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Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu with Some Exotic Flavors

A slice of homemade Thanksgiving pumpkin pie s...

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Thanksgiving, historically and traditionally, is about giving thanks to friends, family (and back in the day God) for everything that we have. There is nothing in there that says- to display your thankfulness eat a turkey. Therefore, the concept of Thanksgiving is not about the bird, it’s about being thankful for what you have and giving back to people. What’s the best way to express that than saving a birds life and making your Thanksgiving vegetarian (or vegan)?! After hearing my menu, you won’t even realize that the turkey is missing, cause the selections are just that good! Take a look at what I’m making (full recipes & pictures coming Friday!):

My Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu-

  1. Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary, Chili & Chives (can be made Vegan)
  2. Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries (Vegan)
  3. Herbed Brioche Stuffing with Walnut & Figs (and I’m baking a fresh loaf of Brioche!)
  4. Individual Acorn Squashes stuffed with Indian Biryani & Caramelized Onions (for those picky eaters AKA my Daddy) (Vegan)
  5. Homemade Dulce de Leche Ice Cream- drizzled with Fresh, thick Caramel
  6. Poached Pears with Brandy & Cranberries (Vegan)
  7. Pecan Pie
  8. Pumpkin Pie

I can’t WAIT to get started! It’s going to be a yummy and healthy Thanksgiving! So put your bib on, cause there’s going to be a lot of eating goin’ on! Oh, also notice that half of my menu items are vegan/can be made vegan! YUM :)

 

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Chef Priyanka

 

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Homemade Brioche Loaf Recipe

Egg yolks.

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I don’t think I’ve ever actually made homemade bread..well actually my parents used to way back in the day when we bought this toaster oven that was also a bread maker (yes, very clever invention). Other than that I usually buy my bread from a bakery or regular supermarket- I’m a little too lazy to sit there kneading dough and all that. But I was in DESPERATE need for a loaf of Brioche for my Herbed Fig & Walnut Brioche Stuffing, but apparently all the Italians on Staten Island (nor the Panera) don’t make Brioche!! I searched in multiple supermarkets, called various bakeries and stalked the Panera website to see if they have a loaf similar to brioche. But everything was either too complicated and fruity or it simply wasn’t available!

My mother was trying to persuade me to make another kind of stuffing, but I was too set on making this yummy Brioche stuffing to give up on my main ingredient! Then I decided, wait I cook, I bake, why don’t I just MAKE a loaf of Brioche? To my surprise, the recipe is SUPER simple, and literally contains ingredients that are staples in a household. Butter, milk, sugar and eggs (I had to buy the yeast, but no biggy!). It’s simple and really delicious- so good that I was tempted to eat it right then and there instead of making my stuffing with it! So, here we go!

Simple Brioche Recipe:

  • 1 2/3 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tbsp wet yeast, crumbled (or dry-bakers yeast is fine) I used wet because that’s all my deli had!
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp cut into pieces (yes, this obviously is not one of my healthy recipes)
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 1/3 cup warm milk (I used Skim Plus)
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg yolk with a dash of sugar (for the glaze)
  • PAM baking flavor

Tempted yet?

No fancy tools here- I used my hands!! You can use a mixer attached with a dough hook. You DO need a loaf pan though.

1. In a large bowl add flour and yeast and mix well. Create a hole in the middle of the flour mixture.

2. Slowly dribble the warm milk into the middle, while mixing the dough in with your finger tips. It’ll form into rough dough pieces.

3. Add the salt and sugar and combine well. Add the soft butter piece by piece, mixing well after each addition with your fingers. At this point I started to knead the dough to make sure each piece of butter was incorporated well.

4. Once all the butter is incorporated, add each egg ONE AT A TIME, and knead into dough. Mix well before the 2nd egg, making sure all the white and yolk and combined into the dough. Dough will be very sticky and wet. Knead and mix until the dough becomes and elastic and pulls away from your fingers and bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic and set in a warm place to rise. I put mine in the oven (it was off obviously), so no drafts hit it.

After 2 hours..

5. By now it should have doubled in size. Mix and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Rip into 4 even sized balls. Spray loaf pan with PAM and place the 4 balls in a row. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise again.

After 1 hour..

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

7. In a small bowl mix together yolk and sugar. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops on the rolls. Using a scissor, cut small vents on top of each roll.

8. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Turn the temperature down to 350 and bake for another 20-30 minutes until top is golden brown and shiny and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (I baked mine for 25 minutes). Remove and cool before slicing/serving.

Makes 1 standard size loaf

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Baking, Chef Priyanka

 

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Herbed Brioche Stuffing with Fig & Walnut

A mixture of black peppercorns from the Malaba...

