The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brioche

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Floydm's picture
Floydm

Brioche

Some Lazy Man's Brioche I made this week.  Quite tasty.

My biggest takeaway, baking-wise, from the Kneading Conference West this year is that I've been baking with too strong flour.  I almost always use bread flour, and generally try to bake with the highest protein flour I can find.  It works, in the sense that I usually have strong loaves that can hold their shape well, but they are tougher and less tasty than they need to be.  So I'm trying to ease up and get used to mixing in more AP flour.  I did this with a batch of pizza dough last week and it turned out really nice, much more extensible than what I typically make.  

Still much more to learn about and explore.

Comments

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Since I discovered kneading to windowpane for almost ALL my breads, I believe that the reason to use very strong flour may be that it compensated for not developing the STARCH in the flour. I'm not fond of chewy bread and use a brand name (Glod Medal, Pillsbury, Dakota Maid, Ceresota ) unbleached AP for all my white flour needs (including brioche). I usually make WW for my daily breads and even that gets well hydrated and kneaded (via KA ) to windowpane. Pretty much if you add water to strong flour you get a good gluten formation but it takes working the dough to get the starch to gel out. Tangzhong methods adds a gelled out starch immediately. These are all tools and like the different ingredients we use, we need to know why  and when to use them.

Your Lazy Man's brioche is my favorite brioche/sweet dough recipe. I have adapted it to sourdough and even have a Pumpkin Variety. One Christmas I made about 12 batches for family and friends. Thank you!

Keep baking deliciously!

 

Floydm's picture
Floydm

 I believe that the reason to use very strong flour may be that it compensated for not developing the STARCH in the flour.

Yup, I think that is it: I've tended to underknead my doughs, rarely getting anywhere close to a windowpane.  Strong flours bailed me out.  Now I'm trying to use weaker flours, knead them longer, and keep going until I can get a good windowpane.

DMSnyder, among others, advised me to do this many years ago and I said it wasn't necessary.   Using super strong flour, I had found a way to make it work otherwise, but I've come around and am seeing the wisdom into his advice.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

I am working on baking with non-wheat flours and that is when I learned how starches affect crumb esp in a product that has no gluten. It was always in front of me-I just didn't see it. My wheat based bread is definitely better, as a result, and I have found that the learning curve with different ingredients is about the same as I encountered when I learned wheat bread baking.

I hope there will be a Kneading Conference near to me in the future. It looked very interesting!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Antico Molino, Caputo  Farina (wheat flour) type "OO"  

Using it for my Kaiser rolls today.  I also see I managed to grab rabid rapid rise yeast.  My poolish is cranking out lots of gas for just a pinch of yeast.  I've never worked with this flour before but the price was right.  I do believe it is a pasta flour.   Smells great when wet, like it already has a spoon of fresh olive oil in it.  Although the flour is expired, and on sale, It has been guaranteed by the manager to be in best condition.   I'm testing it.  

Nice buns you got there, Floyd!

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

though I usually use my Chefs Caputo.  Just excellent pasta making flour.  I hardly ever use semolina anymore.

It rolls out so nicely too.

Sylvia

ps.  Caputo does have a shorter shelf life.  I keep mine frozen until ready to use.  

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Dan Dimuzio, converted me to using AP flour for pretty much any formula that calls for BF.  My go to is

KAAP.  I now just use bread flour for bakes that have added grains or anything that will make my bread need

lifting strength. 

If I want that extra chew on my bread I will sometimes use it for plain sourdough white loaves.  Italian 

bakers from their NY style pizzeria here said to use AP flour.  I think the BF is nice for the heavily topped

pizza.  Like a long Roman oblong or Chicago pan style with a thicker crust is desired.

Gorgeous brioche buns!

Sylvia

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

can't come near my normal hydration.  Upped it to 10% just to get the flour moistened! 

The rolls came out perfect.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

I could eat some of them wiuthout feeling guitly -  still once a month would be nice for hamburgers.  Seems everyone is using brioche for hamberburger buns at the restrauants these days and yours look great

I used to use a lot of bread flour too when only doing S&F's to develop gluten.  Since Eric Hanner got me doing slap and folds, there isn't a need for it adn the workout is needed too.  Have to stay in shape for Michale wilson;s panettone slap adn fold marathon at the Hilidays.  I do add a little VWG in breads as most of my breads have a lot of whole: spelt, rye and WW, oats, quinoa, or other low gluten flours.  No more pancakes....but ti mught benthe slap and folds.

Somewhere on TFL long ago I was reading about baguettes and saw some folks were advocating low protein white flour to try and mimic low protein French flours for those breads too.  

Happy  baking

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

but those really do look good, Floyd.  Wow!  Burgers or bbq on brioche!  That's taking a low-brow food up-town.

Paul

BreadBro's picture
BreadBro

I learned most of my baking from Peter Reinhart's books. While he has fabulous recipies and really great advice for bakers, he tends to over-use bread flour. I found that things like hamburger buns, white bread and cinnamon buns - things that are generally thought of as soft and fluffy - were coming out way too chewy. Yes the rise was spectacular, but the flour wasn't delivering the right consistency.

I've since switched many recipies down to King Arthur All Purpose instead of Bread Flour. It's made a significant difference in the quality of my soft-style breads. Bread flour is still great for things like chewy, hearth breads. It's all about learning and experimenting!

plevee's picture
plevee

I seem to remember that your usual flour was Morbread unbleached. This has a protein content of 12% which is pretty near that of KAF all purpose at 11.7%. What is the protein level that was recommended at the conference?  Patsy

Floydm's picture
Floydm

I love Morbread.  Morbread was my go-to flour before I moved to Canada a year and a half ago.  Of late, Rogers Unbleached AP Flour and Rogers Bread Flour have been my "safe bet" flours and I'm just starting to explore some of the locally grown and milled options.  Agreed that Morbread seems just about right for much bread baking.

At the conference, I don't recall anyone specifying a particular protein level, it was just more that one of the frequent topics of discussion was trying to find the right balance of elasticity and extensibility, the role that hydration and acidity play there, and the essential tastelessness of gluten... not that it is harmful in anyway to non-celiacs, just that it doesn't add significantly to the flavor.  These were all professional baker with a lot more options available to them, but "the strongest flour you can find" was not mentioned as desirably by any of them.  It got me thinking about my own baking and, as I've said, just think I've been leaning too heavily on high protein flours and missed out on other ways to eek a little more flavour out.  

I made pizza with a softer flour last weekened and definitely noticed the crust was easier to shape and had a much more delicate bite but still had nice gluten development.  So it is something I am exploring.

plevee's picture
plevee

I'll experiment mixing my Morbread with some BRM AP.  Patsy

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Cute little Brioches, Floyd! You've made the right choice converting to lower protein flour.

-Khalid