The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

More Brioches!

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DonD's picture
DonD

More Brioches!

Background:


My fondness for Brioches dates back to my years growing up in Saigon where French Bakeries and Pasry Shops were quite common there. These shops were owned and operated by French people so their products were quite authentic and more importantly they were made with real butter. Fast forward to the late sixties when I went to college for a year in Switzerland where I was really spoiled with an abundance of excellent  breads and pastries. Afterwards, I came to the US and was hard pressed to find a true French Baguette let alone a Brioche. However, my yearly trips to Montreal to visit friends would alleviate my craving for Brioches. Gaston Lenotre had a Bakery and Pastry Shop there (since closed) and I would indulge in his wonderful Viennoiseries and Pastries. Several trips to France would further reinforce my love for Brioches. In the late seventies and early eighties, we started to find Brioches in the US but somehow they tasted bland and lean. Even now, I have not been to find a commercial Brioche that tastes like the real thing. About 15 years ago, we invited a French Chef to dinner at our home and the next day, as a thank you, he gave us a Brioche Nanterre (a Brioche Loaf) that he had baked. That was the best Brioche I have ever had, it was light and airy and the buttery richness was unreal. That prompted me to start baking my own Brioche. Over the years I have experimented with various recipes from Lenotre, Jacques Pepin and Michel Roux with relative success. Recently I tried the recipe from Nancy Silverton from the Baking with Julia book and TV series and was very happy with the results.


Last weekend in anticipation of the Holidays, I made a batch of various types of Brioches using NS's formulation with some minor tweakings. I used a total of 6 eggs instead of 5 and I increased the butter amount from 1 1/2 sticks to an 'artery clogging' 2 1/2 sticks. It's the Holidays and I only make them 3 or 4 times a year!


Pics:


Shaped Brioches ready for proofing


 


Large Brioche a Tete (Brioche with Head)


 


Brioche Nanterre, Brioche Mousseline, Medium and Small Brioches a Tete


 


Brioche Crumb


 


Happy Holidays!


Don

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

I want to bake some Brioche so bad and just can't seem to get around to it everytime I look at all that butter it makes me drool...I love this kind of bread but my waistline doesn't.  My husband needs to watch is cholestrol and if it's there he eats it and so do I.   Gorgeous baking.


Sylvia 


 

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Try baking a tiny portion of the recipe or freeze/give away a bunch of it. That's what I have learned to do as I learn to bake. My husband and i would be gaining a ton of weight if I didn't.


Also, this looks like a recipe that might be good to sub some coconut oil into for at least half the butter. It has a marvelous nutty, exotic flavor, same texture and a better cholesterol profile. Just be sure to buy the extra virgin, water processed, organic. The old studies that said coconut oil was so bad for you were done on hydrogenated, processed, heat treated coconut oil which is very bad for you.

dmsnyder's picture
dmsnyder

Just looking at the gorgeous brioches photos doesn't effect my cholesterol ... does it?


Really beautiful brioche, Don!


David

DonD's picture
DonD

We all have problems with cholesterol but a few times a year, I allow myself to indulge in some 'Rich Man's Brioche' as Peter Reinhart calls it.


Don

Boboshempy's picture
Boboshempy

Anything in moderation, I say!!


Don - is this Peter Reinhart 'Rich Man's Brioche' recipe?  It looks great!


Nick

DonD's picture
DonD

The recipe that I used is from Nancy Silverton with the variations that I mentioned. You can go on the PBS website and watch the video of NS preparing the dough on the "Baking with Julia" series. I just upped the butter amount to qualify as a "Rich Man's Brioche".


Don

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

Where did you get the pans?

DonD's picture
DonD

I bought them years ago at a local cooking store but you can order them online at www.creativecookware.com


They have a wide selection of different types and sizes.

ques2008's picture
ques2008

did you use the shaping steps in PR's BBA?  How did you make the small round heads on the top?  is that separate dough, or part of the rope that you just twisted so it comes around to the top?


eager to know!

DonD's picture
DonD

I used shaping techniques from different sources. The large and medium Brioches with head are from Michel Roux and  the head is separate from the body and is about 1/3 of the dough amount. The Brioche Mousseline is from Jacques Pepin and is baked in a tin can with an extension collar made with aluminum foil. The Brioche Nanterre and small Brioches with head are from Richard Bertinet's 'Crust'. The small head is formed by rolling the dough with the side of your hand to separate the head from the body but not sever it completely. You then tuck the head into the body using your index finger dipped in flour. There is also a good video on YouTube showing you how to shape a small Brioche.


Don

ques2008's picture
ques2008

thank you DonD.  I'll look for that youtube video!  much appreciated.

milwaukeecooking's picture
milwaukeecooking

These are beautiful.  I have yet to make brioche.  I think these pictures have given me the kick that I needed. 


 


milwaukeecooking.blogspot.com