Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Bread Baking and other Disasters

James Beard would not be proud of the Brioche Bread I made this weekend. The dough rose nicely the first time, but then something went awry. I don't know if I let them rise too long after I shaped them into loaves, or if I used the wrong size pan (well, I know I used the wrong size pan, I just didn't think it would make a huge difference). 
Everything was going well at this stage:

and at this one:

But here I can see that maybe I've let it rise a little too long. There were some pockets of air on top of each loaf. They deflated a little when I brushed the tops with egg wash. 

So the bread browned up nicely, but you can see the loaves are a little stumpy. 

But they tasted great. So maybe "disaster" is too strong a word. Overall, this is a fun recipe. There is no kneading required. The dough is soft and after you mix the ingredients together it's ready to rise. It's very hands-off, which I like. You can get all kinds of things done while simultaneously making bread. 

Next time I make a Brioche loaf I'm going to use less butter (this bread is so buttery that when I make toast I worry the toaster is going to catch fire).  I'll also let the dough rise longer on the first rising, but keep my eye on the clock for the second rising. I'll use smaller pans, too. Turns out an extra inch or so does make a difference. Sorry, James.

You can find James Beard's recipe for Brioche Bread from Beard on Bread here.

1 comment:

kwiknic said...

That's pretty interesting! I like to cook, but I've never tried to bake bread. I think I'll give it a shot. I think I'll try to find the right size pan, too.