As you have been noticing, I have been baking a lot!! I realized how much I missed baking during the Summer (and maybe it’s a good thing we don’t have central air in our house, I would be baking year long then).
Few years ago I really got into baking breads. Until then I was “afraid” of using yeasts. Yeast intimidated me, and the extent of my using yeast was the bread machine. I still like the convenience of bread machine, but there’s something therapeutic about mixing and kneading your own dough, taking time to see the dough rise and baking in the oven. I understand this is a pure luxury. I will not even ask my friends who work full time to try this, they’ll probably give me death looks!!
I’m also realizing that my arms and hands are turning pretty thick, thanks to all the kneading I have been doing. My children say that I have the strongest grip, hmmmm….
Whenever possible I like to knead, but the help from my trustworthy KitchenAid stand mixer is always nice. I seriously don’t know what I’ll do without my KitchenAid mixer!!!
The recipe today came from La Tartine Gourmande. I like her bread recipes so I have few that’s waiting in a queue for a test run. Maybe I’m biased when I say this, but this recipe is quite simple. If you haven’t tried baking bread before you may feel intimidated, but you have to start somewhere right?
This recipe will yield 1 loaf mold or 6 brioche molds: ** I doubled the recipe to make 1 loaf and 6 brioche.
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
2 Tablespoons fine sugar
1/3 cup warm milk
1 pinch salt
1 egg yolk, for glaze
In a bowl mix the flour with yeast, make a hole in the middle. Add the warm milk mixing with the tip of your fingers (If using stand mixer, pour the milk slowly and steadily while mixing, with the hook attachment).
Add the sugar and salt, then add the soft butter, piece by piece, making sure each piece gets blended well with the flour mixture.
Then one by one add the eggs, mixing well between each egg. Work the dough until it is smooth and elastic (it should detach easily from your fingers and/or your mixer bowl).
Cover and let it rest in a warm place for about 2 hours, until it doubles in size.
Knead the dough again for about 10 minutes, and divide it in 4 balls. Place them in a greased bread loaf mold and cover, let it rise for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400F, brush the brioche with the egg yolk. With a pair of scissors, make small cuts at the top of each ball.
Place in the oven to bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F and bake for another 20-25 minutes. Remove, unmold and let cool on a rack.
My opinion: Aside from the time consuming aspect (mostly rising the dough), this truly was simple. I think I said this before, but there’s nothing like the smell of fresh baked bread in the house. When my children come back home from school, the first thing the hits them is the smell of these breads. The taste is also stellar!!