Sunday, April 26, 2009

Brioche Loaf (Page 611)


  • Date: Sunday, April 19, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

This recipe came off the list generated by the random number generator. I took the brioche dough (see post below), shaped it and put it into a buttered loaf pan. I let it rise for a couple hours, then brushed the top with a mixture of cream and egg yolk. I baked the loaf until it was golden brown. This brioche was delicious! It was rich with eggs and butter yet wonderfully light. The flavor and texture were both spot on for brioche. We ate almost half the loaf when it was fresh out of the oven. My special gentleman declared it the best brioche he has ever had. With a Start to Finish time of 21 hours the recipe looks intimidating. But the vast majority of that time is just for the dough to rise, and the actual work involved was quite minimal. Definitely a keeper of a recipe!

This recipe isn't online (although there's not much to it once you have made the dough recipe, which is online. See the post below.)

Occasionally in my kitchen there is some sort of culinary disaster. Mistakes are made. Things turn out badly. I expect this to happen once in a while. But typically disasters are spawned by intricate recipes that involve complicated steps, or lots of things happening at once. Last night was the exception. A culinary disaster definitely occurred while I was making.... frozen pizza. True confession: it's not all gourmet meals around our household. Sometimes we eat frozen pizza. Last night we were starving by the time dinner rolled around, and although I was working on some steamed shrimp custards (which turned out to be foul!) we decided we might need something to supplement the meal. So I threw a frozen pizza in the oven and went on with my shrimp custard making. When the timer went off I peered inside the oven. My pizza was not making much progress. It was pretty pasty looking for having been in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. I didn't think much of it, set the timer for another 6 minutes, and went back to work. When the timer buzzed again my pizza was still not looking too cooked. The pizza was warm, and the oven felt hot inside, but there wasn't much cooking action happening. I shrugged, set the timer for another 6 minutes and went back to work on my custards. When the timer went off again and my pizza was still pale and sad looking, I figured there was a serious problem. I don't have an oven thermometer, but I do have a new remote thermometer that we got as a wedding present (thanks Alp!). So I put that in the oven and waited. I hadn't used the thermometer yet, so I figured it was broken when it came back with a reading of 175 degrees. 175? The oven claimed to be at 400. At that point I stuck my arm all the way in the oven and started touching things to see if they were hot. After much analysis (and a few minor burns) I established that the lower heating element in our oven was broken. I don't know how that happened, but it wasn't heating at all. The top element was working, but it could only get the oven so hot (apparently, 175 degrees).

By that time my special gentleman and I were starving (heck, we were starving 45 minutes before that) and had discovered that the shrimp custards were inedibly gross. The pizza, however, was not cooked. The top heating element still worked so I had only one idea: I could broil it! And broil it I did. Within a few minutes the toppings of the pizza were burnt and smoking. The underside? Pale and soft. So I did the only thing I could. I inverted the pizza onto a baking sheet and broiled the bottom until it too was smoking. Then I attempted to reinvert the pizza so it would be right side up. Of course the toppings mostly stuck to the baking sheet, so I had to scrape them off and pile them on top of my now naked pizza. My special gentleman looked at it and said, "That has got to be the worst looking pizza I have ever seen." He's right. It wasn't cute. But you know what? It tasted fine. We ate the whole thing.

The real problem, of course, is now our oven is broken! Hopefully it doesn't take long for it to be fixed!!!

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