I should probably start with – the consensus about the brioche is that it was dee-lish-us! Everyone liked the buttery flavor, and could tell that there was a lot more going on with this – I got a lot of “why is this so…mmmm?” To be sure, the rolls look beautiful. But they certainly are the antithesis of the artisan bread I’ve been making. All of that butter (!), and the eggs that give it such a beautiful color.
As well, the shape is familiar – we’ve been making my Grandmother’s (Davis this time), and now my mother’s cloverleaf rolls for as long as I can remember. One of my nieces swears she will never have a Thanksgiving without them (ever!).
So I was happy to take on the challenge of the brioche. The only brioche I’d consistently had was from the Main Street Bread Baking Company in Grapevine, TX. Theirs was, however, white chocolate brioche. And ridiculously good. So, I’m afraid that I also had some preconceived notions about how this would turn out.
I also thought I’d go ahead and look at my Baking with Julia book that I’ve had forever. Well, at least since it was published (and I doubt I’ve ever made anything out of it). This is going to be the new Tuesdays with Dorie group starting in early February – I was thinking about whether I wanted to add something like that, or maybe do something different, but thought I’d look up the recipe in that book as well for reference. Similar enough, the process is the same – mix up the dough, and let it rest overnight…
The dough gets to rest on the counter until doubled. I happened to be baking some other bread at the time, so my kitchen was pretty warm, it didn’t take that much time to rise, but it did rise nicely.
Then it was time to put it into the refrigerator, after “slapping” the dough (don’t get me started, I didn’t say it, Dorie did) – really, it was simply deflating the dough. I was on my way out, so I skipped the several “slaps” that were supposed to happen every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours. Let’s not be so fussy!
The next day, it was time to take the dough out of the refrigerator (plenty deflated, I’m sure), and to form the rolls. One thing I did learn from the Baking with Julia book, was that there are all sorts of uses for the dough, from simple rolls, to all sorts of fancy sweet rolls and desserts. Dorie’s other shaping method was to create a loaf – I almost did half and half, and wished I had.
I did not measure the dough, and mine were a bit uneven in size. I also didn’t really roll them the way that Dorie suggested (all of those years of making those other rolls, I suppose), though I did find flour helpful with this sticky dough – even though it was easier to handle chilled.
Instead of waxed paper to cover while they rose as suggested, I used a clear plastic catering top (salvaged), which works really well – you don’t have to worry about anything sticking. The rolls are lightly brushed with an egg wash once risen, and then ready to go into the oven.
Once out of the oven, they rest for a few minutes, then they are ready to serve warm, or cooled.
I was happy to find that these were a hit. And they certainly were beautiful! I wish I’d made the loaf too, just because I think it would have been easier to use in other ways. That said, this is not something I’ll make again soon. I actually prefer the rolls we make, and I like the simplicity of the artisan breads too. There are so many other things that I think are more interesting. That said, there were lots of other tempting treats to be created using this dough as a foundation – so… we’ll see.