Spring Flowers and Bees

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Making Brioche Filled with Memories

What comes into my mind everytime I hear, see, or eat a brioche? Guess..

The memories of my late maternal grandmother :) I remember vividly how she liked this buttery, rich and silky smooth bread. Everytime we went together the largest shopping mall and condominium complex in Jakarta, called Mall Taman Anggrek (read: Orchid Garden Mall), she would request to pay a visit to this French café , Gloria Jeans.
Brioches sold in this place are a little different from the common brioches, they are filled with different sorts of fillings. From savoury ham and cheese to sweet chocolate. As far as I can remember, these brioche à tête are rather hollow on the centre, making it a suitable well for the filling.

This story dated more than a couple years back and I have never eaten or even seen brioche since then. Not until I came across a brioche recipe in Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Baker's Apprentice". Seeing the pictures brings my memories way way back. Even though it has been a while since she passed away and brioche was not her only favorite food, memories that flashed after seeing an image of brioche flowed unstopably. She was a warm and full of laughter. She wouldn't complain at all if we run around in the house or tease her all the time. She also made the best foods in the world! Her beefsteak and creamy mushroom soup are the two dishes I will never forget.

For a more thorough information on Brioche, I recommend you to drop by Bea's Kitchen Blog at La Tartine Gourmande. I enjoyed reading her venture on making and enjoying brioche.

Brioche Shaped Dough
Brioche dough proofing on brioche molds

A little bit about the brioche that made. At the beginning I wanted all to be
brioche à tête, which is the French for brioche with head. There were two methods in Peter's book and I tried both of them. Unfortunately, I didn't quite get the end result with distinctive head that I wanted. None of the methods suggested that I put a smaller separate dough on top of the bigger dough. Instead, the first method was to divide the rounded dough with the side of my palm until they're almost cut into two. The second one suggested that the dough be rolled with bigger end on one side. Make a hole on the bigger side, then slip trough the rest of the long dough. The second meothed worked better though. Next time I should put a separate head and fill the dough with cheese or chocolate.

Overall, I'm really satisfied with my first brioche :) My hands are blobbered in butter while eating it. As you can see in the picture, the crumb is soft and resembling cotton candy. On some brioches, I noticed the crumb with long strands that reminds me of Pandoro.

Cottony Brioche

Due to the long laborious typing of the recipe, I am not going to post it. However, if anyone is interested to try this recipe, please e-mail me at ccayadi/at/rogers/dot/com :) I will try my best to crop the recipe without decreasing its quality.


Anonymous zzaeons said...

creammy and tastty =)

10:40 PM  
Anonymous Ivonne said...


You can't see me but I'm standing and clapping!


Your brioche looks just lovely ... and I bet the kitchen smelled amazing while you were baking it.

I've never made brioche ... can I ask where you got your molds from???

10:58 PM  
Blogger strawberry said...


you made me blush =^^=

This was my first brioche too. And the kitchen did smell wonderful as they're baking in the oven.

Guess what? I got the molds from the very place at St. Lawrence Market that you recommeneded! It's called "Placewares".

If you need the recipe please tell me. Otherwise, you can follow Bea's recipe at the link that I posted.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous lo storico said...

Finally, I have time to post a message here (too much time spent lazying around...) :)
Looks really delicious cuz! Can you send one on an express mail to Seattle? Actually make it a dozen of them... :P

3:25 AM  
Blogger gattina said...

I enjoy reading your story!
Too bad I don't have a heavy duty mixer... hope I can try making brioche sometimes in the futer.

10:01 AM  
Blogger strawberry said...

My dearest cousin,
Thank you!!

Hi Gattina,
Thanks again for stopping by. You can actually make brioche without using any mixer. I made them all pure by hand, no electronic tools at all, except for the oven. However, it's very messy I admit. Do you want me to give you the recipe?

4:26 PM  
Blogger gattina said...

oh I'd love to have the recipe :D But please prepare your exame first huh... there's no hurry in my side.
I read a book (should be baking with Julia) where says brioche can't be accomplished easily by hand-kneading, that's why I never try. You surely did a wonderful job!
To answer your question in your mail... I used to live in Tsim Sha Tsui and Mongkok. Not a pretty place, but very convenient.

5:57 AM  
Blogger narita said...

it looks yummy, as usual.
i love how you craft each blog entry so beautifully too ... you put so much care into this whole cooking/blogging hobby of yours, its so exciting to see what you'll create next. not that im actually going to even attempt making anything myself. i can't cook. i'll just stand back and admire your work =)

i liked the story of your grand mother too. grandmothers are awesome like that. letting you run around and have fun. =) ohh grandmothers =)

12:37 AM  

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