2B: Enriched Breads

Enriched breads have higher percentages of fat, sugar, milk, and eggs than lean breads. Lean breads consist of flour, water, salt, and yeast; small amounts of fat, milk, egg, and sugar are optional. The larger amounts of fat, protein, and sugar in enriched dough make the dough handle differently when you’re mixing and kneading it and make it behave differently when it rises and bakes. The extra sugar, counterintuitively, inhibits the activity of the yeast, so the rising time is longer.

Sticky brioche dough

Sticky enriched dough

We didn’t make the little têtes, just loaves.

Loaves of brioche

Loaves of brioche

Enriched dough is sticky and hard to handle. If you’re making individual portions, you squeeze the dough through your hands into the baking forms.

Portioning enriched dough destined to become babas

Portioning enriched dough destined to become babas

These were destined to become little babas. After they had cooled, we soaked them in simple syrup flavored with kirsch.

Baked babas cooling

Soaked babas draining

Then we decorated them with whipped cream and fresh berries.

Decorated babas

Decorated babas

Challah dough is also enriched. This is a little stiffer and can be handled more like traditional bread dough. Classically, challah is braided.

Learning to braid a challah

Learning to braid a challah

It looks very pretty when It’s baked.

A loaf of challah

A loaf of challah

The crumb is yellow from all the eggs and butter.

Challah: the crumb view

Challah: the crumb view

Kugelhopf, which can be spelled almost any way you want, is baked in a special mold. It contains raisins and almonds and is flavored with kirsch.

Kugelhopfs

Kugelhopfs

We turned some of the dough into pains aux raisins. You roll out the dough and spread it with pastry cream.

Spreading the pastry cream over the dough

Spreading the pastry cream over the dough

Then you sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the pastry cream and raisins over that, then you roll up the dough.

Rolling up the dough

Rolling up the dough

You slice the roll of dough into buns and let them rise.

Rising pains aux raisins

Pains aux raisins risen and ready to bake

After they’ve baked, you brush apricot glaze over them.

Glazing the pains aux raisins

Glazing the pains aux raisins

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About linguina

For most of my life I've loved to read and to make stuff. My mother says I taught myself to read when I was 4, and I never looked back. I also liked fooling around in the kitchen, but my mother wasn't really into cooking, so I learned a lot of that on my own, too. My sister and I had the Betty Crocker New Boys and Girls Cookbook (1965), and naturally I had to make the Enchanted Castle Cake. I learned how to bake bread when I was 14, and I bought a copy of the Joy of Cooking when I was 17. My aunt and uncle gave me Mastering the Art of French Cooking for my 19th birthday, and the first thing I made was soufflé. I've always been more of a baker than a cook, though. When our niece used to visit us during her breaks from college, she'd get me to show her some cooking things (including soufflé, of course!), but I kept having to tell her, "This is just how I do it. I have no idea if it's the right way." Finally, I took a basic cooking class, and that changed my life. After that class, I signed up for a 4-day baking class at King Arthur Flour. That's when I knew I was really a baker. Now I'm taking the professional pastry program at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts. With this training, I'll become a pastry chef.
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2 Responses to 2B: Enriched Breads

  1. Annie Wynn says:

    mmmmm, mmmmm, mmmmm! I love baking bread, it’s the one kitchen skill I learned from watching my mother bake bread 2x a week. Later, I learned how to make Challah bread and my piece de resistance, brioche. Someday, I’ll try bagels…

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