I don’t get sick very often but when I do it is usually a doozy. Three weeks ago I picked up a nasty flu bug that completely knocked me off my feet and I couldn’t get out of bed for 4 days. I’m slowly getting my strength back but get tired quickly and the doctor says it can take another several weeks to feel normal again. Whatever that bug was it packed a whallop! I know I am getting better because yesterday I felt like baking…nothing complicated…just something that would make good toast and go well with a cup of tea. I have tried at least six or seven recipes for brioche over the past several years…and many of them are good. Ina Garten’s BRIOCHE recipe is a favorite and I had a hard time deciding between her recipe and one from KING ARTHUR FLOUR. I chose KAF and am thrilled with the results. This egg and butter rich bread is so light and tender and makes wonderful toast and sandwiches. This is the bread I use to make a CROQUE MONSIEUR or madame.
When you first mix the ingredients together…everything goes into the mixing bowl at the same time…you won’t believe that it will go from a sticky blob to a beautiful, easy to handle dough in 15 – 20 minutes of mixing. It does take that long so don’t skimp on this step. It will develop a satiny surface and you will know it is ready to form into a ball to let rise overnight. You can make individual rolls, one large loaf, or two braids that fit perfectly into 2 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ bread pans. (Make one braid and cut it in half). Start this bread the day before you want it because of the overnight in the refrigerator and a 3 hour rise after the loaves are formed.
I brushed the top of the loaves with a wash of egg white and milk and then sprinkled on some pearl sugar that I purchased at
G. DETOU in Paris. This little shop is a “must visit” if you like to shop for basic and unusual French food items for yourself and for gifts. The prices are excellent…in many cases half of what you would expect to pay in more well known food markets. Many French breads and pastries have a topping of this crunchy sugar that doesn’t melt in the oven. KAF also carries PEARL SUGAR. Today, 8/6/13, it is on sale for 50% off.
A full sized, fully baked brioche should register 190 degrees F at its center using an instant read thermometer. Loaves and small rounds should register 205 degrees F.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm. Stop by and meet all this week’s participants.