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Artisan bread in five minutes - Brioche/challah

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bnb's picture
bnb

Artisan bread in five minutes - Brioche/challah

Hi everyone,

 I have started making the Brioche/challah recipe from Artisan bread in five minutes. I don't own the book, I got the recipe off the internet and the instructions do not say anywhere that the dough should be kneaded. I made the dough yesterday and set it in the fridge to chill. The dough is actually a thick batter. It is very loose. This morning after a night of chilling the dough it is firmer but still pretty sticky and very soft. The dough is supposed to be rolled out soft, sticky and all and then baked after an hour's rest.

 Can I use the french fold method to give the dough some integrity or will the brioche turn out tough?

BNB.

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

I have the book but haven't made the enriched doughs yet. However, everything I've made so far is very wet and slack. I make a boule to create surface tension, then begin shaping if I'm doing something other than a boule. A French Fold may be a bit too much for this dough. But you'd be suprised how much it firms up once you create surface tension.

The more I handle it when shaping, the longer I let it rest before I put it in the oven, to give the dough time to gas up again.

Good luck! I hope you tell us how it turns out!

 

bnb's picture
bnb

 Thx raisdbywolvz,

 I am actually trying to make the almond brioche that's listed in the 'Bread feed' page The brioche recipe makes 4 lbs. I am planning on making the almond brioche on thursday. So just to be on the safe side, I cut out an lb of the dough and rolled it into a cinnamon brioche bread. Its resting at the moment. This loaf will let me know if the dough was done right.

But rolling out the lb of dough was very messy. The dough is very sticky and soft inspite of being refrigerated for 2 days. I added slightly over 7.5 cups AP flour which was scooped into the cup. Maybe the amount of dough fell short.

I will let you know how it turns out. Keeping my fingers crossed.

BNB.

 

 

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

It is very messy, isn't it? I tried rolling one batch and gave it up. Now when I'm doing something with this dough that calls for rolling, I just stretch it out very gently until it's a decent rectangle. I've found it helps to reach underneath and stretch from the bottom as much as possible. I use my other hand to push the dough from the middle outward in the direction that I'm pulling. Then you'll find that the dough at the eges is fatter than the rest of it, so I pull the edges both ways, outward and inward at the same time, just a little bit, to get the edges the same thickness as the rest of the dough. It only goes so far before it wants to spring back, so I cover it and let it sit for about 10 minutes and then go back and finish it up. I use a little bit of flour to try to keep things from sticking, but it tends to stick to the board anyway, so I gently free it up with a bench knife.

This is probably not the correct way to do things, but it sure has made my life easier! :)

 

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

I tried the brioche dough and it came out very well.  I made caramel cinnamon buns using this dough.  It is somewhat soft, but not any softer than the babka dough that I use before following a more traditional method.  It does seem batter-like, but it is easier to handle when still chilled (fresh from the fridge).  I stretched it roughly into a small rectangle.  Then I used plenty of flour (on the board and on top) and rolled it to about 1/4 inch thick.  My "rolling pin" is actually an 18-inch piece of PVC piping so it doesn't stick much (I'm sure that helped).  But it didn't stick much to the wooden cutting board (again, I did check from time to time and dusted with more flour as needed).

Perhaps the authors of the book could provide more info on handling the dough.  They have a website www.artisanbreadinfive.com.  They have been very responsive in answering many questions that have been posted on their website.

Mr. Peabody

bnb's picture
bnb

 Ok everyone, here are the results of my cinnamon brioche loaf. Thats just the name I gave it. What I did was roll the lb of dough out, smeared some oil (did not use butter as I did not want to add to the calorie content of already crazy rich dough) and sprinkled some cinnamon. Boy was it tough to roll the dough into a roulade!

