Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adventures with Brioche!

Adventures with Brioche!

Just had another baking adventure!  I now know the smoke detectors that are connected to the alarm company work!!! Check the notation I put in my cookbook--"Put foil or a pan underneath so that the caramel won't drip and smoke!!!"

I have wanted to try making brioche. It seems to be a richer version of sweet challah, which I love.

The dry flour and salt were mixed up about a week ago, when I measured out the ingredients for the banana bread:

 Shlep once, bake twice!

A few days ago, I mixed up the dough.  It looked beautiful when  the dough came out of the refrigerator this morning:   

First, I prepared the brioche loaf.  I decided to experiment with the loaf shape, by forming 6 balls and shaping them in the pan. The pan looked bare at the beginning, but I put it to rise anyways.  It really rose after a few hours.

While the loaf was rising, I prepared the Caramel Sticky Buns, according to the directions in  the book.  I put the caramel topping in the round cake pan and weighed out the dough.  I formed the dough into a ball...

and let it rest for a few minutes to make it easier to handle.  I rolled the dough into a rectangle with my pastry roller and added the filling.  Love that gadget--I can hold the pastry roller by the vertical handle in the middle and have better control!) I rolled the dough into a long log.  I used my bench knife to "unstick" any part of the dough.

 Finally, I used a very sharp serrated knife to cut the dough into 8 pieces.  The buns were placed on top of the caramel topping in the pan.  I let them rise really high.  Boy, would my hubby love these!

I had never baked caramel sticky buns before.  I figured it would take awhile to bake, so I put them in the oven while I went out of the kitchen for about 10 minutes.

When I came back, I turned the oven light on to check the buns.  There was a flame on the heating element!  I opened the door and smoke was billowing out!!!  The caramel must have been dripping out of the pan.  I turned the oven off and put a pan underneath.  Forgot to turn the oven on again for about 10 minutes.  After finally remembering, I turned the oven back on to finish baking.  A few minutes later, smoke began billowing out ( I was in the kitchen but washing dishes and looking the other way) and the smoke detector went off.  I guess the caramel on the pan was smoking. 

I couldn't find the alarm company phone number (it was posted, but hidden by a box of Kleenex). Several frantic minutes may have passed, trying to find the right number.

Finally found the alarm company number on my cell and called them.  I told them "it was a cooking incident, and don't tell my husband.  And, by the way, how do I turn this darn alarm OFF?"  Turned the alarm off.   Called them back a few minutes later to ask why they didn't call me.  He said that my line was busy. Besides, they call the fire department first!

Oops, I almost forgot the brioche loaf!  I took it out of the microwave, where it had been rising for a few hours.  I was afraid that it rose too much:

I brushed it with egg wash and put the pan in the oven.  I went to laugh about the buns incident with another baker.  After about 30 minutes, the loaf was done.  What a beautiful golden color!

Well, I ended up calling my hubby; I can't keep anything from him!  The oven works; this is a new oven element that I replaced only in March-- 

and the house is fine.  Luckily, the only reminder is a pan that is burned from the small fire below it:

Between this and that pan of oven-ready dough I dropped earlier in the week, it's been quite a week of baking!

Well, thanks for stopping by to visit!  I hope you will leave a comment (or a laugh!) below.  Maybe you can add a handwise or time saving suggestion that will help others?

Handwise tips:  If you have hand pain, tendonitis, or arthritis or any other pain issues and want to make these recipes,

  • Make the dough several days before you bake. This brioche dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days. 

    • Shlep once, bake twice!  Our group tends to make a recipe a week, and posts about them every two weeks.  I don't like pulling out my five-pound containers of flour. Filling up a smaller container more often is bothersome.  Some time and energy is saved by measuring out the dry ingredients for both recipes at once.    
    • Weigh out the ingredients by scale.  It's faster and easier than measuring by cups.  It's more accurate, too--a cup is a cup, no matter whether you fluff the flour or pack it in. Just be sure to label what's in your container!
    • A mixer or food processor can help you.  Put soapy water in it and maybe run it for a few seconds to help clean it after removing the dough.  
    • Then, if you are using a food processor, remove the dough hook/blade so that you can fill up the bowl even more.  Put an empty (cleaned)  container from 35mm film upside down, over the center portion and you can fill it up higher to soak. The water shouldn't leak out!
    • Let the dough rest if it resists stretching out.  Wait 10-15 minutes after doing the gluten cloak, and it can easily be shaped.  Good time to have a seat and rest your hands!
    • Bake on 2 separate days.  You don't have to bake it all at once.
    • Soak your tools in your empty dough bucket or a pan when you are finished using them.  That way, you can wash them easily later (or tomorrow!)  Give yourself the permission of time to clean up much later.

    About the HBinFive Baking Group
    The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes .


    1. The AB5 Broiche and Semolina Bread are my 2 all time favorite recipes. Can't get enough of either of 'em!

    2. I really laughed out loud at this Judy! I've been through the same kind of experience so can feel your pain! I was really cracking up when you talked about trying to find the phone number for the alarm agency. I was smoking fish one time in my homemade smoker. I went out to do some fire dept dispatch work, and you guessed smokehouse caught fire and I had to route the firemen to MY house! See why I can laugh WITH you?

      Great job on the brioche! I love that stuff!

    3. Oh Judy, I shouldn't laugh. It probably wasn't funny while it was happening, but that really is funny!!! So glad everything turned out all right. Both breads look wonderful. I have been wanting to try the caramel sticky buns. Did you love them?

    4. Sounds like some of my adventures (there is a tip in HB in 5 about putting a towel on the oven door when you pour in the water, but then you MUST remember to take it out BEFORE you close the door). I just don't share my (mis)adventures as freely. Enjoyed your post, and your rolls and bread looked gorgeous.

    5. My goodness! You had quite an adventure. Glad you can still laugh.

      I love the idea of making caramel rolls with the brioche dough. And, thanks for all of the great tips.

    6. Hi all,

      I figure that who else can laugh with you about your baking experiences? Another baker!

      Which would you choose--to try to turn the alarm off, or take the buns out of the oven and turn them over because they are done? If you don't turn them over, they will stick to the pan. If you don't turn the alarm off, the fire dept may show up.

      Hi Guff, the water spilled on the oven floor, not the door. If I use my watering can, the spout goes past the door and not onto the glass.

      Bonnie, we thought the buns were good, but icing would have helped. I just had my hands full, and didn't ice them.

      I make a very buttery challah dough, and we couldn't tell the difference between the challahs of the past and this brioche dough. Maybe I baked it a bit too long, but it wasn't as moist.

      Michelle, I also love the semolina bread of AB%!!!

      Thanks for laughing with me and enjoying all the baking.

    7. The brioche looked really good as did the buns. Sorry, but I had to laugh also, but not at you, with you. Been there, done that.

    8. Don't be sorry, Elwood! I shared it to get comments like yours so I wouldn't feel so alone! Glad I am not the only one to go thru this.

      I made buns again, but I used a sheet pan this time. No more 9" round cake pans for stuff like this! :)