The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brioche burger buns with a chunk of ciabatta

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Brioche burger buns with a chunk of ciabatta

... and now for something different.

We helped celebrate a good friends birthday last night––the same person who I have recently started baking a weekly sourdough loaf for :)

She asked if I could supply enough bread for the party to cater 30 guests. My first thoughts … ‘that this would be a bake worlds away from whole grains, fresh milled flour and natural levains’. I was given free range of what I could bake, and as much as I would of loved to have left a giant miche in the middle of the table, I knew I had to bake for a wider audience. The party was a barbeque with lots of fresh salads and spit-roasted meat––bread rolls were an essential compliment to the meal. I thought it might be fun to also include some bread which could be torn and used to mop up any remaining sauce left on the plate.

I initially thought ‘white bread rolls’, but after reading through Tartine Bread I became hooked on the idea of using brioche dough as a wonderfully decadent barbeque bun. My go-to brioche formula is from Richard Bertinet’s book, Crust. It is very rich, slightly sweet and uses an overnight rest in the fridge, making scheduling a breeze.

In addition to the brioche, I wanted the ‘other’ bread to be able to mop up the leftovers or be used to build extravagant sandwiches. Ciabatta! My favourite ciabatta formula comes from Maggie Glezer’s Artisan Baking courtesy of Craig Ponsford. It has a wonderful flavour from a biga fermented for 24 hrs prior to mixing. But mixing is hardly the right word. Really the ingredients are brought together with a minimal short mix then strengthened via stretch and folds through the bulk ferment.

Preparing biga

Arteries beware
  

… after breakfast, (24 hrs before bake day) I mixed the biga including freshly milled grains and a tiny amount of yeast.

That night I prepared the brioche dough. I find it’s best not to think too deeply about the amount of eggs and butter you are about to use … artery hardening :) yikes!!

The eggs, sugar and flour were autolysed for 45 mins before adding the yeast and kneading (slap and fold) for 5 mins. I incorporated the salt and kneaded a further 10 mins until the dough window-paned. Then came a further 30 mins of kneading as I incorporated the butter … this is a slow and ponderous task. It literally feels like one step forward and two steps backward with each addition of butter. In the end you are rewarded with the silkiest, smoothest dough imaginable. It was then bulk fermented for two hours with one stretch and fold before being placed in the refrigerator for an overnight rest. Ahhhh …

The next morning the biga was still not at a stage I was happy with (temperature had dropped during the rainy night) so I delayed the start of the ciabatta mix (and started a hybrid sourdough version as an experiment … I will post on this soon). I also removed the brioche dough from the fridge and allowed it an hour at room temperature before dividing and shaping. The brioche dough proved for two and a half hours. It was egg-washed, sprinkled with sesame seeds and set to bake for thirty minutes until the centre buns began to brown sufficiently. 

 

 

 

A sniff of the biga let me know it was ready and I set to work on the ciabatta. At first it seems hard to believe that the wet slops will strengthen with stretch and folds to a cohesive mass that can roughly hold its shape.

After a 2.5 hr bulk ferment the ciabattas were shaped with a quick letter fold before being placed seam side down on a floured teatowel to prove for 45 mins … then flip, slide, dimple and peeled into a very hot oven until well browned.

 

 

The breads were well received by all, with the hit of the night being the brioche burger buns. Their rich interiors and fine golden crumb provided more than enough sustenance for the hard working chefs. Heard on the rumor mill during the night - “Nat only wants me for my buns” :)

The ciabatta crumb was creamy and delicate encased in a thin caramel crust with the aroma of the biga in every bite. It was a pleasure to watch it being enjoyed by so many.

All the best,
Phil 

 

Comments

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy

Give the Tartine brioche a go...I use it at work for my smoked salmon dish, double smoked Irish salmon with tartine olive oil brioche! It's rich but laden with olive oil...healthy and has great shelf life!

Or go a bit Italian American with this version from a really great restaurant and chef I interviewed here in NYC...Joey Campanero's sliders as we call them here. Would be great for BBQ I am sure! I'm going to adapt them when I have time to sourdough.

http://nymag.com/restaurants/recipes/inseason/26962/

Jeremy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Hi Jeremy,

I toyed with the idea of making the Tatrine olive oil brioche ... but ... I have no stand mixer and the dough looked almost impossible to mix to a reasonable level by hand. Do you find the Tartine brioche an overly wet dough? The meatball sliders look very cool.

Cheers,
Phil

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

Whew!  Arteries hardening, indeed.  And it sounds absolutely fabulous!  If you want a slightly less decadent alternate for a future attempt, Phil, you might want to try a Portugese Sweet Bread for the rolls.  Also very good with barbecue.

The ciabatta looks very good, too.

Nice work.

Paul

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Paul,

I am OK with decadent in tiny amounts :) Its not very often that I bake these kinds of breads so I make sure I enjoy them without too much guilt :) Some of the guys at the party were getting quite animated about the rolls ...

