Search
This is Us!

We are here to bring you our life through food. Especially Italian food. You can learn more about us here.

Navigation

Entries in sliders (2)

Friday
Jan062012

Mini Brioche with Honey

If you're not aware by now, I have a small obsession with bread. Baking it AND eating it. They say that man cannot live on bread alone, but maybe a woman can. THIS woman. And buttered bread? Well, that holds a special place in my heart. But how about a bread that has the butter already in there? Baked inside! The effect of this butter inclusion is a fluffy, moist, slightly sweet and oh-so-tender roll. And if it's served warm with just a touch of honey....well don't expect me to stop eating them.

Brioche is this bread that combines butter and flour in this satisfying way. It's excellent for breakfast, but it's also a fantastic roll for sliders....mini brisket sliders, in fact. I discovered this usage a few weeks ago when I helped a friend throw a Hanukkah party. Throw a little bit of brisket accented with horseradish-infused creme fraiche in between the buttery top and bottom of a brioche roll and you will be singing the dradle song with enthusiasm!

I happen to think that brisket is good year round...but I have a lot of wacky ideas on food. That's why you come here, yes? Oh let's hope so.

Anyway! You can make this up to a week in advance and freeze them. You can also double this recipe because it only yields about 8 minis (more if you make them smaller). I got about 20-22 by doubling it. I know that's fuzzy math, but hey, it's the truth.

Let's get going:

What You Need:

2 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting

2 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons hot milk (125 degrees F)

3 large eggs at room temperature

1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into 8 pieces

Butter for greasing the tins

1 egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water (for a nice shiny wash)

What You Do:

In a heavy duty mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine 3/4 cup flour, the yeast, sugar, and salt. (NOTE: I actually used my food processor for this whole thing and it turned out great).

Add the hot milk and beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Gradually beat in the remaining flour. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until the dough is soft but holds its shape, about 2 minutes.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1.5 - 2 hours.

Scatter the butter pieces over the dough. Knead on medium speed for 1 minute. The dough should be very soft and batterlike (almost like a cake mix). Scrape the dough into an oiled, deep bowl. Cover tightly with oiled aluminum foil and refrigerate over night.

Grease 8 mini brioche tins with butter.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and separate it into 8 small, equally-sized balls.

Cut off 1/4 of each of the dough balls for the "top knot" of each mini brioche. Roll the larger portions of each piece of dough into balls and place in the mini molds.

Cut a cross on the top of the dough in the molds with a sharp knife. Push your finger through the middle of the incision to the bottom to make a wider indentation.

Roll the smaller pieces of dough into balls and then pull one end slightly to elongate it into a point (like a tear-drop shape).

Place the pointed end of the top knot into the indentation of the bottom dough ball. Repeat for the 7 remaining molds.

Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 40-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the brioche gently with the egg mixture. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Immediately turn the brioche out onto a rack to cool, and serve them warm With HONEY! And coffee!

Tuesday
Jun072011

Parmesan Pull Apart Rolls

It is Day TWO of Bread Week! Are you excited? You should be.

Today we are focusing on something I consider an indulgence. A delicious treat-accessory for your dinner table: dinner rolls.

Having full-fledged rolls on your table is way different than having sliced bread. While I consider a good baguette, or crusty loaf a staple at the table, I find that it is often used as a vehicle for delivering the remnants of a tasty meal to your mouth. Especially if that meal was pasta.

Don't get me wrong, a pre-meal bread basket can stand alone. But this too is often received while still anticipating the main course.

Rolls are different. Especially these. A buttery-soft, brioche-like roll with a cheesey SNAP provided by parmesan cheese. The golden outer crust is thin and pliable.

These rolls are meant to be savored, with complete disregard for what came before or after. That being said, you could slice them down the center and make sliders with them. I would recommend porchetta. With some pickels. Or you can have them for breakfast, smeared with a little quince paste. It works, trust me.

What You Need:
1 pacakge active dry yeast
1 tsp mild honey or sugar (I used agave syrup)
2/3 cup warm milk (1105-115 degrees F) divided (I used half and half because I ran out of milk)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese (You can use all parm or all manchego, I just decided to mix for fun).
1 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
5 tablespoons unsalted BUTTER! cut into tablespoon sized pieced and softened
1 tablespoon water
Equipment: a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or a food processor. I used my food processor and it all worked out nicely.

What To Do:
Stir together yeast, honey, and 1/3 cup warm milk in the mixer bowl and let it stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Wisk together the flour, cheese and salt and then add to the yeast mixture along with the remaining 1/3 cup warm milk. LOW SPEED. This this has the potential to blow.

Increase speed and beat in 2 of the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat until a very soft dough forms, about 3 minutes. You may need to pause the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Beat in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is elastic, about 2 minutes.

The dough will be very sticky. Don't panic. Scrape this dough into a bowl and dust with the 2 tablespoons of flour. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let it rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

PUNCH down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Cut it into 12 equal pieces, rolling each piece into a bowl. Arrange the rolls 1 inch apart in a buttered 9x12 inch round cake pan and cover with a kitchen towel. Don't use a terry cloth towel. It sticks and becomes a disaster. You don't want to be a disaster do you? I didn't think so.

Let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. The dough will double at the end of this rise.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, with a rack in the middle.

Whisk together the remaining egg and brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash. This will make them shiny! And you DEFINITELY want shiny rolls.

Bake until golden brown (and shiny), about 20-25 minutes.

Loosen the edges of the rolls from the pan with a knife and invert them onto a rack. Turn those little guys right side up and cool for about 20 minutes.

Eat them! Immediately, if you can because that is when they are best. If you can't, you can wrap them up and freeze them for later.

NOTE: This recipe is from Gourmet Magazine, February 2009. Even though the magazine has folded, I have squirreled away my favorite photos and recipes (in that super-fancy binder with plastic sleeves I mentioned here).