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Brioche question

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subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Brioche question

I need to know the approximate amount of brioche dough that is appropriate for my fluted brioche mold. The mold is about 3" high with a bottom diameter of about 3". The liquid capacity is about 5 & 3/4 cups.



I'm participating in The BBA Challenge


We are a group of home bakers with a crazy goal in mind: to attempt every single recipe in Peter Reinhart’s book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread.

Reinhart's brioche recipe makes 2 pounds of dough; I want to scale down the recipe ingredients so I only make one loaf using the brioche mold I own (and have never used!).

sephiepoo's picture
sephiepoo

I'm just taking a stab at this, but I made my brioche last week for the challenge, and I made a half recipe of the Rich Man's version, and it made 12 nice sized brioches a tete for me.  I'm guessing you're considering either Middle Class or Poor Man's versions, since you said the final dough was about 2lbs? PR actually says at the top of each class that it makes 2-4 large brioches a tete, and your mold sounds like it's going to be the size of the smaller, large size? (did that make any sense?) So if you make a 1/4 recipe, it should work for your mold?


Granted, it's much easier to halve a recipe, and I'd actually recommend that since you're going to the trouble of making it anyway :) Fill the brioche mold about halfway, to allow room for proofing.  If you have extra dough, you can always bake it in muffin tins (won't have fluted edges) and it'll still come out nice.  I didn't feel like splurging on the molds so I just did mine in a muffin tin.  Anyone else, please feel free to tackle this


Sephie

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

I plan to make the Middle Class brioche dough and shape it as a brioche a tete. This bread, baked in a brioche mold that looks similar to the one I own, is pictured in Reinhart's book on pg 123.


On pg 127, in the recipe for Middle Class brioche, Reinhart says that the recipe makes 2 to 4 large brioches a tete OR two 1-pound loaves.


I actually broke down, joined twitter, and posted this question to the #BBA topic - a suggested response was to make 8 OZ of dough. This seems too little to me.


It seems to me that I should scale the recipe down to about 1 pound (raw) dough. I would like to know if that seems a reasonable amount of dough to make, given that I would like to have sufficient dough to fill the brioche mold I own but not have extra dough left over.


PS =============


I'm very comfortable with baker's math but I would appreciate some estimate of the amount of dough to make given the recipe and the dimensions of the one brioche mold I happen to own


PPS =============


Thanks to sephiepoo for your response


 


 

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I was the Twit who suggested 8 ounces of dough.  I have a 6 1/2-inch brioche mold, and one pound of dough fit it perfectly.  So I think that would be too much for your 3-inch mold.  My 2 1/2-inch molds held 2 1/2 ounces, but probably could have taken a little more.  That's why I think 8 ounces would be about right.  I do agree, however, that it would be easier to scale the recipe to one pound and use the extra dough (remember to only fill the mold halfway) for a small boule, muffins, free-form rolls, etc.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

If my math is correct you have about 80 cubic inches in the brioche mold so a quantity of finished dough amounting to a single loaf of the BBA Brioche recipe should work nicely in that mold

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

Following the recommendations, I'm going to scale down Reinhart's recipe for "Middle Class" brioche to about 16 oz dough. If I have extra dough, so be it.


Thanks especially to gaarp - you do realize that I have no idea how to measure a fluted brioche pan, right? It is possibly 7" on top. but 3" on the bottom.


This will be truly a challenge for me and I am looking forward to it, albeit with some trepidation.


Thanks again to all of you - SF

AllenCohn's picture
AllenCohn

I love most of the BBA recipes...but not this one. PR calls for room temperature butter. The vast majority of other recipes call for cold butter. I think they're correct. That's because brioche requires so much mixing to incorporate the butter that the dough is heated up and the warm butter would melt and separate. Not good.


Instead take cold butter, plasticize it (pound it with a rolling pin between sheets of parchment to break up the fat crystaline structure), and add the shards of butter to the dough, and mix. You might need to mix at higher speed than normal (voiding that warranty!) so that you hear a slapping sound.


BBA's warm butter approach created a batter when I did it. The cold butter approach creates a stretchy dough.


Allen
San Francisco


PS: The shaping instructions for the tete are confusing in BBA...good luck with that!

flournwater's picture
flournwater

What you got is pretty close to my experience, Allen.  Mine wasn't quite a dough, nor was it quite a batter.  But a greasy blob of buttery flour that was extremely difficult to handle.  I agree with your cold butter preference.  Next time I make this recipe I'll try cutting in the butter later in the cold butter and reducing the mixing time so as to avoid overheating it.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

If I use cold butter, do I need to make adjustments in mixing time or mixing speed? I'm using a 5-qt capacity KitchenAid stand mixer and normally mix dough on speed 2. Should I use the flat beater, as recommended by Reinhart, or switch to the "C" type dough hook once the butter is incorporated into the dough?


TIA

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I'm not sure how much help my answer will be but I hope for the best.


The reason I'd use cold butter is so that the butter remains somewhat intact throughout the mix; in small chunks rather than combining too thoroughy with the flour.  I would be looking for lighter texture using that technique.  But then, keep in mind, I'm working with Reinhart's Rich Man's Brioche so I have an enormous amount of butter to work in.  That said, I don't even know how my idea would work because I haven't actually tried it yet.  I like the comment about doing the initial mixing and then resting the dough for 8 - 10 minutes before adding the butter.  But I'd add the butter at the lower speed (e.g. 2 on my KA) and only for about 3 minutes.


 

AllenCohn's picture
AllenCohn

There's wide agreement that brioche requires two-stage mixing: first you mix the dough without butter until you have good gluten development. Then mix in butter.


If you include butter from the start, it lubricates the proteins and impedes gluten development.


Personally, I mix briefly, let rest (autolyze) for 10-20 minutes, then mix 8 minutes, then add butter and mix until incorporated--typically another 8 minutes. I void my warranty and end up using speeds 6-8 instead of 2-4. My dough looks very smooth and stretchy after the 16 minutes...and beautifully stretchy and pillowy (is that a word?) after the bulk fermentation. I just want to dive right into it.


Peter loves using the paddle attachment, but i stick with the hook all the way through. Some scrape downs with a spatula are required.


Allen
San Francisco

gcook17's picture
gcook17

Sherry Yard's book, "The Secrets of Baking" has a table on page 233 with how many brioche molds of different sizes you need for 2, 2.5, and 3 lbs. of dough.  She gives the mold size in inches which I take to be the diameter of the top.  That assumption has worked out for me so far.


Here are the number of molds for 2 lbs. of lean brioche dough that she gives for several sizes:


3" - 21, 3.5 - 16, 4" - 11, 5.5" - 8, 6.5" - 4, 7" - 3, 8" - 2


When I use these they work fine, but I find I could probably put more dough in each mold (i.e. use fewer molds) than she recommends.