At both Christmas and Easter, I typically make a recipe of Challah bread. This year, I wanted to try my hand at its sweet and buttery sister: Brioche. Brioche is rich, soft, and has enough chew not to be called a cake. When trying my hand at this special recipe I looked no further than the tried (very tried) and true – Baking Illustrated: A Best Recipe Classic. The people at Cook’s Illustrated published this gem of a collection of recipes in 2004. Interesting enough to read on its own, the book shares the history behind classic recipes. Even better, the folks at Cook’s Illustrated are known for the way they test recipes with a multitude of combinations and possibilities. Down to the tablespoon, this Brioche recipe has been perfected.
For my first go, I feel quite accomplished! The loaf is just dense enough, just sweet enough, just buttery enough…. Goldilocks would enjoy it!
If you are into baking, I highly recommend this cookbook. The details of the recipe are not complicated, but I chose to photograph the pages from the book, so you could read the interesting story that introduces this delectable bread. I tried it about 30 minutes after it was out of the oven, and again this morning, with my tea. I gave it a slight slather of cold, salted butter and this lovingly complemented its subtle sweetness. For lunch, I used it to make French toast and it was one of the best pieces of French toast to have come from my kitchen! (Sorry, no photos… I was too hungry!)
May I present: Brioche à la Cook’s Illustrated