There’s a great bakery, Julien’s, by my place here in Halifax that’s got me hooked on brioche. Recipes for brioche have been jumping out at me in my RSS feed and elsewhere. Once this semester finally wraps up (only a few weeks left…!!!), I’ll be baking and baking and baking. I haven’t baked in too long and am missing it more and more every day.
Nonetheless, for those of you with some free time, I know you’ll want to check out and try these delicious recipes for variations on brioche.
Have you made brioche before? What’s your favourite recipe?
It couldn’t get much more simple than this. I used to make this bread every few weeks when I lived in Ottawa, but haven’t made it since the move out East. Well, I finally got around to going to the Bulk Barn to pick up the grains I needed and am very happy to share this easy recipe.
If you’re not a fan a kneading, or want to make bread but don’t have much time, this is the recipe for you!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup 8 or 12 grain mix
1/4 teaspoon yeast
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 5/8 cups warm water
Put the yeast in the warm water and let it froth for ~10 minutes. Put all the ingredients into a bowl, mix lightly, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Leave the dough, covered, for ~18 hours (leaving the dough overnight works well). After ~18 hours, put the dough in a loaf pan and leave it to rise, uncovered, for about two hours. Pre-heat oven to 375°F. Bake for 20 minutes at this temperature. Lower oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 20 minutes.
As with many of the recipes I share, this is a great one for experimentation. If I have it on hand, I usually switch up the 8-grain mix for some of my favourite Dorset cereal or muesli. This definitely isn’t a sandwich bread, but it’s great for toast and snacking, and it freezes well.
Well I finally tried it and overall it worked out quite well!
The whole process of making this was actually really simple. As mentioned, I used my classic sandwich bread recipe as the base for this one. One thing I really like about this recipe (other than it being super delicious and you eating it all before you probably should) is that it’s very flexible. You can add whatever spices you think would work well.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 1/4 tsp yeast
2 tbs softened butter/margarine
4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs milk
1-2 cups grated cheese (cheddar is a good option)
** 1/2-1 tbs of each herb (possibilities include oregano, basil, dill, rosemary, etc., etc…)
Here’s how it’s done:
Put the yeast into the measured amount of hot water. Wait ~15 minutes for it to froth. Put butter, then dry ingredients, then milk into the bowl of your mixer. Give it a quick stir. Once the yeast/water mixture is frothy, add it to the dry ingredients. Mix. Knead the dough until it becomes elastic, about ~6 minutes in the mixer or ~15 by hand. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk.
Before kneading for a second time, add your selection of herbs to the dough. Knead again for at least 5 minutes.
Line the loaf pan with parchment (the melted cheese will make the bread hard to remove if you don’t). Pull off handfuls of dough and roll it out into thin strips. Cut sections of to approximately fit the width and height of your loaf pan. Lay one piece down at a time, alternating with grated cheese (see photo).
Bake at 350°F for ~30 minutes.
Let the bread cool on a rack before pulling it apart and eating it. Mmmmmmm…
While I usually split this recipe into two loaves, I used all the dough for one loaf this time. What I found tough was to gauge how much I would need once it started being stacked up. Using all the dough seemed to be a good idea. The only slight complication was that, when it puffed up and baked, the slices kind of baked together. While they did actually pull apart quite easily, using more cheese would have helped (as it always does with everything). Either way, the outcome was incredibly delicious. I’ll be making this again really soon, especially with guests coming, and I hope you do too!
Well… not quite yet. I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes on Pinterest and Twitter and everywhere else for pull-apart bread. Most of them have been sweet though, such as this delicious looking cinnamon sugar pull-apart bread found on Joy the Baker:
As much as I love making and baking the sweet, I do also love the savory. So, here’s my plan. This week (or weekend) I’m going to try to switch it up and make a recipe for a pull-apart cheese and herb bread. Using my classic sandwich bread recipe as a base, I’m going to try using cheese between the layers and mixing the herbs into the dough. This doesn’t sound too complicated and I’m sure it will be delicious, but my main concern is making sure it pulls apart as I’m imagining it to. I did also find this recipe for cheddar, beer, and mustard pull-apart bread on Smitten Kitchen, from which I’m drawing some inspiration:
You can see how they both have a similar look – that’s what I’m going for. I also want to make sure this is a really simple recipe that anyone will want to try. It would even be great to bring to potlucks or to gift.
Wish me luck – I’ll report back as soon as I’ve tested it out!