Thought I hadn't been baking, huh?
Well just because I haven’t been blogging doesn’t mean I haven’t been baking.
There’s just been a lot of “stuff” happening in my life and I haven’t had the energy (or time) to pretend I care about photography at all – and I know that’s what everyone wants – the pictures. But with winter fast approaching, I’ve got a little relief from the yard work – and a little more time.
I’ve been working hard on my croissants and if I’m ever happy with them, I’ll let you all know.
I’ve also been working on pretzels and there are times when I can actually hear “My Teacher’s” voice telling me that I am fired.
So today I gave myself a break from croissants and decided to make some brioche treats. And also pretzels. I’m going to make those danged things until I get them right.
At one point I looked over at my cooling racks and thought to myself, “Gee, they are kind of pretty all bunched up together like that.” And I decided they were worth a couple of pictures.
Once I located my camera and had a few tough moments remembering how to use it, the pictures were taken.
Although I could give a blow by blow account of the many, many flaws in these products - I'll chill on that for today. But I know and I know where I need to improve.
Below is the assortment: a brioche sticky bun, a brioche a tete, a couple of pretzels, and two laminated brioche – uh – things.
And below the crumb shot for the laminated brioche.
I will not describe the taste of the laminated brioche, becasue that's just being mean.
Use your favorite brioche dough.
49 oz of dough for about a half sheet pans worth of sticky buns
Bottom of pan coated with cinnamon bun glaze from “Advanced Bread and Pastry” (Suas) (accept no substitutes – this is the best sticky bun mixture I have ever tasted…)
Cinnamon mixture fro above source.
385F oven with convection
Brioche a tete
3.5 ounces per piece – shape, etc…
24 oz brioche dough
4 oz butter
Lock in then 3 single folds
Roll out to about ¼ in thick
Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture
Roll up and cut into 12 pieces – put in large size muffin/cupcake tin
Proof – egg wash – sliced almonds on top
385F with convection
Base recipe is from “Advanced Bread and Pastry”
Leaf lard instead of butter
10% rye and 90% KA AP instead of bread flour
3.5 oz pieces.
Roll into long shapes with small “bellies” – making sure that the ends remain as bulbs. Do not taper the ends. The ends must be bulbs. Civilization itself depends on this.
Twist (yeah, I can twist them by twirling them in the air)
Place on parchment that has been sprayed with pan release.
Refrigerate covered overnight.
In the morning dip in 4% lye solution for 10 seconds or so.
Sprinkle salt on the lower part.
Bake at 450F
The lye dip is essential to the taste and appearance of the pretzel. Takes me back to the land of my birth – which is in the Philadelphia area. Frankly, it’s a bit nerve wracking at first, but the key is good mise en place and seriously, always wear chemical proof gloves and eye protection. It gets easier the more you do it.
Well, that’s about all for me. Gotta run!