12.14.2011

Twelve Days of Brownies & Breads - On the Twelfth Day...

Looks pretty good
Vanilla Bean Brioche with Vanilla-Honey Butter – now here’s a decadent treat. I’ve never made Brioche, but if I can make Popover Rolls I’m ready to try Brioche.

Once again, it’s a Paula Deen so it has to be good.

And as the process progressed, the dough never looked exactly like I thought it should – but what do I know, I’ve never made Brioche. The baking smelled delicious with all that vanilla (by the way, I used vanilla paste instead of vanilla bean). And there was so much butter in it that by the time I got to the “tent and rotate” part, I was sure I needed to drain some of the butter the loaf was swimming in but I refrained.

You can see it didn't rise in the pan
The loaf came out REALLY NOT looking like the photo, but it still smelled good. It was flaky on the outside from all the butter, and plenty dense! The flavor was good, and even better with a dab of vanilla honey butter. HH was a bit skeptical, and doesn’t like all the hard crust around the edges, but with a bit of butter he smiled and sampled. Although I think I’ll be finishing off the loaf myself.

The final verdict – good tasting, substantial bread, but too bad the active yeast didn’t seem to activate. Next time perhaps I need HYPER-active yeast!

Vanilla Bean Brioche with Vanilla-Honey Butter
(Featured in Cooking with Paula Deen, May/June 2011)

3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and divided
½ cup milk
1 (1/4 oz) package active dry yeast
3 eggs, divided
3 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flower, divided
2 tbsp sugar
½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened and divided
1 tbsp milk or water
2 tbsp honey

Scrape seeds from 2 vanilla beans into milk, heat to 110º. Add yeast; let stand 5 minutes or until foamy. Lightly beat 2 eggs; stir into milk mixture.

In the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer, stir together 3 ½ cups flour, sugar, and salt. Using the dough hook attachment, gradually add yeast mixture, beating at medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic (about 5 minutes.)

Cut 1 cup butter into small pieces; gradually add to dough, 1 tbsp at a time, beating until combined after each addition (dough will be quite sticky). If needed, gradually add just enough remaining flour to make smooth, sticky dough.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to grease top; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

Divide dough into 6 equal portions, and form each into a 4 ½” cylinder. Arrange dough pieces crosswise in a 9” x 5” load pan; cover and let rise 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375º. Whisk together remaining egg and 1 tbsp milk or water. Lightly brush over dough.

Bake bread for 25 minutes. Tent bread loosely with aluminum foil, and rotate in oven. Bake for an additional 35 – 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

In a medium bowl, combine honey and remaining ½ cup butter. Scrape seeds from remaining vanilla bean into butter mixture. Beat at medium speed with a mixer until well combined and fluffy. Serve with brioche.

Enjoy!

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