Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Little Note On The Big Taste Of Butter…

We all know there is no substitute for quality. Even in easy recipes, every ingredient's quality has a consequence on the recipe's outcome.
And unfortunately, there is no substitute for butter. If you can't use butter don't waste your time trying to make a great brioche or a croissant.

The result will be second-rate.

Bon Appetit!

I love the simple taste of raisin brioche in the morning for breakfast with a little hamemade jam.

This simple brioche loaf makes really remarkable French toast which the recipe follows. I load it up with strawberries and whipped cream and rarely have anyone who does not ask for a second helping.

Brioche Loaf

• 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

• 2 3/4 oz butter, at room temperature

• 2 eggs, at room temperature

• 1 Tbsp dry baker’s yeast

• 2 Tbsp fine sugar

• 1/3 cup warm milk

• 1 pinch salt

• 1 egg yolk for glaze

• In a bowl, mix the flour with the yeast, make a hole in the middle.

• Add the warm milk mixing with the tip of your fingers. If using a stand mixer, pour the milk slowly and steadily while mixing, with the hook attachment.

• Add the sugar and a pinch of salt, then add the soft butter, piece after piece, waiting each time that each piece is absorbed.

• Then one by one, add the eggs, mixing well between each. Work the dough until it is elastic and detaches from your fingers more easily or from the bowl of the stand mixer.

• Cover and let rest in a warm place, away from drafts, for two hours, until it doubles in size.

• Work the dough again for 10 min and divide it in four balls. Place them in a greased rectangular mold and cover. Let rise for an hour again.

• Preheat the oven at 400 F.

• Brush the brioche with the egg yolk mixed with a dash of sugar. With a pair of scissors, make small cuts at the top of each ball.

• Place in the oven to bake for 10 min then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for about 20 to 30 min.

• Remove, unmold and let cool on a rack.

Baked French Toast

1 and 1/2 pounds brioche bread, cut into large cubes

1 tablespoon butter

7 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups half & half

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Fresh seasonal berries, maple syrup

• Use the butter to grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish. In a bowl, whisk the eggs until light and fluffy. Add the heavy cream, half & half, vanilla, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, and whisk well. Add the bread to the bowl and toss to coat before pouring into prepared casserole dish. Pat down the bread to be sure each piece is coated in the custard mixture. Cover with foil, refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours, or overnight if possible.

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until golden brown, about 25 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with warm maple syrup and fresh berries to garnish.