All the best,
Phil

varda's picture
varda

Looks like you are scaling up.   That's a lot of bread to make for a home baker.     What could be more delicious than brioche rolls.   I'm trying not to think about it too much.   -Varda

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Varda,

Yeah I had scaled up the amount, but not the kitchen or the oven size :) ... I planned it pretty well so its wasn't too much of a logistical nightmare, and nothing over-proved ... if I had a bigger oven I could have finished quite a bit earlier. Brioche is one of my favourite things ... hence I only ever make it once or twice a year for my own good.

Cheers,
Phil

Janetcook's picture
Janetcook

Phil,

Beautiful breads....brioche is on my list for tonight but I am using Peter Reinhart's recipe from his book WGB and it uses IY....Did your formula use any wild yeast?

The cibatta looks wonderful....Don't tell me you got those glorious holes using whole grains....if you did - how did you do it????  I have tried numerous times and my results are very flat pieces of bread fit for the trash....

Interesting in your basket of choice...I have one exactly like yours holding my knitting and several that I use for groceries but different designs...I have used them for years and now they are popping up everywhere I look....but, like everything else these days - the quality isn't like it used to be....oh well - mine are the older ones and I am sure will last as long as I do :-)

Take Care,

Janet

 

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Sorry Janet,

Hardly any whole grains or milling and no levains ... I know ... it actually felt a bit weird not using the mill apart from the small amount in the biga. I did make a hybrid ciabatta with levain and a small amount of yeast ... I will post on this soon.

The really strange thing was how apprehensive I felt about using commercial yeast. It has been quite a while since using it and I was so unsure about planning the bake timelines. With my levain I am really clued in to how it behaves ... commercial yeast feels very foreign to me now.

We picked up the basket at a local organic market about a year ago ... our favorite picnic basket.

All the best,
Phil

 

Franko's picture
Franko

Very nice baking Phil,

Talk about dedication! Making a brioche dough by hand requires a good measure of it and it's paid off beautifully for you. I know what you mean about the percentage of butter being a bit daunting, but it does pay off in flavour, and at least you know it was made with fine ingredients and great care. These days brioche dough is one of the few I don't mind turning over to the mixer to deal with just to keep my tendonitis from flaring up. The crumb on both the brioche and ciabatta look picture perfect, and no wonder they were getting rave reviews from everyone at the party. Great stuff!

Cheers,

Franko

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Cheers, thanks Franko,

It felt quite a challenge doing something different like this ... Maybe a bit more pressure to perform ... Good for me :)

Brioche and other enriched doughs are probably the only time I wish for a mixer ... I rarely bake them so I usually ignore the "mixer cravings"

Brioche is an amazing dough to work with ... I find the smell quite captivating and the Richard's formula's is the one I keep coming back to. The ciabattas were super tasty with the only problem being the humidity has really kicked off again here and the nice crisp crust are now soft and  spongy ... actually all the bread being baked lately have spongy crusts within an hour.

All the best,
Phil

Franko's picture
Franko

Hi Phil,

I have Bertinet's 'Crust' as well, a good book of formula and technique I feel, but having a look at his brioche I notice he doesn't use a preferment such as a sponge or pate fermentee. Hamelman's formula for brioche is similar in this respect and the one I used the last time I mixed brioche. It was good... but the flavour wasn't as nice as ones I've made incorporating a sponge. Maybe it's my imagination but a sponge seems to lend a bit of natural sweetness to the dough I found lacking in Hamelman's. I agree, brioche is one of my all time favourites to work with, almost like handling silk. It's been fairly cold and quite dry here for this time of year, to the point I've actually had to increase hydration on the doughs I make at work to keep them from skinning before they go in the proofer. It's always something with dough no matter where you live apparently. Looking forward to your next post Phil.

Best Wishes,

Franko

PiPs's picture
PiPs

I am biased to using a preferment as well and thought it a touch 'boring' making a straight dough (all the butter and eggs soon destroys the boring feeling though) ... I figured the overnight retard during the bulk ferment would generate some flavour as well. You know, i'm kinda glad I made a straight dough as the temperatures are so over the shop lately, it would have been hard to plan and watch the preferment while I was at work. I don't own the hamelman book but have read through a friends copy ... maybe worthwhile me mentioning it to Santa.

Cheers,
Phil

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Phil,

Some really lovely work here, as always.   And you don't have an electric mixer!

I'm interested in your future comments about ciabatta with levain.   I have made it before, and enjoyed it too.   But it is quite a bit more "chewy" than the model you have posted here!

All good wishes

Andy

PiPs's picture
PiPs

Thanks Andy,

Yeah was a bit ambitious :) ... that I could bulk ferment the brioche in fridge made this a whole lot easier ... BUT ... I tell you, the kitchen took a lot longer to clean this weekend ... plus add to that, I am malting some grains as well ... poor Nat ... I swear she has so much patience with me :)

... a big hobart mixer in the kitchen could have been an advantage :)

The ciabatta with levain that I am going to post on does use a small amount of commercial yeast. I tend to prefer ciabattas with a finer crust and crumb than I can produce relying solely on levains.

All the best,
Phil