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Homemade Brioche Loaf Recipe

Egg yolks.

Image via Wikipedia

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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Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Vegetable Biryani (Indian Spiced Rice)

Cashew nut snack, roasted and salted

Image via Wikipedia

Christmas is around the corner (trust me it’ll creep up on you really fast, so you better have your gifts ready :-D ), and I like to add a little Indian flair to my Christmas Eve dinner. Ok, I’m obviously not Christian, but being born and brought up in Staten Island, I can say I know a thing or two about Christmas festivities and how important it is, religiously speaking. However, I tend to use Christmas as an excuse to indulge in food and gifts- yes, I’m still a child and there is NO shame in that! For some reason squash reminds me of the holidays- maybe because it’s all over the supermarket in ridiculous quantities and they’re pretty cheap! Just look how cheap you can get some Acorn Squashes at Freshdirect averaging around $1.24 for 1! While using this inexpensive vegetable, I decided to put my Indian twist on Stuffed Acorn Squash.
I roast the squash with some masalas, scoop it out and toss it with Spicy Biryani along with cashews and saffron. It has the perfect winter touch with warm flavors of clove, cardamom, cinnamon and spicy masalas- it’s sure to keep you cozy on a cold snowy day! Biryani by the way is a traditional spicy-roasted basmati rice, served in different varieties across India. It comes in Chicken & Lamb Biryani, but we’re not too concerned with that here :-P . Actually, Wikipediahas a pretty good definition of it! Did I mention this dish is Vegan– yes, I know amazing! So why don’t we get started on my Indian inspired Christmas dish?!
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Vegetable Biryani:
  • 4 acorn squashes cut in half, gutted
  • 1/2 cup basmati rice soaked in water
  • 1 cup water
  • 2-3 tbsp garam masala (click for a homemade recipe or store-bought is fine)
  • 1 medium red onion- diced
  • 3-4 small sweet peppers- diced
  • handful cashew nuts– chopped a bit
  • pinch of saffron
  • handful cilantro– finely chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp biryani paste- recipe BELOW (or store-bought)
  • 1 medium onion- cut into thick slices (garnishing)
  • salt to taste
  • coarse black pepper
  • PAM original flavor
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet place the squash halves, spray with PAM and sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp garam masala. Place in the oven and BROIL till tender and charred- about 10-15 minutes.

2. While the squashes are roasting, in a large skillet, spray with PAM and add vegetable oil and set over medium heat. Add the cashews and saute until fragrant and slightly darkened. Add onions and peppers, sprinkle with black pepper and saute until soft, about 5-7 minutes.

Once the onions and peppers are soft, but now brown, add the soaked basmati rice (make sure not to get any water in it!). Saute for 5-7 minutes. You want to toast the the rice.

3. Remove the squash from the oven and cool for a few minutes before handling. Score the squash into small cubes, WITHOUT cutting through the skin. Scoop the cubes out into a bowl and set aside. Keep the shell aside, DON’T throw out!

4. Once the rice is toasted add 1 cup of water, pinch of saffron, cover and cook on medium-low heat, about 15 minutes. You want the rice to be cooked thru, not mushy so don’t mix it around too much! Once the rice is cooked, add the cubed squash, tossing gently (you don’t want the squash to break and mush around the rice). Add the Biryani paste and toss to coat. Mix in 3/4 of the chopped cilantro. Taste for salt and biryani flavor- it should be strong, spicy and aromatic.

5. In a small skillet, spray with PAM and set over medium-high heat. Add onion slices, and saute without breaking up the circles. Cook until brown-ish about 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

6. Fill each squash bowl with rice, just coming over the top. Top each one with an onion round and sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro. Serve with yogurt or raita.

Serves 4

Biryani Paste:

  • 1 medium white onion- diced
  • 1 beefsteak tomato- diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic- crushed and minced (click HERE for amazing garlic tips!)
  • 2 tbsp ginger- freshly grated (need help Tackling Ginger?)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (it should be spicy!)
  • handful chopped cilantro
  • 4-5 hefty tbsp Biryani paste (I use Patak’s Brand)
  • PAM original flavor
  • 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

1. In a medium skillet, spray with pam, add oil and set over medium-high flame. Add onions and tomatoes, saute until golden-brown about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chili powder and cilantro. Saute until vegetables are soft and fragrant about 4-5 minutes. Add the biryani paste and mix well, making sure all the veggies are coated. Remove from the heat and let cool (10-15 minutes).

