MY FIRST WEEK: TUESDAYS WITH DORIE
This is my first week baking with Tuesdays With Dorie! All the baking club members had to make Brioche Raisin Snails from Baking: From My Home To Yours. They're all posting them to their own blogs even as I write this. So, if you want to see how everyone else's Brioche Snails turned out, go over to Tuesdays With Dorie and click on a few names on the Blogroll.
If you missed my complete article on Suite101 here it is: Baking: From My Home To Yours
It was an insane week. I've been in my glory with a Kitchen Aid mixer and a real oven for a change. It's going to be real hard moving back onto the boat with my little oven and hand-held mixer. But it's truly amazing what I can produce out of such a small galley. I shock myself sometimes! But then again, I always do things in a BIG way!
BRIOCHE RAISIN SNAILS
It looks like a really long recipe, but it's just because Dorie explains things so well. There are three components to this recipe. Brioche, Pastry Cream and then assembling the snails. The hardest part is the waiting and waiting and waiting for the dough to rise. All in all, it probably took 3 hours of labor and 1 day of waiting and chilling! I'm sure it would get faster if I made them again.
I started on Friday afternoon making the Brioche Dough and Pastry Cream. I made the whole batch (24) even though it’s just the two of us! The dough went together nicely, although I did have to add an extra 1/3 cup flour at the end to get the dough to come away from the sides of the bowl. I had to hold the mixer back from dancing across the counter. 3 sticks of butter! Is that right? I added it all anyway. Boy, did it take a long time to rise!
Flaming with a butane wand went fine without burning anything. Other members were worried about burning their kitchens down, but I’ve flamed lots of things in my day so it wasn’t a big deal for me. I had trouble getting good pictures of the flames though. The rum definitely made those raisins scream!
And then we went to bed, dreaming of nice warm buns.....zzzzzzzzz
On Saturday I took the dough out of the fridge and it was rock hard. Uh oh! No worries, the dough rolled out like a dream, kind of like danish dough. Maybe because of all that butter? It took a longer bake time than the recipe said, but my oven may be off a little. The snails could have used a bit more cinnamon sugar inside. I used the rest of the rum from the drained raisins for my icing.
KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF MY BUNS!
The only problem I had with my buns, was that John couldn’t keep his hands off them! He already had four hot buns right out of the oven by the time I turned around. I finally had to put an invisible "BACK AWAY FROM MY BUNS" sign on them! I know Dorie said don't freeze the finished buns, but I did anyway. We'll see how they thaw out!
Note to self:
Print out the recipe before hand. It was a pain to go back and forth to an open book.
The buns needed more cinnamon sugar inside. We like it a little sweeter.
Use almond extract in the Pastry Cream.
I would use something other than raisins next time. Maybe currants, craisins or dried cherries perhaps?
BRIOCHE RAISIN SNAILS
1 cup moist, plump raisins
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Scant 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 recipe for Golden Brioche Loaves(see below), chilled and ready to shape (make the full recipe and cut the dough in half after refrigerating overnight)
1/2 recipe Pastry Cream (see below)
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
About 1 teaspoon water
Drop of pure vanilla extract
Line one large or two smaller baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
Put the raisins in a small saucepan, cover them with hot water and let them steep for about 4 minutes, until they are plumped. Drain the raisins, return them to the saucepan and, stirring constantly, warm them over low heat. When the raisins are very hot, pull the pan from the heat and pour over the rum. Standing back, ignite the rum. Stir until the flames go out, then cover and set aside. (The raisins and rum can be kept in a covered jar for up to 1 day.)
Spread the pastry cream across the dough, leaving 1-inch strip bare on the side farthest from you. Scatter the raisins over the pastry cream and sprinkle the raisins and cream with the cinnamon sugar. Starting with the side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder, keeping the roll as tight as you can. (At this point, you can wrap the dough airtight and freeze it up to 2 months; see Storing for further instructions. Or, if you do not want to make the full recipe, use as much of the dough as you'd like and freeze the remainder.)
With a chef's knife, using a gentle sawing motion, trim just a tiny bit from the ends if they're
ragged or not well filled, then cut the log into rounds a scant 1 inch thick. Put the snails on the lined baking sheet(s), leaving some puff space between them.
Lightly cover the snails with wax paper and set the baking sheet(s) in a warm place until the snails have doubles in volume--they'll be puffy and soft--about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Getting Ready To Bake:
When the snails have almost fully risen, preheat the oven: depending on the number of baking sheets you have, either center a rack in the oven or position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the wax paper, and bake the snails for about 25 minutes (rotate the sheets if you're using two, from top to bottom and front to back after 15 minutes), or until they are puffed and richly browned. Using a metal spatula, transfer the snails onto a cooling rack.
If You Want To Glaze The Snails:
Put a piece of wax paper under the rack of warm rolls to act as a drip catcher. Put the confectioners' sugar into a small bowl, and stir in a teaspoon of water.
Keep adding water drop by drop until you have an icing that falls from the tip of a spoon. Add the vanilla extract, then drizzle the icing over the hot snails.
Golden Brioche Loaves
2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 3/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, still slightly firm
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
To Make The Brioche:
Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can-- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour.
Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.
Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room. Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.
The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans. Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)
Getting Ready To Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To Make the Glaze:
Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.
Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes.
Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.
2 cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits at room temperature
Making The Pastry Cream:
Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan.
Meanwhile, in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan, whisk the egg yolks together with the sugar and cornstarch until thick and well blended. Still whisking, drizzle in about 1/4 cup of the hot milk-- this will temper, or warm, the yolks so they won't curdle.
Whisking all the while, slowly pour in the remainder of the milk. Put the pan over medium heat and, whisking vigorously, constantly and thoroughly (making sure to get the edges of the pot), bring the mixture to a boil. Keep at a boil, still whisking, for 1 to 2 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat.
Whisk in the vanilla extract. Let sit for 5 minutes, then whisk in the bits of butter, stirring until they are full incorporated and the pastry cream is smooth and silky. Scrape the cream into a bowl.
You can press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the cream to create an airtight seal and refrigerate the pastry cream until cold or, if you want to cool it quickly--as I always do--put the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and cold water, and stir the pastry cream occasionally until it is thoroughly chilled, about 20 minutes.