Julia's Guardian Angel Fund

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Homer Simpson would be proud!

It's bitterly cold here in Minnesota. My husband left for work this morning in -21 below zero weather. Thankfully there is not much of a wind. God bless "Warm Hands" hand warmers. He grabbed a pack on the way out the door with breakfast.

What was for breakfast you might ask? Doughnuts, made fresh from Brioche dough. OMG. I tell you. I've been told because of some of the "risk factors" of my pregnancy I am only supposed to gain 30 lbs. This is so not fair for two reasons. 1) I usually gain 40-60 lbs 2) She told me at my 20 week appointment when I had already gained 18 lbs! Not fair, not fair, not fair. Okay - I'm done having a little fit. I did have a couple of doughnuts. I can not eat doughnuts unless the are warm and right out of the cooker. It has to do with being hypnotized to loose weight back in 1994. I will spare you the image that comes to mind eating a cold doughnut. But, warm was a totally different story.

Back to the recipe. Remember the pictures yesterday? One was of my brioche dough. Literally all I had to do was get up, pour the oil in the pan and insert the thermometer. Turn on the oil and roll out the dough. My shapes were not very good because I do not own a round biscuit cutter. I have a scalloped shape round cutter in two sizes, so that is what I used. The dough sat on the pan for 15-20 minutes and then went into the 360 degree oil for just a few minutes. Then, after draining on paper towel for a minute, I rolled them in sugar. Just a note - you really need to flour everything well as this is an ooey, gooey dough.

Brioche dough (makes about 4 loaves)

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

8 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup honey (this is my all time favorite!)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.

The dough can be used as soon as it is chilled. This dough is way too sticky to use after the initial rise, but once it is chilled it is very easy to handle. The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that you can freeze the dough.

Little Princess is not awake yet, so the plate full in the picture is for her. Sleeping Beauty was not that lucky! My Testy Tiger helped me cut out the doughnuts, proving that even a 3 year old can do this. Tinkerdoodle (the almost 2 year old) moseyed a stool close to the counter and ate, and ate and ate. Maybe I finally found something to put some meat on his bones (or fat?) Little Man and Little Woman have eaten their share and there are still a few left that will be gone before 9:30, I'm sure.

Report on the whole wheat bread - I baked the bread at 450 degrees in a stone bread pan. I made the mistake of putting the bread pan on a heated baking stone. Unfortunately, the bottom of the bread did not cook as quickly as the top. It was rather dark on top, but light on the bottom. However, the reports form the food critics was that it was delicious. I'm making baguettes out of it tonight for a friend who was kind enough to offer ice cream buckets. We'll see if they are photogenic enough to include here. The pan of bread was not (and it's mostly gone anyway).

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