After a few crazy months of preparing to move, moving, and settling into my
new “town” (Portland Oregon) I’m back into baking again. Rather than try
to catch up, I just skipped ahead to the current chapter for us all.
Chapter 3, recipe 1: Brioche.
This is a good example of a recipe I would never have attempted but for
this challenge. Certainly I have enjoyed this lovely baked dish over the
years. My strongest memory is having French toast made from Brioche a few
years back while hanging out in the Bay Area with my dear, dear friend Lis.
She’d been eagerly anticipating the sweet morning/brunch treat for our
entire trip from a little breakfast nook in Oakland. I was quite impressed
And so, Brioche – my turn! It was a lovely, rainy day in Portland which
means it was perfect for baking! Given the additional time for rising in
these recipes, all of this baking will necessarily occur on the weekends.
The instructions were fairly clear, and I great appreciated using the food
processor. I did have some good fun braiding although I was a little
confused by first braiding half in one direction and the breading half in
the other, but I figured it out.
I failed to raise the baking rack in the oven, so the bottom was a little
too toasty but it was still very edible. For a few hours I was dismayed
that it would go to waste — how on earth was I going to eat an entire loaf
of Brioche? I thought about freezing it for bread pudding and explored
some recipes. However, then I realized how much I’d already eaten, so the
issue was, therefore, moot.
And, expanding on the successful Brioche, I made the Cinnamon Raisin Ring
the very next weekend. Again, the recipe was fairly straight forward
although Malgieri said to pick up at step 6 of Brioche but I think he meant
Step 4. It didn’t make sense to divide the dough into three cylinders,
etc. The exciting moment came when the lid popped off the bowl of
yeast/milk/flour mixture. I decided, as a nod to Green Portland, to forgo
the saran wrap and cover the bowl with the rubber lid. Well, as the yeast
did its work, all the pressure from the releasing gas popped the lid right
off with a startling bang.
I will say, I quite enjoyed the filling: butter, brown sugar and cinnamon?
Really – what else is there in life to enjoy?
My last bit of commentary,
is that it would have been helpful to have a diagram or at least a picture
of the finished bread. I was a little confused about the cuts and pulling
the spirals through.
Still, it was a success, and I trotted this pretty masterpiece all the way
to work — on the bus this time!