Sunday, August 31, 2014


I often debate whether brioche or challah is my favorite bread.  They share many similarities, for sure.  But brioche has that perfect illusion of lightness that can only come from a TON of fat.  Like slicing into a rich, buttery cloud.  Here I'm using Peter Reinhart's brioche recipes from his classic book The Bread Baker's Apprentice.  I say recipes, because I made both the Rich Man's Brioche and Middle-Class Brioche, the difference between the two mostly just being the amount of butter.  The rich man's brioche has a full pound of butter, resulting in an extremely moist bread with a more open crumb and a very intense buttery flavor.  Great for eating as-is, toasted or untoasted, or with jelly or preserves (my favorite accompaniment is actually a sour cherry compote which I sadly don't have at the moment.)

The middle-class brioche has only (hah) a half-pound of butter and is better suited to sandwich buns than its richer sister because the dough has a little more stretch and thus the bread holds together more, while the rich man's will pretty much crumble between the pressure of sliced meat and teeth.  It's excellent for French toast,  too.  The middle-class brioche is also a little easier to shape, because working with a really high butter content dough is kind of like trying to make pottery with clay that melts when you touch it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rose-Scented Plum Crumble Tart

Good News, Everyone!  I'm a baker again!!  As in, professionally.  And also, much more frequently personally too.  It's amazing how doing what you love and feeling happy with your life puts some pep in your step to do more things you love... after a nap, of course.  I do often work at 3 am.  Expect to see a lot more recipes in the near future! Starting with this beautiful, easy dish from Martha Stewart, which I knew I had to make when a coworker made it and brought in a slice, and I had some plums wasting away at home!