Is it right to be THIS EXCITED about making bread, successfully? YAHOO!!!!
So, I have never made bread before. Pumpkin bread, yes. Banana bread, yes. But REAL bread, the kind that requires yeast and takes time to rise and all that good stuff? No. Not until yesterday. This is why I was so freaking excited when they came out of the over beautiful & delicious…
Of course I had the itch to make brioche loaves after we returned from France. I could really get used to having bread at each meal the way they do. I know, I know, as a trainer, you’d probably expect me to be on a high protein diet with minimal carbohydrates, but I am also a long distance runner and I was also raised on good, delicious carbs like bread and pasta and cookies. Bread is not the devil. In fact, quite the opposite…
Before I get off track on this topic, let me post the amazing recipe and some pictures. I bought the Barefoot Contessa Paris Edition while in Paris (bad choice, I should’ve just bought it cheaper online but I was too excited), and this is the first recipe I tried. I’m still jumping for joy that it turned out, considering I didn’t have a water temperature gauge nor a mixer with a paddle attachment. This just proves to me that you don’t need all the fancy gadgets, although the fancy gadgets may save you some prep time 🙂
recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris
- 1/2 cup warm water (110-120 degrees; if you don’t have a gauge, just make sure it’s not too hot that you can’t dip your fingers into it)
- 1 package dried yeast
- 3 tbsp sugar
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 lb (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 medium egg mixed with 1 tbsp low fat milk, for egg wash
1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a medium/large mixing bowl. Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve.
BEFORE: when the warm water, yeast, and sugar are first combined
AFTER: 5 min of sitting, the mixture will smell yeasty and foam up a little
2. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes.
3. Now the mixture starts getting too thick for the rinky dinky hand mixers, so you will have to switch to using your hang to knead the dough and to continue the mixing process. Add 2 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Using your hands, break off chunks of the soft butter and mix for 2 minutes, until well blended. Sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour and knead/mix enough so that the dough looks smooth throughout.
4. Set the dough into a medium/large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
5. The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Grease two 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and cut in half. Pat each portion into a 6×8 inch rectangle, then roll up each rectangle into a cylindrical loaf. Place each loaf, seam side down, into a greased pan. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until double in volume, 2-2.5 hours.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves have rises, burs the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 45 minutes. The tops should have a slightly hollow sound when tapped. Let the loaves cool. Makes 2. I keep one in the fridge while we eat the other, so it stays fresh!
I can’t wait to try some of the other recipes in this book!!!