Like the laid back cousin of the southern debutante you have been courting, brioche is the more flexible, but equally delicious relative of the croissant.
Last weekend, our entire house was filled with the overwhelming aroma of baking bread and butter. It was unlike anything else we’ve baked, in that the smell truly permeated every room. Our mouths were watering just waiting for the first batch to come out of the oven, so we could sample our hours of work. We made the dough using the recipe from the Tartine Bread book, which is a KnochKnoch library favorite.
As this was our first attempt at brioche, I can’t say if their recipe was more or less difficult than others. I did notice that many recipes on the WorldWideWeb use only packaged yeast, and since we used a combination of naturally fermented and packaged, I would imagine we had more depth of flavor in our final results. The recipe itself was a fair amount of work, and I think that’s saying a lot coming out of our mouths. The author broke the process down into two parts, to make it more manageable for the home cook. We decided to work through the entire process at once though, so we could make notes for our next visits.
This bread is not for the faint of heart, or the failing heart for that matter. There is an obscene amount of eggs and butter in this dough, and when you’re crafting it yourself, you aren’t able to round down the estimated caloric assault. The results turned out nearly perfect, and the quantity of end product was astonishing. We made one dozen hamburger buns, each of which turned out to be the size of an adult human head. In addition we had three loaves, that we have frozen for a future dessert creation. While we were tired and worn at the end of the day from this process, our bellies were full, our minds were satiated, and our neighbors were delighted to receive their surprise treats.
Brioche is a new favorite that we’ll be visiting again soon. Warm out of the oven it’s the stuff that dreams are made of, and if all of our dreams were like this, why we’d never want to wake up.