I decided to try my hand at brioche. I searched the internet and found a very detailed and informative recipe that seemed ideal for a beginner. I had the recipe for a few days before actually trying it because the timing for brioche is complicated if you have, you know, a life. I made the batter yesterday and did the baking today. This will be explained later. The recipe comes from TheKitchn.com.
2 sticks of butter at room temperature
1 tbs active dry yeast
1/2 c warm milk
1/4 c sugar
6 large eggs
2 tsp salt
4 to 4 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1 tbs water
1. Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer and let stand for a few minutes.
Add sugar and eggs and stir until fully blended. Add the salt and 4 cups of flour until it forms a shaggy dough. I think this looks shaggy.
2. Using the dough hook, knead the dough for 2 minutes, until flour is fully absorbed and dough pulls away from sides of bowl.
3. Increase mixer speed and begin adding butter, I tablespoon at a time, making sure that each tablespoon is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stop occasionally to scrape down the sides. Beat for five minutes. Dough should be glossy and jiggle like custard.
4. Loosely cover and move to a warm place. Allow 1 to 1 1/2 hours to rise.
5. When dough has doubled in size, cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight. If it looks as though the dough will spill over the sides of the bowl, lift the wrap and degas but do not punch.
6. The next day, prepare two loaf pans. Remove dough from fridge and place on floured board. Divide the dough in half. I formed half into a standard loaf. The other half I rolled into 6 round balls and placed in the loaf pan to resemble a braid.
7. Whisk together egg yolk and water and brush over top of loaves.
8. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.
9. Remove from and oven and cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Gently remove from pans and allow to cool on a rack.
I should note, here, that I have never had brioche and it is not easily found living out in the sticks, so I really have nothing to compare it with.
For dinner tonight, I made a pot of creamy tomato soup (recipe found here and sliced the bread thin and made sandwiches with honey mustard, smoked turkey, cheddar cheese, bacon, slice apple, and butter then toasted it. There are no pictures because they were gobbled up quickly.
Now to the blonde moment. While reading the recipe, I looked at degas and for some reason saw Degas, the famous French impressionist. I was so confused and assumed it was a term known to advance bakers. I Googled it and was even more confused because they all talked about punching the dough. This morning, the light bulb went off over my head and realized it was de-gas, or remove the gas bubbles. I have laughed all day, thinking about it.