2. In a grinder/food processor, add the biryani mixture and grind until smooth (slightly chunky is ok). Store in an air tight container. Can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or in the freezer- for a while!

Makes about 1/2-1 cup

Can’t Get Enough Healthy Vegan? Check these out:

Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

Spicy Cumin Potatoes with Green Chili Tofu

Indian Sloppy Joe (Pav Bhaji)

Baked Sweet & Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Idli & Vada (South Indian Delight)

Creamy Maharashtrian Chole

 

 
 

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Rose Infused Red Velvet Cake Pops

Photograph of a slice of a 4-layer red velvet ...

Image via Wikipedia

by chefpriyanka

Growing up I wasn’t a very big fan of Valentine’s Day. I don’t really like red roses and I hate hearts (maybe I’m traumatized by all the heart shaped jewelry that Staten Island girls wore). But, nonetheless I do like to indulge in chocolate and desserts whether or not I have a valentine. There’s no rule that says ‘you can only eat chocolate & strawberries if you have a valentine.’ If you want to make a special dessert for yourself or a loved one then this recipe is perfect for you!

I’ve been seeing ‘Cake Pops’ pop up everywhere! It’s the new fad in the dessert world. If you’re not aware of their existence let me fill you in. It’s moist cake mixed with frosting and enrobed in chocolate. And what’s better than rich Red Velvet cake enrobed in intensely dark chocolate? Well, infusing it with rose and topping with real silver leaf are just a few tweeks and additions that I thought would make it go from great to awesome. The process isn’t hard, it’s just a bit time consuming. But, if you’re looking to indulge and treat yourself or a loved one, then the time and effort are definitely worth it!

Red Velvet Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups + 5 tbsp All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Ghiradelli Bran)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I used Homemade)
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tsp rose water
  • PAM Baking Flavor

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 3 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened (I used Philadelphia Brand)
  • 2 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp rose water/essence

Chocolate Coating:

  • 4-5 bars dark chocolate, melted (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao)
  • silver leaf (optional)- available at Indian Grocery Stores

Process:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a rectangular pan (~9×13) with PAM and line with parchment paper. Spray with PAM and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix and set aside. In a large bowl add the eggs, buttermilk, vinegar, oil, food color and rose water. Using a hand mixer beat on low for 1-2 minutes until blended well. With the mixer on low, add about 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients and blend. Do this continuously until the dry ingredients are blended well with the wet ingredients and is smooth. Do not over beat. Pour into greased pan and bake for 35 minutes. Turn halfway through.

3. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for about 15 minutes. Using the sides of the parchment sheet, lift the cake out and cool for another 15-20 minutes or until completely cool. Using a serrated knife, trim off the hard edges.

4. In a large bowl add cream cheese, butter and rose water. Beat on low speed for 1-2 until creamy and blended. While beating add in 1/2 cup at a time of confectioner’s sugar. Beat until everything is blended and creamy (resembles frosting).

5. In a large bowl crumble the whole cake into small pieces. Mix in the frosting using a spatula until its incorporated well and resembles a thick crumbly dough. Roll into 1-2 inch thick balls. Press together with fingers to make sure that the cake sticks together as a ball, and smooth using the palms of your hands. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 1 hours- till its chilled & hard, not frozen solid.

6. Melt the chocolate in a large bowl. Take about 4 balls out of the freezer at a time and thoroughly coat each ball, dunking them into the bowl of chocolate. Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet to dry. Decorate tops with drizzled chocolate (optional). Once the balls are all dry (few hours or over night) carefully decorate with the silver leaf.

 

Like Chocolate AND Dessert AND Yumminess?

Banana Bread Cake Pops

 

 

Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes

 

 

Mini Apple Tartlets with Chocolate

 

Peppermint Bark

 

 

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