Wednesday, June 10, 2009

BBA Challenge #4 - Petites Brioches à Tête

Whenever I think of the word, “Brioche,” I envision Hugh Jackman. Not a bad association, huh?

The reason is because of this line from the movie Kate & Leopold that he did with Meg Ryan.

As Leopold, he says, “Ah yes, you mock me. But perhaps one day when you've awoken from a pleasant slumber to the scent of a warm brioche smothered in marmalade and fresh creamery butter, you'll understand that life is not solely composed of tasks, but tastes.”

Oh, here. Just watch the first couple of minutes of this clip of the film & you’ll see the whole scene.

Do you see how the word "brioche" just rolled off his lips?

In the BBA book, there are three “levels” of brioche that we could choose from to make. Rich man’s, middle class and poor man’s. The delineations are made based on the amount of butter found in each as the upper class would have historically had more access to butter than the middle or poorer classes.

My initial feeling was that I would make the poor man’s brioche because, well, we’re feeling pretty poor these days. But I was having a hard time carving out the single block of time that the poor mans would have taken (as it appeared to me that it did not require the refrigeration time that the other two required. So, in consideration of the small amounts of time that I had available sporadically through the day and my man convincing me, I decided on the middle class brioche with only 2 sticks of butter as opposed to the 4 sticks in the rich man’s brioche.

Sunday morning, I mixed together my sponge, set out my butter and eggs to come to room temperature and off to church we went.

The formula specifies 30 – 45 minutes of fermentation for the sponge, but we were gone to church and I didn’t get back to it for about 1 ½ hours and it was absolutely fine. It was nice and puffy and fell when I jiggled the bowl a little bit. Perfect.

I whisked my eggs in a bowl, then added them to the sponge and mixed with the paddle attachment.

I whisked together the flour, sugar and salt.

Then I added the dry ingredients to the wet and continued mixing with the paddle attachment.

Then I began to wonder… are we making cake or bread? And I thought of the Marie Antoinette references in the book about how she may have likely actually said, "Let them eat brioche."

And I began to add the room temperature butter a large pat at a time.

Wait. How did that one get in there? Oh, no bother. It's a cute picture anyways of my kids playing with my son's new bow and arrow set. He wanted to teach her how. ;)

And this is what it looked like after adding all the butter. It was very soft and like a batter.

I spread it on a lined baking sheet and refrigerated it until…

...that evening.

I shaped my petite brioches à tête without using the little fluted tins. I don’t have any and can’t spend any money right now to purchase. So, we just went free form with them.

I had originally made a video of how I shaped them, but Pinch My Salt, our BBA challenge hostess posted a much better one that is far more correct than mine. See it here.

After proofing for 90 minutes.

Many of them lost their shape as they baked. Looking back I think it's because I didn't press the "head" down into the "body" enough. But no matter; they were so good fresh out of the oven with a little orange marmalade or strawberry preserves.

Overall Impressions:

This recipe is a little fussy in the shaping step as all the butter melts and the dough becomes a little difficult to work with. You have to work quickly or just keep all the dough in the fridge and take only one piece out at a time to shape.

Mostly, however, it was a fairly easy bread to make.

I have serious plans for some things I can make with this dough.

Would I make it again? Absolutely, yes.

8 Way More Homemade comments:

Sallye said...

Oh to have smellavision. You are so gifted when it comes to this. Makes me hungry just looking at the pitures.


Paula - bell'alimento said...

Beatiful! Looks delicious! I really enjoyed this bread! So good. Of course I've been walking all week in hopes of walking off some of the damage that I did to the waistline :)

Heather said...

I can not WAIT to bake my bread. I also made sausage buns. I figure if the bread will send me for an echo cardiogram, might as well go for it all and throw a sausage on the bun!

Jeff said...

Nicely done and I have to say the first thing when I think of the word brioche is treadmill.

I agree on the tins. If I could have found another use for them I would be all about it.

susies1955 said...

Beautifully done. Thanks for the video to hear the WORD brioche. :)
Great baking along with you,

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

I am totally drooling now - yum! They look gorgeous! And I loved that movie clip! :)

Nicole said...

Great job! Someday I'd like to own some brioche molds, but I have a feeling that it won't be happening anytime soon! :-)

Cindy said...

Your brioche a tete were adorable. I had the same issue with mine. I also did not press them down firmly enough.