I started 2012 making two of my favorite things: brioche and jam. I’ve never been someone who makes New Year’s resolutions. The only goal I’ve ever really set for myself is to remember to take my vitamins. This year is no different. But I do want to spend more time doing things that make me happy, and also being more present in every moment.
Making bread and making jam for me are like yoga. I like to take my time, be methodic, move slowly through every step, and enjoy the process. Yes, I end up with bread and jam, but the process itself is what’s most fulfilling and therapeutic. There is no instant gratification here.
These rolls are rich and heavenly. They are great with jam, but I love them in sandwiches. A fried egg with bacon, or cheddar cheese and mango chutney are perfect nestled in a toasted & buttered brioche roll. And I have no words to describe the caramel pear preserves. The concentrated flavor of caramel, the slight tang from the orange juice and lemon juice, the fabulous texture from the pears, and the earthiness of the spices make one delicious preserve.
Visit Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s blog for the Caramel Pear Preserves recipe. I prefer to make them with homemade apple pectin but you can also use liquid pectin. Apple pectin is nothing more than homemade apple jelly. It is also delicious on its own.
Best wishes for a fabulous 2012!
(Makes 8 brioche rolls)
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
¼ cup whole milk, warm to the touch
2 tablespoons sugar
½ tablespoon honey
¼ cup bread flour (I use King Arthur)
1 ½ cups bread flour (I use King Arthur)
¾ teaspoon salt
2 jumbo eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
Canola oil for bowl
1 egg, beaten
1. Remove butter from refrigerator and cut into one inch pieces.
2. Prepare the sponge: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine yeast, milk, sugar, and flour. Combine well with clean hands. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes the mixture should be stiff and bubbly.
3. Using the paddle attachment of your mixer, add flour, and salt. Start the mixer on low-speed. Add eggs, one at a time, and mix until incorporated. Turn mixer off and let rest for 5 minutes to allow the dough to absorb the liquid and for the gluten to relax.
4. Knead dough on medium speed for 5 minutes in the mixer. Scrape down the dough as needed. You may need to hold down the mixer from time to time, especially if using bread flour.
5. On medium speed, add the butter a few pieces at a time. Let each addition of butter to incorporate before adding more. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes or until you get a dough that is smooth and uniform in texture.
6. Rise #1: Place about 2 teaspoons of canola oil in a large bowl. Put dough in oiled bow and turn over so that all the dough is coated with oil. Cover and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume. About 2 hours.
7. Rise #2: Deflate dough by punching it down in the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in refrigerator overnight, or up to three days, to develop flavor.
8. Rise #3 (Proof): Spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with spray. Divide dough into eight equal pieces and form little balls, place them in the pan. Your pan should be half full with dough. Cover, and let rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
9. Pre-heat oven to 400 °F. Make egg wash: beat egg in a small bowl. After the dough has proofed, brush it evenly with egg wash.
10. Bake for 10 minutes at 400°F. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F and bake for an additional 10-20 minutes until well browned.
11. Remove brioche from the oven. Let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and finish cooling on a rack. The recipe can easily be doubled.