October 20, 2010 at 10:20 pm (Around My French Table, Artisan Breads Every Day, Bread Baking, Breads, Dorie Greenspan, Holiday Baking, Modern Baker Challenge, Nick Malgieri, Peter Reinhart, Techniques, The Modern Baker, Uncategorized)
Tags: Around My French Table, BBA Challenge, braided bread, braided dough, Bread Baker's Apprentice, brioche, Dorie Greenspan, food processor, Modern Baker, Modern Baker Challenge, Nick Malgieri, Peter Reinhart, proofing dough, Three-strand braid
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.
August 10, 2010 at 8:00 am (Bread Baking, Techniques, Modern Baker Challenge, Breads, Nick Malgieri, The Modern Baker)
Tags: baker's percentages, braid, braided dough, fermenting, Modern Baker, Modern Baker Challenge, Nick Malgieri, proofing dough, semolina flour, sesame, sesame seeds, Three-strand braid, wet dough, yeast
My most recent foray into the Modern Baker Challenge was the Semolina Sesame Braid featured on page 82 of The Modern Baker. I approached this recipe with a bit of trepidation. I’m not a huge fan of using semolina flour in bread. It’s great for pasta, which is what it is generally used for. But I find it too gritty for baking. And several of the bakers who have made this recipe (including Sara, the official blogger for this bread) have reported that the dough is too wet to work with, especially when it comes to braiding. But I have vowed to make every recipe in the book, so I forged ahead.
I began by mixing the ingredients — AP and semolina flours, salt, yeast, and water — in my Kitchen Aid mixer.
As with the other breads in this section of the book, this recipe utilizes minimal mixing and autolyse to develop the dough.
As you can see, this dough was really slack. In fact, based on the weight of the AP and semolina flours, I calculated the hydration of this dough at 95% – way too wet to shape, let alone braid. When I reread Sara’s post, I realized that she added extra flour, a lot of extra flour. Unfortunately, by the time I read this, I had already mixed the dough.
I set the dough aside to ferment and decided to develop it by doing a few stretch-and-folds at 20-minute intervals. During the first one, I worked a bit of additional flour into the dough. This helped a bit, as did the extra stretch-and-folds, but the dough was still very slack.
At this point, I didn’t want to try to work any more flour into the dough, but I did liberally flour both the work surface and the top of the dough. This enabled me to divide the dough into three pieces, stretch them out, and braid them.
I sprayed the top of the dough with water, sprinkled it with sesame seeds, and set it aside to proof for an hour.
I baked the loaf for about 35 minutes in a 400-degree oven, until it was golden brown and firm to the touch.
After the bread cooled, I sliced it and ate it with some homemade butter.
Final verdict: it was better than I expected, and the sesame seeds gave it a nice, nutty flavor. It’s still not one of my favorite breads; and I doubt I will make it again. But then, I have yet to find a semolina bread that’s worth repeating.
February 17, 2010 at 9:28 pm (Bread Baking, Dessert, Holiday Baking, Recipes, Techniques)
Tags: Bavarian Cream, braid, braided dough, Citrus, Cream cheese, king cake, mardi gras, Orange, Pastry Cream, Piping bag, Piping filling, proofing dough, recipe, Three-strand braid
- 1 tablespoon plus 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
- 5 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)
- 1/2 cup room temperature unsalted butter
- 5 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon orange oil or extract
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil or extract
- 1 pecan half, uncooked dried bean or King Cake Baby
Bavarian Cream Cheese Filling:
- 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange oil or extract
- 2 tablespoons water
- Purple, green and gold sugar crystals
Combine the yeast, flour, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and lemon rind in mixer bowl and add water, warm milk, butter, egg yolks, and orange and lemon oils. Beat with dough hook on speed 1 for 2 minutes until smooth. Increase speed to 2 and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic (6-8 minutes). Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Turn once so greased surface is on top.
Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours). Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into three pieces of equal weight, and preshape each piece into a batard. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll each batard into a rope, about 30 inches long. If the dough springs back too much, allow it to rest for 5 minutes and continue rolling. Lay the ropes vertically side-by-side with one end near the edge and the other toward the back of the counter. Numbering the ropes 1-3 from left to right, lift the end of rope 3 closest to you and lay it over the center of rope 2. Do the same with rope 1, lifting it and placing over center of rope 3, which is now in the center. Continue braiding, alternating between the right and left sides, until you reach the end. Press the ends together, then rotate the dough 180 degrees, so the unbraided sides are again facing you. Braid as above, this time moving the outside pieces under the center, until all the dough is braided. Press the ends together.
Place the braided dough on a buttered baking sheet. Shape into an oval, pinching ends together to seal. Press the King Cake Baby, pecan half or dried bean into the dough from the bottom so that it is completely hidden by the dough.
Prepare filling ingredients by beating cream cheese on high speed until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, mix on low until combined, then on high for 2 minutes. Spoon filling into piping bag fitted with large tip. Fill King Cake by piping Bavarian cream into crevices in braid.
Cover with a floured towel or plastic wrap sprayed with pan oil, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the cake to a rack and allow to cool completely.
For the glaze, combine the ingredients and beat until smooth. To assemble, drizzle cake with the glaze. Sprinkle with sugar crystals, alternating colors.
Be sure to check out my classic King Cake recipe, too.