"BreadBakersApprentice" news and stories
I love going through my baking books and looking at all the recipes that I'd like to try. I work a lot and have a pretty busy life right now so I'm not baking at home very much, but I can still fantasy bake. Recently, I have been salivating over the recipe for Anadama bread in Peter Reinhart's "The Bread Bakers Apprentice". Next time I actually get time to do some baking, I'm going to make this.
Anadama is a New England tradition. Most people agree that it's name comes from some poor farmer or fisherman who was cursing his wife, Anna. Either his wife left him or only fed him corn gruel and molasses; either way, he mixed the corn gruel and molasses with yeast and flour to make bread while muttering "Anna, damn her" the whole time. According to legend, the name of the bread comes from a gentler version of the curse on Anna.
Have any of you tried Anadama bread? I'm a sucker for anything with molasses in it, but I'd love to hear any of your stories. For those of you who would like to try it, you can find a recipe here.
Brioche is one of the original enriched breads. Enriched meaning that it contains lots of butter and eggs. According to Wikipedia, there was mention of brioche in print as early as the 13th century, though it's believed to be the descendant of a type of Roman bread.
The that quote usually attributed to Marie Antoinette about letting the peasants eat cake, many people think it was actually mistranslated and refers to brioche. She was saying to let the peasants eat brioche. According to Peter Reinhart, in his Bread Bakers Apprentice, there was two versions of brioche during that time in France. One of them was for the rich, which was chock full of butter, and one was for the poor, which had minimal amounts of butter. There were apparently strict rules governing who could buy which version. By saying "let them eat brioche" Marie Antoinette was saying let the poor eat the rich person's version of the bread.
Brioche is an amazingly rich, soft, flaky, delicious bread. It's kind of strange in that it contains so much butter, but it still turns out bread-like. In fact, brioche can have anywhere from 50% to 90% butter (that would be half as much butter as flour to almost as much butter as flour by weight). The most traditional and recognizable form of brioche is the brioche à tête (pictured above), but you can shape it any way you want.
Brioche makes a great brunch bread just because it's so buttery and tasty. I recently found a great formula for strawberry almond brioche from Cyril Hitz, a very well known baker. You can check out my version after the jump.
Apricot brioche(click thumbnails to view gallery)
Filed under: Ingredients
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