Brioche exposed

This is brioche. The photo is someone else’s because I didn’t get a photo of the finished product. People love brioche and rave about it up and down. I don’t know how I had gone through life not having an opinion on it. Brioche is basically 95% butter. We tried to form it one afternoon and within minutes, the butter started melting out and it was impossible to form. Back to the walk-in with you! Anyways, it’s very pretty and behaves pretty well if you work fast enough. Our first day went very well in my eyes but apparently not to our chef’s. We shaped a few à tête, which has been described as having a fluted base and a jaunty topknot (which is quite lovely to say out loud) then he made us cram the rest into loaf pans, which is what you see in my Day 3 still-life.

So you may be wondering what is my opinion on brioche now? Sorry for the brioche lovers out there but I am not impressed. It tastes like butter. I like the taste of fat like most people but it was pretty boring for me. I’m more aromatically drawn with herbs, spices, floral scents…I even enjoy the yeastiness of bread. But brioche? I think I’d rather have challah. But I very much enjoyed the silly process of forming the autets. Enough to show everyone all about it. Perhaps I can just make brioche all day and not have to eat it. And I can sell it to the brioche lovers of the world….

First scale your brioche into 2.25 oz pieces and form it into a boule. Don’t use flour because the butter will stick to your table and allow you to create a nice, tight boule under your palm. Then refrigerate it because you’ve handled it too much and it’s starting to warm up.

Next, dip the pinky side of your hand into flour and roll the boule into a bowling pin shape by running your hand, pinky to wrist across the boule as if your hand was a dull saw. See photo for lovely bowling pin.

Using three fingers holding the pin’s neck, squiiish it straight into your heavily greased a tete pan until your fingers hit the metal.

Dip your index finger in flour and create a moat around your jaunty topknot, making sure it is centered and has space from the rest of the brioche. You should be able to hold the a tete upside down and make the ball dangle like those things boxers pummel. Smack the a tete on the table to let it know you mean business.

Proof for about 15 minutes then bake in a conventional oven at 350 deg F for about 20 minutes, or until the color is quite brown.
It’s best eaten warm and I enjoyed my brioche loaf sliced and treated to a vegan fronch toast batter. Of course, brioche is not vegan but it makes for a nice rich french toast. Maybe it can still be made with Earth Balance? I’m not going to test it. I’d rather eat something else. But I’d gladly make bowling pins and dangly balls any old day.

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