Last weekend, in my continued adventures with baking with a bread starter, I attempted a recipe from Chad Robertson's Tartine Book No. 3 for golden brioche. "This is a very forgiving dough" he promises. But not simple. It calls for three forms of yeast: the starter or leaven, an overnight poolish (a sponge inoculated with a small amount of instant yeast), and some instant yeast added at the time of mixing. It also calls for flour from kamult, an ancient grain that is a relative of durum wheat; I substituted in red fife. Most importantly, it calls for an ingredient almost impossible to procure in our modern world: uninterrupted time. I tried to attend to my dough's various needs for risings, turnings, and shaping, but it was given short shrift to dance lessons, karate birthday parties, and soccer games. By the end of a long day, the dough had not reached its growth milestones, but I needed to stick it in the oven, just as I needed to send over-exhausted and sugar-ramped children to bed despite the unlikelihood of their falling asleep. Bread baking, I decided, is not unlike parenting and one can only do one's best.
Cheater Bostockslices of brioche
orange marmalade or apricot jam
Slather your brioche with orange marmalade or apricot jam, sprinkle with sliced almonds, and toast in a toaster oven until the almonds are golden and fragrant. Enjoy and savor your free time.