Friday, December 25, 2015
Brioche for Breakfast: Merry Christmas Morning!
On Christmas morning, I always treat myself to a sweet yeasted bread. Back in the day, I used to make stollen, which I love, using a wonderful recipe from Pleasures of Cooking, the magazine that Cuisinart used to put out in the first years they (the original company run by Carl Sontheimer) were making food processors. (You remember, the good ones that didn’t crack or burn out). Later, when it was just me, I would buy a really good imported Panettone (although when I was in Philly I bought them for a few years from Metropolitan Bakery when they were making them) and eat it, slowly, over the course of a week or so, toasting it as it got stale.
This year, still camping out at my son’s house without any of my own equipment and in the mood for something less sweet, I looked at his shiny new KitchenAid, sitting forlorn on the counter, and decided to make brioche. No specialty pan absolutely required (although I do have the big and little fluted molds in storage), no fruits and nuts needed.
I have been fortunate to live around a lot of good bakeries in my wandering days (which is pretty much all of them), but the one I probably loved the most was the one in Carmel, CA where, at the age of 22, before I had ever been to Europe and American bakeries were still, well, American, I fell in love with brioche. (Do you think, for my New Year’s resolution, I should strive for shorter sentences?) I still absolutely love it, and it is still, surprisingly, not all that easy to find. So I still consider it to be special.
Brioche can be made in lots of shapes, and is most often seen as individual rolls, but I love the look of a big brioche Nanterre. So that’s what I made. Cultured butter, Wayne’s eggs, flour, yeast—and patience—that’s pretty much it. A simple pleasure for the holiday. Hope you have a happy one.