Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Buttery French brioche loaf bread

A super soft and fluffy brioche loaf bread that can be sliced (perfect for French toast!) or pulled apart and eaten as individual dinner rolls. This is a great addition to any meal!

The end of 2016 brought many highs and lows for us. For highs, we got to see my nephew, who turned 7 months old on the last day of 2016. He was a cute bundle of joy and so much fun to play with. I also got to spend time with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and ate tons of great food with them. Addie was well behaved and kept us smiling through the end of the year.

One of the low points was hearing about Addie's 1st grade teacher and the health problems her husband has been facing. He suffered a heart attack earlier in December so she took time off to take care of him. His doctors recommended getting a bypass, so they scheduled it. We knew that our teacher would be off the first 2 weeks of January to be by her husband's side.

The room mom organized a meal train for our teacher. I quickly signed up for the first available slot. We made blueberry lemon muffins (adapted from this bread), soup, cinnamon apple pie, a lemon loaf and this brioche. I dropped it off one evening for the room mom to deliver on our behalf.

Naturally, I asked her how the teacher and her husband were doing. Addie was with me at the door when we were chatting. "Do you want me to say it in front of her?" she asked. I knew this was bad news. She tried to maintain composure as she said that the husband had some complications during the bypass surgery and was on an artificial heart. He would remain in the ICU indefinitely and would be placed on the transplant list. We wouldn't know when our teacher would return to school and would receive an email update from the principal soon.

My heart sank. It makes me sad that our child's teacher has to deal with such a scary and horrible situation. I know that her husband is in good hands, but it's still terrifying to know that he will remain in the hospital. I continue to hope that he is able to receive the transplant he needs so that he can return home and life can be back to normal again. I'll try to remain positive and hopeful for him, our teacher, and all others around the world who are in the same situation. Your collective thoughts and positive vibes would be greatly appreciated.

Buttery French brioche loaf bread
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup milk, room temperature
  • 14 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, slightly softened
  • 1 egg + 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
Directions
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.  Add in the eggs and milk and mix on medium speed until a dough comes together.

Add the butter, one Tablespoon at a time, and mix for about another 8 minutes. The dough should be tacky but not sticky and should not stick to the sides. If it's too sticky, add more flour, about 1/4 cup at a time.

Stop the mixer and transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough and form it into a ball (put the seam side down). Place it back into the mixing bowl, cover and allow it to rise for an hour.

Deflate the dough by punching it down, cover and allow to rise for another hour. Alternatively, you can cover and place in the refrigerator overnight if you are not planning on baking the bread on the same day.

Once the dough has risen again, divide it into 16 equal parts. Generously grease two standard 9"x5" loaf pans. Place 8 dough balls (into 4 rows of 2) in each pan. Allow the dough to rise once more for another hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine the egg and water and gently brush over the tops of each loaf. Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the tops turn golden brown and the bread starts pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Bread should be covered and kept at room temperature and will keep for several days.

Yield: Two 9"x5" loaves

Source: A Cookie Named Desire

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