So much butter, it would make Paula Deen blush

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This week has been our first venture into enriched doughs.  Throughout most of the breads section, we had been working with lean doughs, or doughs with no fats or sugars added.  The mixes we've been working with this week are yeasted doughs which contain at the very least, eggs, butter and sugar.  They can also contain milk, honey, milk solids and just about any inclusion you can think of (ie: dried fruit, nuts, etc...)  You would know such doughs as brioche.  That evil, golden and fluffy bread of the gods.  Heaven forbid you get crazy and make french toast or bread pudding with it.  Oh my, we're venturing into Paula Deen territory, I must warn you.

Brioche is mixed like lean doughs, but instead of water, eggs are used as the hydration.  The butter and sugar are added after gluten development has occured and added slowly to avoid a pasty, sticky mess.  Yes, I'm going to answer the obvious question by saying that I surely DID mess up one of my first mixes by adding the sugar a bit too fast.  Instead of a tight ball of dough whirling around in the mixer, you get a sticky, shiny, sludge-y paste settling into the mixing bowl like melting crystallized honey.  Think of the creepy black blob alien who's only goal was to kill the entire teleported crew of Star Trek The Next Generation, but in a shiny, silver bowl.  The only way to redeem such a situation is to mix the hell out of the dough.  It takes about twice as long to 'bring the dough back' then it would if you had just mixed it properly to begin with.  Go team awesome!  I'll report that we recovered nicely and our dough tasted just peachy keen.

Once you've passed the ever-tricky sugar and butter line, the dough transforms from a stiff ball to a light, airy and rather pleasant texture.  It reminded me and my teammates of the containers of slime you could buy in the quarter machines in front of the supermarket as a kid.  The main difference here, is you can actually eat the final product and there's no real temptation to throw it at the wall to watch it slide/walk down in a fit of boredom.  Moving on...

Today, we mixed up the dough for Pain d'Oro, an Italian Christmas bread with an insane amount of butter, 5 total doughs which must be mixed in scheduled succession and a whole lotta love.  Our instructor mixed up the first dough at 5:00 AM, the final dough we mixed as a class and it is currently retarding overnight and will be ready to bake off tomorrow in a tall, star shaped pan.  Other holiday breads which we will bake tomorrow will be pannetone and stollen.

As always, some lovely pics of my adventures in bread and pastry land.  Enjoy!

Top to bottom: pain au lait, brioche sucre (coated in apricot glaze and pearl sugar), brioche a tete (no making fun of my shaping now...).

Cinnamon buns.  Can I get a halleluhiah!?

Savory Kugelhopf.  Brioche dough with swiss cheese, bacon, walnuts and parsley.  Hands down, the class favorite of the day.

Sticky buns.  This is the closest thing I've found to herion in a baked good.  So insanely delicious!

Bostock.  Brioche sliced and toasted, then dipped in rum syrup, topped with frangipane (almond cream and pastry cream) and sliced almonds and toasted AGAIN.  Don't forget to sprinkle with sugar.

Strawberry brioche.  Brioche dough sprinkled with cubes of almond paste (sort of like marzipan) and dried strawberries.  Topped with chocolate glaze, almonds and pearl sugar.  I just had this with a bit of vanilla ice cream.  I already feel type II diabetes setting in.

Can you say butter?

Pain d'Oro dough.  The beautiful, golden color is what the brioche dough mixer aspires to create.


Kate said...

omg that brioche looks so delicious!

Bill said...

Cinnamon buns. Those look to die for, I can almost smell them. What a great post and pictures!

Anonymous said...

I bet with all the butter...your hands are nice and smooth...thanks again for your great posts...I wish i could be in the class but at least I get to be a fly on your shoulder...

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