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An awesome vegetarian side dish that’s great for the cold weather season. Warm and hearty, this stuffing is filled with my homemade Brioche, dried figs and crunchy walnut. I add some sweet, I add some spice, and you’ve got yourself a great side dish. The leftover can be turned into stuffing muffins, or just reheated and eaten as is.

Herbed Brioche Stuffing with Fig & Walnut:

  • brioche loaf- cubed and dried (overnight preferably)
  • 1 fuji apple- diced
  • 1 white onion- diced
  • 6-7 dried figs- diced
  • 23 cup glazed walnuts (RECIPE BELOW)
  • 1 tbsp sage- fresh chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme- fresh chopped
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • 1-2 tbsp red crushed pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
  • clove powder- small pinch
  • 1/8 tsp (or less) nutmeg- freshly grated
  • 1/8 tsp (or less) ginger powder
  • PAM Butter Flavor
  • fresh chives- chopped for garnishing

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

1. In a large skillet over medium-low heat spray with pam, add onion and apple. Saute until onions are translucent and apples are slightly soft. Add herbs, red crushed pepper and spices.

Cook for another few minutes until fragrant and soft. Add walnuts, dried figs, dried brioche, salt and pepper. Combine over low heat making sure to coat every piece. Pour into a large rectangular oven-proof dish.

2. Add the vegetable stock and mix until stuffing is moistened and sticking together. Add a few more fresh chopped herbs and taste for salt and pepper. Spread evenly in dish and cover with foil.

3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until stuffing is cooked and browned. I removed the foil for the last 5-8 minutes, so the top would brown and get crispy.

4. Serve as a side dish to your favorite meal!

Homemade Glazed Walnuts:

  • 2/3 cup walnuts
  • PAM Butter Flavor
  • 1 tsp unsalted butter (optional)

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, spray with PAM and add butter. Add walnuts and toss. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until soft and heated through. You don’t want them to burn. Just want them coated and toasted. Remove from the heat and cool before adding to the stuffing.

Want More Yummy Vegetarian Side Dishes?

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary, Chili & Chives

Baked Sweet n’Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Mediterranean Hush Puppies with Feta & Olives

Italian Broccoli with Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Glaze

 
 

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Chocolate Cupbread Recipe

White chocolate is marketed by confectioners a...

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So while everyone needs no introduction to the universally celebrated cupcakes, i shall present cupbreads!

Here in Indonesia, these breads are known as “bloeder”, or sometimes spelt as “bluder”. And I am guessing, from its name, it is probably western influenced. These breads are very much like French Brioche, without small head of a dough on top of it.

Similar to the brioche, the bloeders is very high in both butter and egg content, they are indeed very rich and tender crumbed. I don’t even think you need to chew on these. Besides butter and egg, these bread are also very high in sugar content, which makes it pleasantly sweet tasting even when eaten on its own. But having said that, still, i have decided to fill them up with a generous chunk of milk chocolate. Because really, since i am already eating something sinfully delicious, why not go all the way? LOL

The proofing time for this bread takes a wee bit longer than usual. I suspect it might be because of all that butter and sugar, which might dampen the yeast activities. The total proofing time for this bread was about three hours, and in my tropical weather, that’s considered very, very long.

The dough for these bloeders are also quite different from the dough i am used to. Being high in butter content, these breads are very slimy. My hands kept sliding off the dough as i tried to knead it. Sealing the chocolate chunks within the dough was also not easy with the grease coating all over the dough.

As for the texture of the final product, these breads are so fluffy that you tear a huge chunk off these bread, thinking you will get full after a few mouthful, but in reality, being voluminous looking because of air, these bites just dissolve into nothingness.And you risk looking like a glutton when u reach for your second piece.

I also think i might have overbaked this dough as it turned out quite dry and crusty at the sides, and i must definitely keep closer watch over these next time!

Chocolate Filled Cup Breads

Recipe from an Indonesian cookbook “Roti sisir & Roti Sobek” by Lanny Soechan

15 egg yolks

250 gr granulated sugar

1 kg bread flour

20 gr instant yeast

50 gr milk powder

300 ml fresh milk

250 gr butter

1 tbs salt

some chocolate chunks

some evaporated milk

some chocolate chips

1. Beat egg yolks and sugar till it thickens and turns pale yellow

2. Combine flour, yeast, and milk powder. Add in the egg yolk mixture gradually and stir till well combined.

3. Add in the fresh milk, salt, and butter. Knead till elastic

4. Leave to proof till double in size

5. Punch down dough, cut and weigh each dough to be about 60 gr. Wrap the chocolate chunks within each dough and drop them into papercups. Let it proof a second time till double in size.

6. Brush the surfaces with evaporated milk and sprinkle some chocolate chips.

7. Bake at 160 degree celcius till the surfaces turn a nice golden brown.

 

Source: http://crustabakes.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/chocolate-cupbread/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Bread, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

 

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