Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cooking Paris Part 2: Brioche Bread

It's been a whirlwind of a week.

I've been meaning for the last several days to write a new post, but have been continually sidetracked.  Wednesday was the State of the Union, which I quite enjoyed watching.  Thursday, another teacher friend and I were wrapped up in a crisis of one of our students--this lasted into Friday as well.  Friday evening was a welcome relief, as I had occasion to eat out with a girlfriend at this fabulous little Italian restaurant on Bleeker Street called Bianca.  The setting was cozy, the lasagna divine, and the conversation captivating.  My friend, incidentally, returned home that night and promptly got engaged!  Yay for her, and her lovely man.

The weekend has been at once relaxing and stressful; I've done absolutely zero schoolwork this weekend, but we did have to ready the apartment for our landlord's first open house--he's hoping to sell it, which sadly means that we will be ousted.  This entailed dusting and sweeping, scrubbing the tub (that was all Greg), putting any and all unmentionables out of sight, and making ourselves scarce for several hours today.  This sort of schedule will throw off a person's normal weekend routine of lounging about the house all day long, enjoying several cups of tea and/or hot chocolate, and watching copious amounts of movies.  Somehow I survived, though.

And in the process, I forayed once again barefoot into Paris (a.k.a. slipper-footed into my kitchen), to try out Ina's brioche bread.  This version is for mini rolls, but the basic recipe is the same.  The recipe is super simple, but it's not quick, so you've got to plan out your schedule a bit ahead of time.  I read through the instructions several times, but still managed to overlook several important details.  For one, both the butter and the eggs are meant to be at room temperature before you add them.  Since I removed mine directly from the fridge...they were cold.  The butter I chunked up and warmed over a pot of stew we'd had for dinner.  The eggs were cracked into a bowl and then microwaved ever so slightly.  Seems to have worked out okay.

Made the dough last night, took it out of the fridge at seven this morning, formed the loaves an hour later, let them rise a couple more hours, and baked.  Since then we've had ham and brie sandwiches on brioche, cinnamon toast brioche, and stew a la brioche.  One loaf is half gone, the other is hibernating in the freezer.

People always say that laughter is the best medicine...but I'm not sure it isn't freshly baked bread on a frigid Sunday in January.  With extra cinnamon, of course.


  1. so, when will you know if you have to move? so sad. I know you like your place.

  2. Yum. Looks amazing! How are you, Sarah? Did you know you introduced me to bagels. Blueberry bagels and cream cheese at your house - after school, before church? Good times:)