The dough was patted out, by hand, into a circle about 1/2 inch in thick. I didn't trust my rolling pin as the dough was very soft and sticky. I used a lot of dough on my board to keep the dough from sticking but it still did :(. But I some how managed to roll it up, sprinkling flour every now and then to ease it off the board, pushing, pulling, tugging. Placed it in a loaf pan and lest it rest for an hour as instructed by the recipe. By now the loaf was covered in flour.

At the end of one hour's rest, the loaf had slightly increased in size. Heated the oven to 350 and baked the loaf for 30 mins. I think it had a decent oven spring as the resting loaf was about 1/2 the size of the baked loaf.

Cut into it the next day to find this.

Good hole structure. I am not sure if brioches should have such holes. The crumb was moist and soft. I was able to cut the bread into very thin slices. It was that tender.

The taste left me dissapointed for some reason, not what I expected at all. It is ok, but I can't place my finger on what is wrong with the taste. It has a yeasty taste which I do not like. It had a  barely discernible hint of sweetness. One thing I forgot to mention is that I forgot to add the salt in the recipe maybe thats whats missing.

Sorry for the poor pic quality, took them in a rush before heading out to work.

RbW,

 I will try using the bench scraper next. I still have a lot of dough to go. My batter actuall firmed up into dough consistency in the fridge but it is still very very soft and sticky. I patted the dough out into a circle because shaping a rectangle the scared the s*** out of me. Thanks for the instructions.

Pea,

Thats exactly what I was going to do depending on the results of this test loaf. I have visited their site a few times. I will post a question soon. Do you have pics of your brioche work you can share? 

BNB

 

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

BNB,

Sorry no photos (my boys devoured the batch of cinnamon buns -- I made a half batch of dough and rolled it out).  Also, I generally don't ever think to take pictures of the breads that I make.  One thing for me was that the buns are exceptionally tender.  I personally thought that it was almost too rich (so much butter) that next time I may use the Challah dough (hey, I'm trying to be good).  Also, I would boost the cinnamon next time.

I did weigh out the ingredients (relying on 5 oz per cup for AP flour) instead of relying on cup measurements.  Is it possible that the amount of flour was less than optimal, thereby leaving an even more sticky dough?

About its stickiness, like I said before I made some chocolate babkas a while back using a more traditional recipe.  That dough was truly batter like when I finished (I used a KA mixer and used the paddle, no way a dough hook would work -- too loose).  So, perhaps I had a bit of good luck with these exceptionally sticky doughs.  I am still learning, but as I said before, for the ABin5 brioche dough: (1) I used well chilled dough (it did firm up in the fridge), (2) I had a well dusted board, (3) I first gently stretched the dough to a rough rectangle, (4) I then dusted the top of the dough with more flour, (5) I gently rolled it out to the desired thickness where I would occasionally check to see how sticky it was under the dough and on top (I just did more dusting with flour as needed).  I don't know whether this is the proper way to do it, but it worked for me.  Also, my wife laughs at me, but my rolling "pin" is actually just a piece of PVC piping that I cut off.  It works well for me and is relatively non-stick (I still needed to dust the top of the dough while rolling it out though).  It is also pretty lightweight, which might make it easier to be gently while rolling out such soft dough.

Oh, and one other thing, after spreading the cinnamon butter, I did put the rolled up dough "log" in the refrigerator for about 20-30 min to firm up a bit before cutting out the buns.

Let us know what the authors say.

 Mr. Peabody

bnb's picture
bnb

Thanks PB,

I suspect the same thing. I think the flour content was low as I spooned flour into the cups and did not scoop. Did the cinnamon buns have the same crumb texture as my loaf?

I will let you know what the authors say.

BNB.

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

BNB,

Hard to compare (loaf vs smaller, more tightly rolled bun) but if I remember right, it looks about there.  These enriched doughs tend to make a very fine textured crumb.  Your picture looks close to the chocolate babka I made in terms of texture.

