Salute! Monsieur Eric Kayser - Sourdough Brioche with Raspberries
I am a sucker for vivid colors. Last year when I was in Japan on my self-guided pastry eating tour, I discovered a brioche bread with bright red candy almonds at Susumu Koyama's gorgeous pastry shop in Santien, two hours southwest of Kyoto. It's hard to believe EVERY morning people from all over the country queue up in front of Patissier es Koyama in this small city, waiting for it to open its door, much like that in front of Pierre Herme's patissier in Paris. At the time I did not know these little red cruchy candies are "pink pralines" (or "pralines roses" in French originating from Lyon) which are made of almonds and sugar.
Yesterday I was sitting on my balcony reading when I saw this picture in "Eric Kayser's New French Recipes":
Brioche with Pink Pralines (page 117 of "Eric Kayser's New French Recipes")
It brings back memories. The color is so beautiful it makes me want to make it, but I have no pink pralines so I have to improvise. Before I could think of what to do, I thought I'd just first refresh my starter. Kayser's recipe uses commercial yeast but what's the point of following it - that may just be too easy. I thought of making my own pink pralines but that would mean I'll have to use red food coloring, which I am reluctant to do. In the end I settled with a punnet of fresh raspberries for the coloring effect.
Towards yesterday evening when my starter almost tripped, I mixed the bioche dough. I did not know how my starter would perform with all the butter and eggs in the dough but I just wanted to try. I don't have a brioche tin so I used what I have. Years of making souffle tells me that I need to line the sides of the tin with double parchment paper just in case it expands out of it. I left it at room temperature for a couple of hours then put it into the fridge for retarding overnight. This morning I took it out of the fridge and it had barely increased in volume. I let it stand in my balcony to proof for 4 hours. This is what it looked like when it doubled in volume, half way through proofing :
sourdough brioche dough
I turned on my oven to 200C. Then, when it rose a further 50% in volume, I prepared my egg wash as below:
I brushed it on the top of the dough, placed it in the oven, and immediately lowered the temp to 170C. There was a good oven spring; the dough expanded a further 50% within the first 4 - 5 mins of baking. It baked for 35 mins in total and this is the result:
Sourdough Brioche with Raspberries
I can't say I am happy with the outcome. The flavor is good; the curmb is moist but it is not open enough. The mouth feel is not light enough as a result. Perhaps my choice of tin does not allow the dough to expand as easily as a proper brioche tin (which opens out very widely). Well, I shall see to it next time.
With a slice of this plus cream and homemade raspberry jam, I toast to Monsieur Eric Kayser with my Oolong tea on my sunny balcony!
Winter morning on my balcony