Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 81

Although there is no solid proof of it ever happening, Marie Antoinette is attributed with famously saying "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" when she was told that the peasants had nothing to eat due to widespread bread shortages. This quote is commonly and inaccurately translated to "let them eat cake" although it actually means "let them eat brioche".  

 Today we prepped dough for brioche and french baguettes. Brioche is a rich dough meaning that it contains higher proportions of fat (a TON of butter), sugar, and eggs than French baguettes which are considered a lean dough as they have no fat or sugar added to them. It was actually quite therapeutic making the dough as you can't rush the process (the yeast calls all the shots in this bread-making relationship). There are 12 steps in yeast dough production and none can be skipped, missed, or altered. The steps include: scaling ingredients, mixing, bulk fermentation, punching, portioning, rounding, benching, makeup/panning, proofing, baking, cooling, and storing.

Here is a shot of our sourdough starter that is still undergoing fermentation...major stankiness.

For the French bread, we started the dough in a mixer and then kneaded it by hand to develop gluten before proofing it.

The brioche dough is packed with butter and eggs - so rich and wonderful. 

Once the brioche dough is made it must spend the night covered in a retarder (walk-in fridge) to control the fermentation of the yeast. The cool controlled temperature in the walk-in will help the dough produce a slower, longer rise which (in the end) gives the bread more complex flavors.


8 oz milk
2 oz yeast, fresh
8 oz bread flour
20 oz eggs
32 oz bread flour
2 oz sugar 
.5 oz salt
24 oz butter, softened

1. scald milk and cool to lukewarm. add to mixer. dissolve yeast. add flour and mix to make a sponge. let rise to double.
2.gradually mix in eggs and then dry ingredients (using paddle attachment) to make a soft dough
3. beat in butter, little by little, until completely absorbed and dough is smooth. dough will be very soft and sticky
4. Fermentation time : cover with plastic film and place in retarder (refrigerator) overnight
5. makeup dough into rolls or loafs or whatever shape you want and proof.
6. brush with egg-wash. bake at 400 F until golden brown. 

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