Brioche Bread!

Early last year we bought a package of brioche English muffins from not paying close enough attention to its label, but discovered that they make a pretty good burger.  They are a bit too sweet to serve as the bread part of Eggs Benedict, but for tuna sandwiches or burgers, brioche is sheer perfection. 

A year ago we came across some sliced, store-made brioche bread for use in a fine Asian dish known as Spicy Katsu Chicken.  The recipe for Katsu is within the link below, and while the pepper content almost scared me off – and I do enjoy spicy dishes – the end product is well balanced in sweet, crunch, and heat.  But you must use brioche bread to get the requisite sweetness.

Last week Kat suggested Katsu Chicken.  Yeah!  But we need to buy boneless skinless chicken thighs and sliced brioche.  You have heard rumors of inflation, especially if you have any use for either gasoline or #2 diesel.  To my surprise, or shock and “aw shucks” last summer’s $3.59 brioche loaf now goes for $7.59.   I don’t like paying $4 for bread so twice that was out of the question.  Kat offered “I bet there’s a recipe for brioche online.  I’ll bake one!”  She is a very good baker, and after some recipe review she settled on one requiring only 90 minutes including rising time, baking, and cleanup.  Here is that one.  She nailed the baking, and the katsu sandwiches were perfect.  Here is the brioche bread recipe.

I asked Kat whether I was likely to succeed in baking this bread, and she was doubtful.  “The recipe I used strongly suggests using a dough hook mixer because the dough is very sticky.  It is so sticky the only way I managed to get it off the floured circle was using this dough scraper that I bought for something else.”  These things look a little like a 6” putty scraper.  If you have one it should work, but get the grout off of it first.  So while I am incapable of producing this lovely bread, you likely are. 

Besides Katsu Chicken Sandwiches, brioche bread makes one of the world’s best breakfast toasts.  You likely have a broiler, but we don’t, so I use a black iron skillet on the range to toast both sides of the bread in under five minutes.  Use butter if you wish, but only on one side.  Coffee, plus honey, marmalade, or preserves of your choice completes this breakfast.

The bread lasts over a week in the refrigerator, and if it’s not too hot in your kitchen, several days at room temp wrapped in plastic or aluminum.  Then, on your fine bread’s last edible day, create a brioche pain perdu, French for “lost bread”.   You likely have made this fine dish, though maybe not with brioche.  Here is your link for your bread’s last use.

You find it odd that a blog called The English Kitchen should have a fine recipe for Pain Perdu using Brioche as the main ingredient? Hey, it’s a small world these days … the internet and all, don’t you know?

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