Yet another month has come for the Secret Recipe Club, and another great recipe discovery. This month I was assigned a great blog called Gastronomical Sovereignty, written by Kristy, who says through her blog she’s “blindly stumbling through the ethical considerations of culinary deliciousness.” Pretty neat huh? It took me a while to settle on just one of her many recipes, but once I came across these brioche buns it was settled. I love brioche, and her rolls looked fantastic!
Brioche has always been really hard for me – I’ve never really mastered it. I’ve made loaf after loaf, but they are typically a bit too dense, and just don’t have the magic that a perfectly executed brioche loaf does. This recipe for brioche requires limited raising time, which was appealing, and also skips the refrigeration step – they can be made in one 3-hour block of time! Definitely right up my alley. Since I can never leave well enough alone, I decided I would add some whole wheat pastry flour to the mix, just to see what the implications would be. I also halved the recipe, which is always an interesting (read: potentially hazardous) choice, and managed to almost make it through the entire recipe without making a mistake. Almost.
After putting the dough together and plopping it onto the counter to knead, I realized it was WAY too wet. It made this pathetic little puddle on the counter, so I went back through my steps, and of course I’d missed something. I forgot to cut the egg in half… Since everything was already mixed together, I just decided I’d work the dough adding as much flour as it needed, until it came together and was the right consistency. I added a LOT of flour, and even still when I set the dough aside to proof, it was very moist.
When the dough had more than doubled in size, I divided it into 4 pieces (should have been 8) and let it proof for another hour. Again, I missed the instruction to divide the dough into EIGHT pieces, so when I came back to check it after an hour, the “buns” were enormous rolls… oops?! At that point, there was nothing I could do except laugh, so I slathered them with egg wash and popped them in the oven.
One last thing – I baked them on a silpat because it was handy when I was dividing the dough, but next time I would do parchment paper as I was supposed to. The bottoms of my rolls developed a crust – and more of one than I would normally like. BUT – the moral of this long winded story is that the rolls came out wonderfully. They are slightly sweet, a bit denser than typical brioche (likely due to the wheat flour, and extra flour added while kneading), but still mildly buttery and perfectly eggy. I loved them! I ate one straight out of the oven, as Kristy has instructed to do, and was so glad I did. Absolutely fab. We also made breakfast sandwiches with them (pictured above), and they were the PERECT vehicle for that. If I made these again, I would absolutely keep the whole wheat flour in there – I think it enhances the flavor but also makes them slightly more nutritious – but I probably wouldn’t cut the recipe in half. Best not to take chances where I can make silly mistakes! Still, I was really happy with how these came out, and they gave me the boost I needed to try tackling traditional brioche again soon.