Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coincidences and Brioche

So yesterday I was paging through a book while talking to my mother on the phone, when my mother started talking about a recipe she was looking for. She said it had something to do with artisan bread and putting it in the refrigerator. She had searched the internet but hadn’t been able to find the recipe. I blinked a couple of times and asked her, “Do you mean “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francois?” She said, “Yes, that’s it!” It was the book I was paging through. Such a strange coincidence!

She was looking for the basic recipe because a friend of hers was looking for it. I, on the other hand, had picked it up looking for the brioche recipe. I have never had real brioche, but I have been having a yen to try to make it. The more traditional recipe sounds a bit daunting so I thought I would start with one that was meant to be easier. I have made bread from this book before so I knew it should be good if not an exact replica of the traditional. Here is the recipe that I used. 

In case you don’t know “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” shows you a method for making non-kneaded bread that is quick and tasty. The dough is much looser than traditional dough and you make a large batch that you keep in the refrigerator. Then over several days you cut off chunks of dough and bake them.  Here is a picture of my dough this morning before I cut a chunk off of it:

Now most of the other recipes I have tried from this book have you bake your bread on a pizza stone, using a pizza peal to get them into the oven. They also called for slashing the top of the bread. This recipe actually called for a loaf pan and an egg wash. I completely forgot the egg wash, but the loaf still turned out pretty. (I wonder if the egg wash would have kept it from cracking so much?)

Now what goes better with a rich breakfast bread than coffee? Nothing if you ask me. I brewed up some Café Du Monde chicory coffee and had myself a little feast. (Okay, possibly I transferred the coffee to a different mug an added some whole milk, but you get the idea.)

Now the question is: what am I going to do with the rest of that dough? We are never going to eat it all in five days (which is how long it lasts in the fridge). I am going to freeze some and maybe make a loaf for my neighbor, but the best plan from the book is to make beignets out of it. Talk about something that goes well with chicory coffee! 

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