Looking at your other message, I bet that leaving the salt out really affected taste.  That bit of salt is necessary for getting full flavor in most doughs.  Also, if you spooned the flour into the cup, I bet that is why your dough was even more sticky (not enough flour).  The authors of the book now state on their website that 5 oz per cup for AP flour is the right amount (a whole bunch of people asked them).  This equates to a dip and scoop measure of flour (based on Cooks Illustrated).  You might be off by as much as a half oz of flour per cup by spooning the flour into the cups.

Mr. Peabody

bnb's picture
bnb

 Thanks for the confirmation, PB. I posted my questions on the author's website about a half hour ago, I this might be redundant after your reply.

BNB.

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

BNB, your cinnamon loaf looks quite appetizing.  Bummer about the salt.  I once managed to triple the salt in a loaf of bread.  That's not a good idea either!

There are some videos of the authors making and shaping the dough on their website. They are well worth looking at if you haven't already. 

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

Mr. Peabody, good call on the flour. I started weighing mine on a scale and found that scooping and sweeping gives me 4.5 to 4.7 ounces each time.

BNB - I wonder, since the dough is so goopy, if you could work some salt and extra flour in, then give it another rise outside the fridge.

 

bnb's picture
bnb

KC,

 Thanks for the comment! I am bummed about the salt too, but the family seems to love it, they liken the taste to a croissant!

Yikes! Triple the salt! That is irreversible! Sorry about that.

I have actually taken a look at the dough shaping tutorials. Very detailed. My dough is no where near the consistency as shown in the videos. So as rbw suggests, I need to firm it up a bit with flour.

Rdw,

 I am right there with you. How much more do you think I should add? I don't want to make the brioche tough. Remember that my dough is 1 lb lighter. I was thinking maybe a cup of flour, spooned not scooped, so that would be 4.5 oz flour.

BNB.

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

BNB and RBW,

I found out very quickly that the only way to get consistency in any baking is by weighing the flour.  So, very early on, I got an inexpensive digital scale.  BTW, the authors of the ABin5 book have on their website that for all of the recipes using AP flour, the correct weight is 5 oz per cup (which is what I've been using and the dough has been workable for me).  I also typically weigh out the water.

BNB, the brioche dough has so much butter, I wonder if it can even get tough from overworking the dough.  Fats are very tenderizing to bread doughs.

All of this discussion about Challah/brioche dough got me to make their Challah.  Because I had the dough around, I tried to cook it up like a Naan to go with the leftover curry that we had for dinner last night.  It isn't really the right recipe for Naan (lots of butter, has honey, no yogurt or milk, more eggs).  My boys called it a non-Naan.  But it was very tasty (because of the honey, I had to cook it at a lower temperature than normal as it browned way too quickly).  It went well with the curry.  Later last night, I baked up a loaf of Challah.  Very lovely.  I never made one before, but this was easy.  Although I didn't get a chance to eat it just yet (but my boys told me it was great for breakfast this morning).

I love this ABin5 method.  My busy schedule has made traditional breadmaking very difficult.  I had given up breadbaking for quite a while.  However, because the ABin5 method is very flexible, I can more easily fit this into my schedule.  I find it much more easy for me to fit in breadmaking (and the breads have turned out very well).  We can't buy artisan breads in a nice bakery because my boys have food allergies to sesame, poppy seeds, and nuts (we can't risk possible cross-contamination even for non-seeded loaves of bread).  So, the only way to get decent bread for us is if I make it.

I have some more of the Challah dough left, maybe I'll make some cinnamon rolls this weekend.

Mr. Peabody

bnb's picture
bnb

PB,

 From your post it looks like I will be ok adding about 5 oz of flour. I will probably go only so far as to get a soft and tacky dough, something thats can be handled to as a roll and then cut into pieces.

I am also planning on proofing it after the flour addition and then shaping it into a loaf.

One more question, the recipe says to let the shaped challah/loaf/bread rest for an hour before baking. Did yours rise at all? If so, by how much?

BNB

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

BNB,

I think you are right that after remixing/kneading in more flour (and salt), that you need to redo the 1st rise before shaping the bread. 

