Jenny v. Modernist Bread – Brioche

My new motto for 2019 is under promise and over deliver. In September, I began my take down of the Modernist Bread volumes and shared my bagel escapades. I still make those bagels every week and my New York born and raised husband loves them (so do I). I promised that battle brioche would be next and here I am hours away from the new year with a post! 

This Fall has been incredibly busy with EYBD, epic amounts of books in my monthly New Cookbook Reviews as well as gift guides and my Best Books of 2018. In early July we moved and I’ve still not fully unpacked but hope to finish that up soon. Then after Thanksgiving enter a horrible bout of the plague which rendered me quite useless in the baking department. I did manage to make a few cookies for ourselves and have hopes of baking some of our favorites in the next few weeks. 

Yesterday, I began the Sablée brioche from the Modernist Bread. By the time I had the dough ready for the overnight refrigeration, I was certain this post was not going to happen. The dough did not look like any brioche I had ever made before, or before, or before. I was without hope. 

This morning when I looked at the sad dough in the loaf pan I nearly gave up, but I persisted. I decided to bake that beast and I am so glad I did. It may not be the prettiest brioche I’ve ever made but it tastes incredible! I will tackle more of the brioche loaves in Modernist Bread and take more care while doing so but this loaf is delicious and that is all that matters to us. 

To explain this brioche, I’ve borrowed this phrasing from the Modernist website

“The French sweetened pastry dough pâté sablée is the namesake of this relatively easy brioche recipe from Modernist Bread, and we borrow from it the traditional pastry-making technique of rubbing or cutting the fat into the flour. We recommend using a food processor to most efficiently accomplish that task. This technique will greatly reduce mixing time and reduce stress on the dough. The eggs and milk are blended in at the end, unlike with most other brioche recipes, which signal to add them early in the mix.”

The goal is to have brioche that pulls apart in lofty strands. I’ll aim for that next time. Right now, I’m content to have this buttery bread for breakfast with some jam.

Note: The errata link for both Modernist Bread and Modernist Cuisine have been added to the “note” section of each library record. 

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  • Elizavic  on  January 1, 2019

    I'm brand new to EYB, and I'm having fun going through the blog and forum archives. Reading this blogpost, I agree that taste trumps "looks" every time. With respect, however, this retired French teacher would like to point out that term is "pâte" (no accent) rather than "pâté." (I blame the confusion on autocorrect; I had to spell it three times before my iPad reluctantly agreed! ).

  • Jenny  on  January 2, 2019

    Elizavic – Modernist Cuisine spells it that way on their site and I quoted exactly. Thank you for being here!

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