Thursday, April 24, 2014

Baking Brioche and Cheater Bostock

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.

The resulting bread was decided more squat than the lofty brioche loaves pictured in Robertson's book, but it had a beautiful crumb and delicious flavor. I was excited to try it in the recipe on the next page for Bostock, which Robertson explains is simply "twice-baked brioche." It looked easy enough when I scanned the recipe (making a mental note not to trim the crusts as instructed, because discarding even a millimeter of my hard labor would be too painful). But when I began to assemble the ingredients, my heart sank. Not only would I need to make an orange syrup, to be layered underneath marmalade and sliced almonds, but I'd failed to notice the additional ingredient of "Pistachio Frangipane (page 325)." Leaven and polish had been asking a lot, but this was the last straw. Instead, I simply slathered a brioche slice with apricot marmalade, sprinkled on some sliced almonds, and stuck it in the toaster oven. It was scrumptious. And so, below I give you the recipe for Cheater Bostock, made with brioche that you can bake or procure by whatever means possible, because unlimited time is even harder to source than ancient grains.

Cheater Bostock
slices of brioche
orange marmalade or apricot jam
sliced almonds

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.

1 comment:

Elly said...

Oh unlimited time. That sounds like a fantastic luxury. I like how you stopped and made something that fit into your weekend and still tasted delicious. Great plan to do what you can.