Tuesday, August 23, 2011

{TWD} Golden Brioche Raisin Bread

I ordered this cool cutting board here after hearing about it from Jaden of Steamy Kitchen

This week's recipe for the Tuesdays With Dorie baking group - the Golden Brioche Loaves - comes as a little bit of deja vu for those bakers who were part of the group's early history. Dorie Greenspan uses the same dough for this week's loaves as she uses as the base recipe for her Brioche Raisin Snails and her Pecan Honey Sticky Buns. Both of those treats were chosen in the first few months of TWD, so any bakers who were with the group from close to the beginning will have seen this dough previously.

I joined TWD after the sticky buns and raisin snails so I had not previously made Dorie's brioche formula, but I am not a total brioche newcomer. In bread bakers' terms, brioche is an "enriched dough" because it is, well, enriched - by a combination of eggs and butter. Brioche can be extremely rich, or it can be "lean" (which is still pretty rich) and used for en croute and other applications. I've baked a medium-rich brioche for the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge (you can read about that bread in this post on my bread blog) and I made a lean brioche dough of Dorie's when I made the brioche berry tart.

I decided to kill three birds with one stone this week. I froze two thirds of the dough so that I can use it for those Dorie Greenspan recipes that I missed, the Brioche Raisin Snails, and Honey Sticky Buns. Stay tuned for eventual posts on those breakfast goodies.

With the remaining third of dough, I decided to make another breakfast classic: raisin bread. Seriously, how delicious does brioche raisin toast sound?

n.o.e.'s notes:

- Margaret of Tea and Scones is the hostess for this week's brioche, and you can find the recipe on her post.

- Instead of active dry yeast, I used instant yeast, which doesn't need to be activated. Rather, it is added with the dry ingredients.

- I cut the quantity of sugar in half.

- I don't use a mixer for making bread, but I often use my food processor. One huge advantage to using the food processor for breadmaking is that you can start with cold ingredients; there is no need to warm them. The motor on the food processor can get hot, and it definitely warms up the bread ingredients as it mixes them. In many people's eyes, one huge disadvantage to using the food processor for bread dough is cleaning out the food processor once the dough is mixed!

Here's how I mixed the dough in my food processor: put the flour, salt, instant yeast and sugar in the bowl of the food processor and process enough to mix the dry ingredients. Slowly add the water, milk, eggs and process until the dough comes together. Add the butter and process until the dough passes the windowpane test. Then it is ready to transfer to the rising bucket.

- The brioche dough is very very soft, almost batter-like. Mine took a very long time to double.

- Once the dough has doubled, it rests in the fridge. After time in the fridge, the dough becomes quite stiff. that's when you form it into logs and lay them in the loaf pan to warm up, rise and then bake.

- To make the plain brioche into raisin brioche, I kneaded in some raisins, then divided the dough into four pieces. I flattened each piece, sprinkled it with cinnamon, and rolled it into a little log that lay crosswise in the loaf pan.

- I was way too lazy to break an egg to make egg wash for this little loaf, so I brushed the surface with some milk before popping it into the oven.

- My bread was baking swimmingly until I went to check it for doneness. One edge had stuck to the pan and when I loosened it with a spatula, I ended up deflating one side of the loaf. Which is why it looks so lopsided in the picture. Luckily, it was still fluffy and light inside.

the verdict:

Luckily the lopsided shape didn't matter once the bread was sliced up. The golden brioche made for a beautifully refined raisin toast. As if there wasn't enough butter in the dough (there was), the toast was fabulous warm with butter melting into the cinnamony raisiny tender crumb.


Tia said...

lopsided or not they look AWESOME.

Unknown said...

I'll have to try it in the food processor next time - my mixer's motor needs a break. I love the raisin idea!

Kayte said...

I was part of the group for the sticky buns and have since made the snails, I don't think I was part of the group for those, but I could be wrong. Loved the sticky buns made from this so much, have done them several times. I didn't get around to this one but I will at some point as we like brioche well enough...probably when the weather cools down a bit. I'm in a bit of a lull for bread baking with the weather so hot and my pool still calling me three times a day. Total slacker in the summers. Your bread looks wonderful and I think the raisins are a swell idea. Oh, yeah.

Di said...

What a great idea to make raisin bread! I might have to do this with the other half of my dough, instead of making snails. =)

TeaLady said...

Mine took forever to rise and even then it was a little 'short'. But still tasted good. I actually liked the BBA brioche better.

Next time = w/processor

Thanks for baking with me this week.