I have the book and for about a 1 lb loaf, the authors suggest a 1 hour, 20 min proofing.  I made about a 1-1/2 lb loaf and let it go for a little more than 90 min. 

I do shape the dough on a plastic tray (the dough sticks less to plastic compared to a wood cutting board) so that I can use a minimum of flour (you do have to use some though to prevent complete sticking).  I took the lump of dough and did the "cloaking" step.  Then I cut it into 3 equal pieces.  For each piece, I then gently rolled/stretched them into a long log.  It took a bit of "convincing."  I had to stretch and then let it rest a bit while I stretched other braids.  I then went back and stretch/rolled some more.  I put the 3 braids onto a Silpat-covered baking tray and did the shaping of the Challah.  Very loosely draped plastic over it and let proof for about 90 min.  I eggwashed it well (I didn't use poppy or sesame seeds, my boys are allergic) and baked in a preheated 350 F oven for just under 30 min (I checked at 25 and thought that it needed just a bit more baking).

Mr. Peabody

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

BNB, I agree with Mr. Peabody that you could easily get away with adding another cup of flour, but since you've already taken out that lb of dough, I'd go light on it, maybe spoon it in like you did before. And remember your salt, too! Maybe use 1 to 1 1/4 tbsp of salt since it's no longer a full batch. Btw, that would be the measurement for Morton's Kosher salt. If you're using table salt, use about 3/4 of that amount, and if you're using Diamond Kosher salt, use more.

I, too, use a digital scale and weight out 2 lbs of flour for each batch. I always check the first cup, though, just to see what my scoop and sweep comes out to, and it's never 5 oz. Perhaps once our humidity pumps up like it always does in the summer, that might change.

I haven't made the brioche or challah yet -- the egg requirement kind of blows my mind! But it sounds so yummy, and the interior shot of your cinnamon brioche looked so delectable, I'm going to have to just do it, and soon!

bnb's picture
bnb

 RdW,

  :D I completely understand your trepidation when it comes to this recipe. But I am a sucker for delicious looking, tasting bread and the almond brioche in the bread feed looked too darned good and its home made to boot.

But I am also taking care not to consume too much. The loaf you see is only a pound and I sliced it really thin. I eat one slice a day and my husband maybe 2. The rest I am going to share with friends.

I will be adding the flour to the rest of the dough today and probably bake saturday. I have actually changed my mind and feel like doing a chocolate filling instead of an almond filling. Evil! I know!

BNB.

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

The Challah that I baked turned out very well.  Very fine crumb, mildly sweet.  The dough is not nearly as rich as the brioche dough (which has much more eggs and butter), so I won't feel guilty eating it.  It will probably make for great French toast if I have any slightly stale leftovers.

I have never done the dip and scoop measurement for flour for any of these recipes.  I've relied on weight and have used the standard 5 oz per cup of AP flour as my conversion of the recipes.  Perhaps, some of the variance also comes from cup shape (some shapes compressing the flour more than other shapes).  Regardless, once you get a consistent measurement (regardless of how much actual flour is there), you can adjust the dough to the texture that works best for you.

Mr. Peabody

bnb's picture
bnb

 Mmmmm....french toast. I haven't had that in a long time. Gonna have to whip some up soon. Your right, measuring is the best way. I will keep in mind the 5 oz the next time I make a recipe for ABin5.

 

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

Chocolate! Yummers! But don't think of it as evil. Didn't you know? The gods smile upon those who make chocolate! :)

I'm waiting for Saturday to find out how this one turns out!

