Is there anything better than fresh brioche bread?? The answer of course is no! Today, we got to work shaping our brioche dough that had rested overnight in the refrigerator. We learned four basic shapes for the dough:
- Parisienne, which has 8 small brioche rolls baked together:
- Nanterre, which has 4 small brioche logs baked together:
- Brioche à tête, which bakes individually and looks like a circle with a head on top:
- Five Part Braid, which is large and weaves together five logs of brioche
Once we shaped our dough, it had to rest for a third time, this time in a proof box, which keeps the temperature between 80° and 85° and is humid. Finally, the dough had risen (for now the third time if you were keeping track between yesterday and today), and it was time to cover the dough in egg wash and bake it. The smell was incredible. Brioche is interesting because you bake it until the temperature of the inside of the bread is 190°. I didn’t realize that you take the temperature of breads, similar to if you were taking the temperature of a piece of meat. As soon as the brioche comes out of the oven you are supposed to dump it out of the pan so it stops baking.
And because our instructor said we can’t get out of pastry school without baking brownies, we made them from scratch today. I have never made brownies from scratch before – I am a sucker for the Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix; however, after tasting the brownies today I may become a convert. We baked the brownies on the shorter side so they would be moister and finished them with ganache that we had left over from a previous class.
We had an interesting discussion about food costing and costed out the brownie recipe… brownies are surprisingly expensive to make, particularly if you use the optional walnuts! The cocoa is also an expensive ingredient to use. We talked about the different sizes of brownies you may see in stores and priced out various sizes. In large cities, baked goods are typically sold at 8 to 10 times their food cost. This markup also covers labor, utilities, rent, etc. This is an interesting concept for me as I begin to think about where this culinary path may lead me.
We also spent some time practicing fine piping with chocolate; I definitely need some practice with this before I will be able to pipe out anything legible on a cake or dessert plate! I’m not posting any pictures until I get better at this technique!
Finally today we worked on Linzer dough, which is similar to the sucrée (sweet) dough that we have worked with; however, it has a different flavor profile and incorporates spices such as cinnamon and cloves into the dough. With the dough we made a Linzer Tart, which we are going to bake off tomorrow. The tart has raspberry jam inside and a lattice top, which is simple but looks beautiful. I will post picture of the final product tomorrow.
Off to bed… I’m pretty sure it is past my bed time for a school night!!