As you walk down the streets of Paris, the smell coming from a patisserie or boulangerie is absolutely overwhelming. Your mouth starts to salivate and you feel pulled into the shop only to be overwhelmed once more by the variety of choices.
This morning I woke up, far later than a true (wannabe) boulanger, and got to work on the next steps in my process to make the perfect brioche.
I followed the directions exactly (rolled out the dough on our cold, granite counter-tops, shaped it into a rectangle, and cut it into small squares. Instead of rolling them into balls (like I did here), they were left in small squares and placed in prepared muffin cups. Covered and placed upstairs in our warmest room, I let the dough rest for about 2 hours while we ran errands.
The whole process, while long, is really rather easy. It just takes patience, an accurate digital scale, and fresh ingredients. I must say I don’t even have the high quality butter that chef said was critical, and the results were extraordinary.
Once the dough ‘puffed up’ a little bit and had a chance to get itself together, into a 350 degree oven it goes for about 40 minutes (in my oven, keep a look out for the tops to be browner than you would think appropriate). The smell coming from my kitchen traveled through our entire home and I was giddy with delight. How could something I baked smell so intoxicating? I was immediately brought back to Paris and that made me incredibly happy.
After brushing with a bit of butter, rolling in raw sugar and a little bit of salt, I indulged. Oh, Mon Dieu! I can’t express the bliss I experienced. The texture was spot on, the flavor extraordinary, and the sugar just put it over the top. I kept half sugarless and the rest dove in. When I say these Brioche buns were truly life-changing, I mean it.
I urge you to get a copy of Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery cookbook. Her story is inspiring, the recipes straightforward, and the commentary fun and engaging. I can’t wait to pull out the other half of my brioche dough next week to try another recipe. Pain aux Raisin, anyone?