12.29.2012

Wow! What a year! Soon after the last post on March 25th, wheels were set in motion that basically took up the rest of the year. In late April, I was approached for a job opportunity in Cincinnati, OH.
Most of May was taken up with pursuing the job opportunity and once the interviews were done and I was offered the job -- craziness ensued.
June 2012 will be a month to remember - our best friends' daughter graduated from college (Oregon State) and we were honored to be at her graduation where First Lady Michelle Obama gave the commencement speech. As soon as we were finishing up the graduation, we flew to Nevada as quickly as possible to see our youngest grandson, a panicked call, concern for his life at stake. We spent several days saying goodbye.Thankfully, he was able to be treated for his condition, however it still remains to be seen whether he survives his illness. While we were sadly enduring what we thought might be the end of our grandson's life...another panicked call...my beloved dog Shasta (13) was in dire straits back in Oregon, advanced bladder cancer causing him duress. He was not to survive the week. We went straight from the airport to the Vet to say goodbye.
While all of this was happening, I was asked to make the decision to take the job -- I did.
"How fast could we be in Cincinnati?" they asked. This was June 21 -- we packed our home into a POD, I finished my time at my current job, sad goodbyes to family & friends...and we started driving east on July 12th. Our other dog, Cocoa (also 13) faithfully and diligently powered through with us, in the heat, in the car, in the motel rooms. We arrived in Cincinnati, OH on the 16th of July, during the hottest time of the year, meltingly humid and 100 degrees! A tiny motel room would be our home for the next 31 days until we could find a permanent home.

Fast forward to Dec 29th, we are now settling in to our routine; work, home, fun, exploring and finding that Cincinnati, basically unheard of to me in my life so far, is a pretty cool city. As we explore, I'll do my best to keep you filled in. My strong opinions of food have already found likes & dislikes in "Cincy".

3.25.2012

B is for Brioche

Damn! These are good! 

There are days when I feel like I should make something that takes an inordinate amount of eggs and butter. That is how I felt yesterday, eggy, buttery, decadent and I didn't care how long it took, because it would be worth the wait! I researched several recipes and concocted my own version of this Brioche dough. Be prepared to start the process on these AT LEAST 8 HOURS in advance of when you need them. You cannot rush a rich egg dough such as this. 

I recommend a stand mixer w/ paddle attachment for this recipe, you can make it by hand, but it's that much easier and less messy with the mixer! 

Brioche Rolls 

3 & 3/4 cups AP Flour (King Arthur brand is my favorite)
2 & 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
1/3 cup 2% milk -cool but not cold
6 large eggs
3 tblsp. granulated white sugar 
1 tsp. vinegar (white or cider)
1 & 1/4 tsp. sea salt 
1 & 1/2 cups (3- 4 oz sticks) COLD unsalted butter
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp. of water for egg wash

In the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the flour, yeast, milk, eggs, sugar, and vinegar and mix until well incorporated. It should look like a stiff batter. Leave the bowl attached to the mixer and cover with a clean towel and let rest for 45 minutes. 

After 30 minutes, start to prepare the butter to be added to the dough. Coat a smooth working surface with about 1/4 cup of flour and keep more flour handy as needed. With a heavy rolling pin coated in flour pound the butter sticks flat, fold them over several times and pound flat each time. This will make the butter soft and malleable while keeping it cold. 

After 45 minutes have passed, turn the mixer on and beat the dough mixture for about 30 seconds. Leave the speed on medium and start to add the butter in small pieces, wait a few seconds after each addition for the butter to be absorbed into the dough. Add your salt at this point as well. Continue to mix dough for several seconds after all of the butter has been added to incorporate it well. 

Turn the dough (it will be VERY sticky) into a buttered bowl that is large enough for the dough to expand to at least 1 & 1/2 times its volume. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature (out of drafts) for 1 hour.

Punch dough down with a well floured hand and let rise again for at least 2-3 hours at room temperature. At this point if you have the time, you can put it in the refrigerator for 4-8 hours. 
Note: If you refrigerate the dough - take it out at least 2 hours before forming into rolls so that it may come back to room temperature.

When you are ready to form rolls, Prepare a muffin/cupcake pan with spray butter (such as PAM). You 'll needs two pans - 8 rolls in each pan works well. 

Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a well floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces - if you have a scale weigh out 2.5 oz pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place in a prepared pan. Brush each roll with egg wash. 
Let rise in oven (with just the oven light on) for about one hour or until 1.5 times their original size.

Remove rolls and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
Again, brush each roll lightly with egg wash. This make them super shiny and pretty! 
Bake for 20- 25 minutes rearranging pans as necessary halfway through baking to ensure even browning. 
You can check for doneness by removing a roll from the pan and inserting an instant read thermometer into the bottom, the rolls should be at least 175 degrees F to be done. 

Enjoy immediately with jam or butter - or reheat in foil in a 375 degree F oven for 15 minutes when ready to serve.









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Cincinnati, OH, United States
A dedicated foodie, with a passion for the best food. Favorite food crushes include; Cheese, Wine, Breads, Seafood, anything made with eggs, ...there's actually no point in a list, there isn't much out there I don't have a crush on. Transplanted from the Northeast at age 18, a whole new frontier of food was opened up to me. I have fished for Salmon, hunted for mushrooms, cracked open fresh oysters from the sea and devoured them on the spot. Figs, pears, peaches, so many indigenous jewels! I dedicate this BLOG to the endless variety this region provides. My hope is to live here for a very long time & continue to discover and experience it's unique bounty! Alas, my life has now taken me to Cincinnati, OH where the food culture is like none I have ever experienced.

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