisting or knotting the dough. 
Getting the Dough Ready for the First Proofing
Kneading of the Dough, Proofing and Shaping
The process required time more than anything.  Multiple proofing periods (periods that you let the dough rest to double in size) let the yeast do their thing, but once the bread is baked you'll forget all about that waiting time.
Warm and Golden Brown Brioche
Brioche has a flavor close to that of Hawaiian bread because of its sweet and eggy taste, but it's a bit denser. It would be perfect toasted and spread with butter or even used for french toast on a sunday morning.
Homemade Deliciousness
If you haven't tried your hand at making bread you may want to dip your toes in slowly by trying the No-Knead Bread recipe recommended in my last post.  Then, try to make homemade brioche or any other bread for that matter and I promise you will not be disappointed.  Nothing tastes better than homemade.

So what types of breads have you tried to make?  Do you have any winning bread recipes? If so, please share!

Happy Baking,
Dani xoxo