 

 

 

bnb's picture
bnb

Indeed! No wonder the Aztecians called it the food of the Gods! (Or was it the Mayans?) Damn, I shouldn't have slept through those history classes.

bnb's picture
bnb

 Over the weekend, I just barely squeezed in time to make the brioche again. I added a lit more than 1 cup of flour to the brioche recipe. It was still sticky but no as bad as it was the last time. I let it rise for about an hour. It rose a little, not a lot and did not fall back as it should. I proceeded to roll out the room temp dough-no refrigeration (again time strapped). This time the dough was a lot easier to work with I didnt have to use as much flour to roll it out. Sprinkled chocolate chips and brown sugar and rolled it up. I cut the roll into segments and placed them in a buttered bundt pan.Brushed the rolls with melted butter. The pan went straight into a 350 f oven for 40 min.The rolls did have a decent rise but nothing like the one on the blog about almond brioche.

The rolls did turn out extremely tender right out of the oven and smelled phenomenal. No pics as the rolls went straight to a friend's place. Anyway, I have some dough left and I will make another recipe to give away. Will hopefully get pics of that.

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

It's so good to know I'm not the only one who bakes all this stuff and gives it to friends!

You said it didn't spring as much in the oven as you expected. I wonder... You didn't mention a final proof. Something like the rolls, where you're really working the dough, should probably sit on the counter after shaping and cutting the rolls for a good hour to an hour and a half, because rolling the dough out de-gasses it so much.

Other than that little detail, it sounds like a very successful experiment! Wish I had some! :)

 

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

RDW is right if you didn't allow a final proof.  When I used the brioche dough for sticky buns, after cutting the rolls out, I put them in a pan and let it proof for another 1-1/2 hrs before baking.  It rose just fine.  If you did allow for a final proofing step, perhaps the refrigerated dough is aged to the point where it loses its rising power.  Also, with the extra flour, you said that it was easier to handle.  If you refrigerate the dough before rolling, it would be even easier to handle.  Regardless, I bet that if you revisit the brioche recipe again, you would undoubtedly be successful.

By the way, the leftover Challah dough that I had was turned into another loaf of Challah (by popular demand from the family) rather than sticky buns as I had originally planned.  Leftover Challah was later turned into great French toast this weekend.

Mr. Peabody

bnb's picture
bnb

 rdb & pb,

  The reason the dough didn't have a lot of oven spring or didn't rise much during the initial rise was because I was rushing through things. I had absolutely no time to rest the dough and let it rise. So it was really a matter of taking the time to do it, which I couldn't. I still think the bread turned out very moist and tender.

 This is a very flexible recipe, you can bake a pretty darned good bread w/o babysitting it.

Next time I will halve the recipe, this is way too much dough. I had to throw the rest of the dough away as it formed a thick crust sitting out and had lost most of its structure.

BNB.

 

mrpeabody's picture
mrpeabody

I agree about the flexibility of this technique.  It has allowed me to fit in bread baking into my hectic schedule.  I think that traditional methods may ultimately produce a better product but they just don't fit into my schedule (maybe when I retire in 20 years).  I like the results that I'm getting with the ABin5 method and its flexibility.  Some things that really helped was to be gentler in shaping, a longer proofing time than recommended in the book (I typically go to 1-1/5 to 2 hours, but my kitchen is cooler during the winter months), and adjusting for the leaking of steam from my older oven door.

Mr. Peabody

raisdbywolvz's picture
raisdbywolvz

I love to play around with traditional methods when I have the time, but there's a lot to be said for getting a nice and tasty loaf of bread on the table with very little advance planning the way you can do with the ABin5 method.

Strange as it may sound, the breads I make by traditional methods have really improved since I learned the ABin5 method. In some ways, the ABin5 book is to home bread baking what Harry Potter was to youth readership, by promoting a greater interest overall.

As for the large amount of dough you have when you make a full batch, give it to your buds. When they come over, shape a batard or a boule or a baguette, whatever they want (they love that part), proof it and bake it while you visit, then send it home with them in a paper sack. It costs very little, takes very little time, yet you've made somebody's day, fancied up their evening meal, and satisfied your need to bake.

I make half batches, too, mainly due to container limitations and fridge space, but also to try out new doughs.

All in all, it's just a great trick to have in the bag.