Monday, November 09, 2015

The Baking Bible: Sugar Rose Brioche

This is a beautiful looking loaf of bread, and as it is a brioche, it is really delicious too. It also looks really complicated, but really it is not. My kind of project.

I am really loving how brioche can fit into a busy life. The starter and flour blanket can be made in one day and put in the refrigerator overnight. Next day the cold dough can go straight into the mixer to knead and incorporate the eggs and butter. Then a rise, a rest, a degas, another rest, then a couple business letter turns, and then the dough can go hang out in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Two days later, the brioche gets rolled out to a big circle. The brioche was amazingly easy to roll out. My dough wasn't sticky at all, which brioche is supposed to be. Maybe all that time in the refrigerator helped with that?

Cinnamon and sugar are spread out over the rolled out dough and then everything is rolled up, jelly roll style. Then comes the big design ta-da. The roll is cut down the middle lengthwise, the two sides are twisted together, cut sides up. This twist then gets coiled into a spiral which, when baked, looks super complicated and very appealing.

cross section
 This is a very easy bread to snack on. Sweet soft bread, enriched with eggs and butter, and a hit of cinnamon. A winner!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The Baking Bible: Marble in Reverse Cake

I've been looking forward to this cake since I made my first reverse marble during the test bake. I love, love, LOVE, Rose's sour cream bundt cakes. Dense, rich, melt-in-your-mouth cakey goodness.

Here's my test bake:

Now do you understand why I've been eagerly waiting to bake it again?

Sadly, I discovered that this isn't a toddler-friendly cake making experience. The batter must be layered in the pan in a specific way with specific amounts, as quick as possible. What this means is that the toddler decided he needed me to pick him up right as I started layering batter into the pan. So I layered the batter into the pan with a crying child standing next to me. Oh well, not all baking experiences will be fun!

Surprisingly, the marbling came out pretty good.

And it tastes fantastic.

The chocolate glaze is actually more white chocolate than dark chocolate, and somehow tastes like a mellow milk chocolate. I tried to wait until it was cool enough but I couldn't. So the glaze doesn't lok that wonderful. But it is yummy.

How many more ways can I say I love this cake? Here's a quote from my test bake:
"Oh how I love a sour cream bundt. Dense, moist, tight tender crumb, with a little tang. This cake is everything I love about cake. I was worried the ganache glaze would be too much or overpower everything but it didn't. All that white chocolate in the glaze keeps it from being too rich or heavy. Who knew?"

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Baking Bible: White Chocolate Club Med Bread

I guess this is an actual thing at Club Med--guests get a loaf of chocolate bread and apparently the white chocolate is quite popular. I don't know who thought to add white chocolate chips or chunks to white bread, but by golly it is pretty damn good.

Rose's recipe uses her basic white sandwich loaf which is an easy and straightforward bread to make. It needs to knead for almost 10 minutes in the KitchenAid which made my machine dance across the counter--and got the child asking to turn it off only one minute into mixing.

I have to give props to this bread being a bit foolproof. After the initial rise and a degassing, the bread goes into the refrigerator to firm up for shaping--just 30 minutes to an hour. Well my bread hung out for three hours and almost doubled again. Yikes!

A portion of the dough is set aside, and the rest is rolled out to a rectangle and the white chocolate chunks are scattered over. This gets rolled up and then--smart more on Rose's part--the saved portion of dough gets rolled out and then wrapped around the chocolate-containing log. This is to contain the white chocolate so that it doesn't burn unattractively whilst baking.

As you can see from my photos I didn't pinch the seam well enough and the plain bread overcoat split open at the seams during the bake. Also, I seem to have not put the seam down at the bottom of the pan but rather somewhere on the side near the top. Oops! At least now you can see how the white chocolate burns, and how funky it would look if it were the whole loaf.

There are large holes in the bread where the white chocolate was, but maybe I didn't roll it up tight enough? Honestly it doesn't matter to any of us, as we like the bread as it. It is soft, and slightly sweet but not overly so (thanks to good quality white chocolate). It needs neither butter nor jam nor anything, not even a toasting. It just needs a nice cup of tea and permission to be devoured in 24 hours.