I have this pretty awesome new baking crew.
Cory, Tom & Aimée (they are one team) and Meredith.
The five of us love to bake. We also love to try new recipes … so we decided to put together this baking crew and challenge one another. Every week a recipe is picked, we bake it, then we get together to compare our results; aka the taste test.
Week one was bagels. I didn’t post anything … because quite frankly, my attempt at bagels did not go well at all (think über vile play-dough). Tom and Cory came out real champs (Meredith hadn’t joined the crew yet): Tom won best flavour (rosemary bagels), and Cory won best looking … think Montréal bagels. They looked good (and honestly, tasted pretty stellar as well).
Week two … brioche.
I loved this challenge.
I was genuinely excited about making brioche. I’d made the dough once … but using Marysol’s recipe and with her there to guide me … ensuring that I hadn’t messed up her dough. But to do it on my own … exciting!
There is one thing thought … I didn’t realize was how much resting time this dough requires.
Mother of pearl! According to the recipe I used: I needed to knead the flour, eggs and yeast for 7 minutes. Rest for 20 minutes. Add the cold butter, handfuls at a time, kneading for a further 10 minutes. Then rest the dough at room temperature for 3 hours. Place in the fridge and chill overnight (or until doubled in size).
You’d think … ok … once doubled in size, the dough is ready to use.
Pull out of the fridge, shape the dough into eight 3 ounce balls and fill your generously buttered loaf pan.
Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for further 3 to 5 hours.
Only then are you ready to bake.
Brush with eggwash and bake at 325 F for 50 minutes. Let’s just say … your kitchen will smell absolutely delightful! The smell of butter and flour baking slowly … totally worth all that resting time. Totally.
But let’s get back to the challenge.
Last Monday afternoon the four of us got together to compare our brioche loaves. I have to admit … when I tasted my loaf … it was salty! And not as airy and light as I had hoped (I totally over kneaded it). Cory’s was a lovely airy, light, and oh so buttery loaf. He won … by a pretty tight margin. Tom & Aimée’s brioche was super tasty and light … but we figured … the one that tasted more of butter should win.
We had decided to do a second baked good with the brioche dough. I made some chocolate cinnamon rolls (the dough seemed to work better for this … I was much happier with the result). Meredith made the prettiest one, una coca de Sant Joan, a traditional Catalonian recipe. There was a layer of custard which was absolutely delightful … and the candied cherries on top just made it ridiculously pretty (I’m sad I didn’t get a great picture). Cory made some honey almond rolls … they were good … especially because … the dough was so light and airy. But the clear winner this time was Tom & Aimée’s salted caramel and pecan brioche têtes. Home made salted caramel filled these light and fluffy little brioche. Mother of pearl. It was hard to stop eating it. So utterly delicious.