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.