Monday, January 26, 2009

Beignets from Brioche Dough

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë François, (who is a fellow Daring Baker), is one of the best books I have ever owned. I have already made several of the breads with great results. The theory behind the book is to make an easy, no knead, no fuss dough. Put it in the fridge and pull it out when you want to bake it with only a 5 minute prep + rising time. And yes, it does only take 5 minutes to have artisan bread.

Brioche is my most recent creation. The recipe in the book makes enough dough for 5 loaves of bread. I made a delicious loaf of this fortified bread and it was splendid. Rich buttery, flaky bread was a given with this easy method.

I divided the dough into 5 portions
I rolled one portion into a rectangle and then cut it into pieces.
this was super easy. I didn't even have to look at the book.
I fried them 3 at a time in my wok.
Then I liberally applied powdered sugar to them.
Voilà Beignets. Just like that!

Get started with this Brioche dough (approx 4 loaves)

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (I used Instant SAF yeast)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
8 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups Yikes 3 sticks of butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
egg wash

1.Mix the yeast (see step two for SAF yeast), salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water in a 5 quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

2. If using SAF instant yeast withhold the yeast in the first step and whisk it into the flour now. Then mix in the remaining ingredients quickly using a sturdy wooden spoon. The dough will be loose,but will firm up when chilled; don't try to work it before chilling. (you may notice lumps in the dough but they will disappear in the finished products.)

3. Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses or flattens on top. Approx 2 hours.

4. The dough can be used as soon as it's chilled after the initial rise. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond 5 days, freeze the dough in 1 pound portions for up to 4 weeks. When using the dough allow it to thaw in the fridge for 24 hours, then allow the usual rest and rise times.

5.Defrost the dough overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. On a baking day, grease a 9x4x3-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball, by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

6. Elongate into an oval and place in the prepared pan. Allow to rest for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

7. Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 F. If you are not using a stone in the oven, 5 minutes is adequate.

8. Using a pastry brush, brush the top crust with egg wash.

9. Place the bread near the center of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a medium golden brown. Due to the fat in the dough, brioche will not for a hard, crackling crust.

10. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

I have two buckets of bread in the refrigerator right now

Bran Enriched White Bread and Boule' bread. Enough for about 10 loaves.

More to come.


Zoe Francois said...

Your beignets are fantastic! Now I need a fix of them myself. ;) Thank you so much for sharing these, I love to see what people are making from the book!

cari said...

Thanks for sharing this. I was just thinking the other day that I need to bake more. This is just the type of recipe that would work for me. Thanks!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm gong to have to get this book. I'd love artisan bread every day!