26 April 2010

Brioches à tête

When I was a stay-at-home mom, I would make bread from scratch (without a bread machine) two or three times a week.  I would also vacuum every other day.  It was wonderful.  It really was.

When I returned to full-time work, our home saw a dramatic decrease in homemade bread and a proportionally dramatic increase in carpet dust. 

Oh well.  Life goes on. 

I've made quite a few loaves of challah, and quite a number of batches of ensaymada, both of which are in the family of the brioche.  Once in a while I also used to make brioche loaves.  However, I had never made brioches à tête, and when I saw them featured in Fine Cooking magazine's April/May 2010 issue, I was inspired to give their recipe a try.

I followed their recipe pretty much to the letter and was happy to find that all their cues were spot-on.  You know, things like "knead for 4 more minutes and when the dough is ready it will slap against the sides of the bowl", or "the finished dough will weigh 2 pounds 6 ounces", or "bake for 18 minutes and the internal temperature of the bread will be 190°F".  Things like that. 

I also happen to have sixteen 3.25" brioche molds, which was the exact number and size called for by the recipe.  I took it as a sign.  I'm almost sure you're wondering who in the world has sixteen 3.25" brioche molds lying around in their kitchen ... I know, I'm strange that way.  I use them for stuff.  They're handy. 

The boys loved it: "59 thumbs up, Mommy!  No, make that one thousand thumbs up!"; my husband has already requested to have it again as part of his birthday breakfast, still in July.  There is a traditional Sicilian breakfast involving brioche that he has been wanting to have again for the past, um, 17 years. I guess it's about time, eh?

So thank you, Fine Cooking. This one's a keeper.


  1. i can almost smell it:) great pics:)

  2. I never thought I'd say this, but I'm considering a move back to Kansas...

  3. Drooling over here....and yes, I would be the one saying who has 16 - 3.25" brioche laying around...Your baking prowess amazes me. Oh and by the way, I only get 2 thumbs up from Ryan, never got the elusive 59 or the 1000 thumbs up! Sigh.

  4. That brioche would go well with a hot cup of chocolate milk.... any tips on the best types of chocs to use? ...any special way of preparing it?

  5. Sandra, I'll be there to pick you up at the airport! :o)

    Nerissa, you know how so very expressive Domi can be!

    Ah, Poomba, there will be a post on hot chocolate for sure!! :o)

  6. I so admire a cook that makes broiche that beautiful. Well done (so say both my two thumbs). GREG

  7. The brioche looks so tender and flaky. Yum!

  8. Perfection. I tried my hand at brioche and it was a disaster! Now I know how lovely they should have looked!

  9. Beautiful! I have been wanting to try brioche for so long... It seems like so much fun!

    I have the same molds as you, but only four. I tend to use them as mini tart shells or cookie cutters :P

  10. Greg and Kristen - thanks! And thanks so much for stopping by!

    oneordinaryday - oh no! Did you try kneading it in a machine, or by hand? I've read that brioche can be hard to knead by hand because it's such a soft dough.

    whisk-kid - Go for it! It is tons of fun, and the dough is soooo nice to work with! The nice thing about brioche dough is that you can split it up to make many little ones, or you can make one huge brioche (if you have the big mold - I don't), or you can make a loaf. So many options!