With the addition of Dreyfus Dog to our family, I skipped the third week of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge. Bagels would have been a handful with a new puppy in the house, especially one that already ways 68 pounds! He’s doing well, though he still hasn’t gotten the cats to like him yet. I think it will happen still.
Week 4′s challenge was brioche, and there are three versions listed in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and I chose Rich Man’s brioche. The differences are the amount of butter in the dough; I went all out!
The dough is actually pretty easy to make; it doesn’t require an overnight poolish or anything. The starter has to sit for only about 20 minutes to get the yeast going, then it’s ready. The recipe makes enough dough to make four smallish loaves, and it has 4 sticks of butter in the dough.. that means that each loave has a stick of butter already in it!
I made 2 loaves in brioche pans, which are round and fluted, getting larger from the base.
Then I put some cinnamon in the dough and mixed it a bit more with the other half of the dough. I divided it into thirds and made strands out of the three parts, coating one with cinnamon, too. The three strands were braided together and baked as a loaf after rising for about 90 minutes.
The loaves do so well on the Big Green Egg; oven spring is amazing (when the dough goes into the oven/cooker, it ‘springs’ up and expands). The braided loaf came out looking great, except for one thing… The cinnamon on the one strand kept the outside from browning right. The rest of it turned out great. It could have actually used more cinnamon in the dough, though, but I liked it.
I thought the Greek Celebration bread made good French toast, but it has nothing on brioche!
I’m deciding whether or not to do the challah bread coming up, as it’s similar to breads I’ve already done… If I do, I’ll post on it next week!