A little everyday chit chat around the table...like we all used to do around my Grandmothers' tables when I was growing up. A little of this...a little of that...nothing too special...but as the years pass, all of it seems so. Come, sit at the Table, contribute, enjoy, stay as long as you want, leave when you need to, and return often!
The fourth Bread Baker's Apprentice challenge (from the book by the same name authored by Peter Reinhart) was Brioche, and is found on pages 123-128.
There were three brioche recipes included in the book: Poor Man's, Middle-Class, and Rich Man's, each classified according to the amount of butter included in the recipe. Rich Man's, of course, had the most butter, and is considered a fabulously wonderful bread.
I decided to make all three recipes, only half a recipe which was one loaf. I made them all loaf size so that it would be easier to compare them when I finished, as that was the purpose of making all three. How would I ever know which was best if I didn't try them all and compare?
The Rich Man's brioche had a lot of butter in it, was the hardest to bake (it collapsed a bit and not being a very experienced bread baker yet, I wasn't sure how to fix it, so what you see is what I got), and we actually did not care for this loaf as much as the others. It was very rich, very buttery, and did not make good toast because it did not crisp up due to the large amount of butter in the recipe. Alex preferred this loaf as he loves the taste of butter. Whole loaf pictured above, and inside pictured at left.
The Middle-Class was less rich, toasted a little better, and was the favorite of Mark and Matt for its rich taste and melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The whole loaf is pictured at right and the inside pictured below.
My favorite was the Poor Man's because it tasted rich, yet not overwhelmingly so, and it toasted nicely. This loaf I would make again as it tasted more like a treat for a special occasion, not as an every day type bread, however. For some reason, it also baked the nicest, the photo is right, with the inside photo to the left.
All the recipes were fairly easy to make, and I only had trouble in the baking of the Rich Man's, the others baked up fine. Again, this is probably more my fault than that of the recipe.
Would I make this again? Probably not unless I was going to use it as a base for sweet rolls or something of that nature. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't worth all those calories with all that butter in a slice of bread! I thought about doing the Rich Man's again to see if I could get the loaf to turn out and then thought there really wasn't much of a reason to do that as most of us did not care for the richness of it.
Matt was all about the comparing of the breads, as you can see from the photo, he took two slices of each kind so he could give it "ample sampling," which really means Matt loves bread, doesn't eat anything on it, and is just delighted to be sampling anything bread-wise that comes out of this kitchen.
While the main group of 200 bakers are baking weekly, the Slow & Steady group consisting of Nancy, Cathy, Audrey, Jessica, Melissa, and I are baking and posting every other week to better fit into our schedules. If you would like to see their Brioche, click on their names and visit their sites, or you can visit the main group and marvel how they are all already past Challah and on Ciabatta. We'll get there...Slow and Steady.
Our next challenge: Casatiello, which is an Italian Sausage and Cheese bread. This will be posted here in two weeks. As a little preview: I have already made the Casatiello and it is my favorite so far...a big hit around here!