The first recipe in the third section of The Modern Baker is a bread with which I am quite familiar, having baked three versions from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and one from Dorie Greenspan’s new book, Around My French Table. What differentiates Nick Malgeri‘s brioche recipe from others I’ve made is that it comes together very quickly, is shaped immediately after mixing, and rises only once.
I made this bread twice. The first time I departed from the recipe in two ways. First, I mixed the dough in the stand mixer instead of the food processor.
As you can see, the dough was very wet. After mixing it, I put the dough in bread pans (the second departure from the recipe, which calls for braiding the dough).
Even though it remained slack, the dough baked up nicely, and I was pleased with the look of the resulting brioche.
As far as the taste goes, I would have to say it wasn’t my favorite of the brioches I’ve made. It tasted fine, but wasn’t exceptional. I made Dorie’s brioche at the same time and liked it better.
I made the first batch of brioche before we actually go to this section of the book, and I decided to remake it, this time following the recipe. So, I mixed the dough in the food processor instead of the mixer. I’m still having the issue of liquids leaking out of the food pro when I use it to make dough, but I’m starting to think it’s either something with my Cuisinart or user error, as others don’t seem to have this problem.
After mixing the dough, I shaped the loaf. The dough was much less slack than the first time I made the recipe and was easy to handle. First, I divided the dough into three pieces, rolled each piece into a rope, and then braided the ropes.
I allowed the bread to proof for about two hours, until it doubled in size.
After brushing the loaf with beaten egg, I baked it in a 350° oven for about 40 minutes, until it was well-risen and golden brown.
The bread smelled amazing. And it looked really nice when I sliced it. The big question, of course, was how it would taste.
Although I didn’t have another brioche to compare this one to, this loaf would stack up well against any of the other recipes I have tried. In fact, given how easy this one is to prepare, it may just become my go-to recipe for brioche.