Friday, February 22, 2008

One sweet dough

Mostly I subscribe to several different food magazines for the writing. Once in a while a recipe comes along that I can't resist and it becomes one of my mainstays. In the March issue of Gourmet, I was inspired by Richard Bertinet's "Breadwinner" sweet dough. The recipe can be found here. You should also check out Gourmet's video demonstration to learn the right technique for this sticky dough.

Out of one sweet dough came two new creations, both inspired by Bertinet's recipes, but unique in their own way. This dough is so versatile, I can see using it in a multitude of ways.

For my Exotic Orange Brioche:

I infused the milk with 2 green cardamom pods, 1 Tbsp. lavender flowers & 1 tsp. thyme. Put all the spices in a tea ball immersed in the milk, and bring the milk to a simmer. Turn off the heat and let the milk cool to 120 - 130 degrees before adding to the dough.

After letting the dough rise for an hour, flatten it out gently and add the zest of one orange and a teaspoon of Grand Marnier. Kneed into the dough using the technique described in the video, until incorporated. Form into a ball and let rise for at least another hour in a brioche pan. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the bread with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse turbinado sugar. Bake for 20 minutes.

Serve warm with creamed honey or a vanilla orange compound butter.

For my Neuvo Cheese Danish:

To make the filling, combine a Tbsp of mustard with 1/4 cup shredded gruyere, 1/4 cup shredded jarlesburg, 1/4 cup shredded fontina and 1/4 cup shredded parmigiano reggiano and 1 packed tsp chopped fresh sage. Cook 6 strips of uncured peppered bacon until it is about 3/4 of the way done, and not yet crispy.

After the dough has risen, roll half of it out into a large rectangle and cut it into 6 squares. Spoon about 3 Tbsp of filling diagonally across each square, and top with a slice of bacon. Fold the two triangular flaps over the filling and seal the edges together with egg wash. Place on a baking sheet, with at least an inch in between them. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse kosher salt, garlic powder and italian herbs. Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Cool on a baking rack.

I always find cheese danish so sweet and cloying, and not very tasty, even though by name they sound like they'd be good. This is probably due in part to my acute dislike for cream cheese. I had some cheese left from valentine's day fondue, and this was a great way to use it up. These are tremendously satisfying for breakfast or a snack. The dough is so slightly sweet that it just subtly offsets the saltiness of the cheese and bacon.

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