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Monday, December 20, 2010

brioche french toast

Did you ever make something just so you could make other things with it? That was pretty much me with brioche. I saw few recipes I wanted to try with brioche, but that involved making the brioche first. On Friday, I decided I would tackle step one, and then this weekend I would make the other two things with it for breakfast.

I'm not completely sure if I did this right even though I followed the directions exactly, and when that didn't seem to be working, I consulted another recipe. It didn't seem to help much. The bread came out delicious, don't get me wrong. I just don't know if the texture and everything is the way it should be. It would probably help if knew what brioche was supposed to taste like in the first place, but I'll have to experience that another day.

My problem was that the dough didn't seem to rise much at all. And it remained very sticky which made it hard to work with. The recipe I followed gave strict instruction not to add more flour, so I didn't. It said to let it rest until doubled in size. Usually, for other breads I've made, this is about an hour. I let this one go for two hours and it barely changed. I remembered seeing in another recipe that the first rise wouldn't show much change, but a second two hour rise in the fridge would make it double. So I popped it in the fridge for two hours. Still nothing.

Now, I'm not the most patient person in the world so I decided to just go to the next step and hope for the best. The recipe said to break the dough into balls and put eight each into two loaf pans. I put eight in one pan but then tried to roll out the other eight like a boss and bake them in a muffin tin. Looks easy right? Not when the dough is sticking to you and the surface like glue. Thus, these didn't come out as pretty as I had hoped. So after letting the dough balls rest again for an hour in their respective pans and not seeing them rise again, I popped em in the oven and crossed my fingers, hoping for something edible.

Well I got this lovely loaf and some little mutant muffin rolls and they tasted really good so I'm satisfied, for now. On Saturday morning I sliced this bad boy up and made french toast.

Saturate in some egg mixture and fry it up!

Put on your favorite topping and serve.

Speaking of toppings, let me say something really weird. Remember before how I mentioned that sweet things and I don't get along too well? I crave salty things over sweet. I was the kid at the birthday party who carved out the cake and ate it, leaving behind an icing shell. Brioche is known to be a sweet bread and, with normal french toast in mind, I topped it with powdered sugar. Charlie smothered his in syrup and scarfed it down. I sat there, musing over the sweetness.. trying to suppress my weird thoughts of wanting to put salt on it. Charlie, not surprised by this at all, suggested I try it but delicately. I shook some salt into my palm and carefully sprinkled the littlest bit onto it.

Perfection. I swear, a little salt makes everything better. Does anyone else out there crave salty over sweet? Am I not alone? ;)

The other recipe I wanted to try was this. I did make it and it was delicious, but not so photogenic. I regret not just taking a picture of it now but oh well. If you click on the link you can see how pretty it might have been.

I'll post the recipe I used below and if anyone has any suggestions or tips on what I could do differently next time, I'd be glad to hear it!

from Rock Recipes

4 cups flour
1 packet of instant yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup real butter cut up, softened and near room temp
1/2 cup whole milk
4 eggs at room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract

In a mixer, add flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Mix until flour is just combined. Using dough hook, add butter a chunk at a time until it is all mixed in. Continue until dough is smooth and elastic. Do not add more flour. Cover and let rest until doubled in size. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes. Form 16 dough balls. Put eight each into two bread pans. Cover and let rise until dough comes over the edge of the pan. Brush with egg wash. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes until top is a golden brown. Cool on a wire rack, at least 15 minutes.

Make some french toast with the leftovers! :)
I can't believe there's less than a week until Christmas. Crazy!

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