brioche issues -- what works and what doesn't
I have managed to learn to make some decent artisanal quality breads but my brioche still doesn't leave me completely happy :)
I make a "middle class brioche" in the food processor in batches, using about 5 cups of all purpose flour, 5 eggs, one cup of butter (2 sticks), 2 Tblspns granulated sugar, 2 tspns salt and 2 tspns instant yeast, and 1 cup of milk (sorry you weighers out there...I'm not there yet).
I always mix it in two batches but what happens is this: when I add the butter the dough falls to the bottom or sticks to the middle blade assembly which no longer cuts through it and the whole thing just spins around more or less, having reverted to a batter really. Even in two batches. I have a Braun and a Cuisinart and the Braun works pretty well on this but I've given up on the Cuisinart (the classic kind without the "Dough" button).
This time around, I mixed the flour/salt/sugar, then added the eggs, and processed and added the milk and processed and the dough assembled in a ball and I processed the ball for 30 seconds. This is all the kneading that needs to be done, were this just regular bread. Then I added the butter, sticking it at the bottom of the bowl, and processed. The dough left the ball stage at some point and became more like a batter and then I stopped.
Now, at this point, I refrigerated overnight and now am doing the bulk rise.
What happens is my briches have always come out a bit dense, tasty but not light, even when I use a preferment sponge.
The classic way is to build a sponge with the milk and yeast and flour, then finish in a mixer.
The mixer worked better but it introduces what I perceive as a "banana oil" flavor, which I think is a result of oxidation from the mixing so I don't like that at all. It's subtle but I don't like that taste in my bread and I never knead any of my breads anymore -- I autolyse, I fold, I use the food processor.
Maybe it's an issue of refrigerating without doing the bulk ferment? But I have bulk fermented first and it the rise seems to take many hours. Temperature is around 69F.
On another board someone made BBA's Portaguese (Hawaiian) bread (which I have made and love) and this is close to a "poor man's briche, and he had the same issue with the rise taking many hours. This happens to my highly fat-enriched doughs only. I am not using special yeast but why should I have to?
So just wanted to discuss brioche and see if others have had this experience, and see what works and what doesn't.