Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The great debate


Welcome to Wednesday with Dorie! (Oops.)  The first couple days of the school year have been a bit hectic and tiring for everyone, so some things are running a little behind.  No homework yet for B, but other things have been worrying her.  She is -so- my child.  What 3rd grader worries about flunking on the second day of school?  That would be my 3rd grader.  She worries so much, and takes everything so seriously.  Gee, I wonder where she got that?  But is it nature or nurture?  I've always been the same way, so is it in the genes?  Or am I causing her to be this way, mainly because my parents influenced me the same way?  Either way, I've been there, so I'm trying to do what I can to relieve some of her anxiety.  Which is tricky, since I'm also trying not to let my own anxiety show, about whether I'm being a good parent--since I have a 3rd grader who worries about flunking on the second day of school... *sigh*  No one ever said this parenting thing was going to be easy.


Fortunately, some things are easier than they look.  Like this brioche.  Though it is another one of those things you can question--is it bread, or is it pastry?  Margaret of Tea and Scones picked this recipe for us to make for this week's Tuesdays with Dorie.  You hear the word brioche, and immediately think, "French! Complicated!" (or is that just me?)  I know I felt rather intimidated by it the first time I made it, back in March of 2008 (wow, has it been that long?), when we made the Brioche Raisin Snails.  But even if you're kind of scared of yeast, it really doesn't take a lot of skill--just patience, and hopefully a stand mixer (or food processor, if you're like my friend Nancy).  Some of the bread I make is dense enough that I forego the mixer--it's not getting any younger, and I don't want to overtax it.  But brioche is a soft, sticky dough, so it doesn't cause any problems.  Despite what Dorie says, mine never really pulled away from the sides of the bowl.  In fact, you may wonder how this buttery blob could ever turn into bread.  The answer?  Time.  And some serious chilling before shaping.  


I mostly followed the recipe as written.  I used instant yeast, rather than active dry, so I reduced the amount.  I actually used some of my SAF gold yeast, which is designed to work better in a sweeter, rich dough.  (I ended up using 10 grams, or about 3 teaspoons.)  I wanted to use my "Nancy pan," so I changed the shaping a bit.  I took half the dough, which was about 600 grams.  (I froze the other half.)  I divided it into 4 portions of about 150 grams each, and formed each piece into a ball, rather than a log.  I put them in the pan, and covered it with plastic wrap.  I let it rise until the dough was almost to the top of the pan.  I skipped the egg wash, but about 15 minutes in the top of the loaf was getting rather brown, so I tented it with foil.  I ended up baking the loaf for 30 minutes, at which point the internal temperature was about 190ºF.


The verdict?  I love pastries, and brioche really isn't far off.  My favorite part is the crunchy, buttery crust.  I'm happy with how the pan worked for this loaf--the small slices provide nice portion control. =) So far, I've just been snacking on the brioche, making little jam sandwiches.  Yum.

If you'd like to try this one for yourself, you can head over to Margaret's blog for the recipe.  And be sure to check out the Links to see how everyone else did this week.  I leave you with pictures from the first day of school.  G doesn't start kindergarten til next year, but of course we had to take her picture, too. 

13 comments:

  1. Oh, Di, they are both so sweet! What beautiful back-to-school pictures. Love the brioche in your Nancy pan...they look like perfect slices. I hope B's fears calm soon and she settles into loving 3rd grade!

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  2. Your daughters are beautiful, Di! I really miss getting my kids ready for school - they just grow up way too fast. Your brioche looks wonderful. I have never eaten brioche before, but I have printed out Dorie's recipe and hope to try making some this weekend.

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  3. Oh, I just love it when people give all the math for the change of pans, etc. and I just so happen to be a proud of owner of a Fancy Nancy Pan as well. Looks great. Girls are growing up so much...these are adorable photos...cute kids are going to turn into gorgeous teens, I can just tell!

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  4. Oh, the joys of the third grade worrywart. I had one too. Now she's a fourth grade worrywart.... "Mom, I think I made a bad impression on my teacher on the first day of school because I was tired and put my head down on my desk, and now she's NEVER going to call on me!"

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  5. I don't know what is prettir - the bread or the girls. Great job with all three.

    Thanks for baking with me this week.

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  6. Brioche is one of my favorite breads and yours looks wonderful. Now I'm craving it. Hope you have a great weekend!

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  7. So many things to love about this post: beautiful bread, great idea to use that pan, thanks for the shout out, but, really, the very best part is the pictures of your girls. You never really shake that doubt if you're doing a good job as a parent, but that usually means you're doing fine! Your girls look strong and happy, just perfect for back-to-school.

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  8. The girls look precious in their first day of school photos! I'd be happy too if my mom made me brioche. :-) It really looks wonderful. I've made Dorie's brioche and Peter Reinhart's and remember being surprised both times when it worked out so well. Oh, and my firstborn is a worrier too. I'm sure it was inevitable as he comes from a long line of epic worriers. I know that third grade will go great for Brianna!!

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  9. What lovely girls! I'm a worrier, and my first grader is too (note to self: do not allow her to check out all the hurricane books from the library when one is coming up the coast). It's hard to know how to help.

    But the brioche looks fantastic - no worries there!

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  10. You and B sound just like me! I'm always stressed and worrying about something. Luckily, Shane is the complete opposite, so he balances me out. Hopefully any future kids will get his laid back personality :)

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  11. Your brioche looks delicious! I love how golden it is. Sigh, I have the back to school blues!

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  12. What lovely girls ) Very stylish!

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  13. you have a beautiful daughter!

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