FFWD – Brioche and Nutella Tartine

Brioche dough, braided and ready for its final rise.

A month ago, the rest of the French Fridays gang presented their posts on Dorie’s brioche recipe. I missed out on that, but this week’s recipe turned out to be the perfect excuse to catch up. I chose to use Dorie’s bonne idée for this recipe, rather than making the bubble-top rolls. A loaf works much better for tartines, after all. I also wanted to make braided loaves, just because I think they look so lovely.

Brushing the loaves with egg wash, before sliding them into the oven.

Brioche is one of those breads that intimidate home bakers, me included. But, with the help of a sturdy stand mixer, all things are possible. When it comes to bread, anyway. The only other obstacle to brioche success is my penchant for doing things at the last minute. I’m usually one of the last to post my link on the French Fridays site and it’s not just because I’m on the west coast. This time I forced myself to plan ahead.

Making brioche, aside from the worries about overheating the stand mixer during the ten-minute kneading process, is pleasantly slow. Once the dough’s first rise is done, it’s put into the refrigerator and deflated at intervals until the yeast gives up. After an overnight rest, it’s shaped and then left at room temperature to warm enough for the yeast to become active again. After that final rise, into the oven it goes.

Baked, cooled, and ready to eat.

What you get for your patience is a light, eggy, buttery loaf, with a rich yeastiness that’s a result of holding back the dough’s rise for so long. It’s just made for tartines (and French toast, too).

Slices of brioche, brushed with melted butter, ready to slide into the oven.

A tartine is an open-faced sandwich, usually with a decadent topping. I think this Nutella tartine qualifies. The slices of bread are brushed with melted butter, then toasted under the broiler. Mine got a little too toasted around the edges, but not enough to affect the taste.

Melting the Nutella.

This tartine starts with a layer of bitter orange marmalade, then streaks of warmed, softened Nutella are added on top. It’s finished with chopped hazelnuts (which I skipped) and some sea salt.

Marmalade-d, Nutella-d, and salted.

Apparently, a slice of bread with Nutella is a traditional after-school snack in France. With Dorie’s additions, I’m sure many parents might be tempted to keep these tartines all to themselves.

On the plate, just about to disappear.

You can find many other blogged descriptions of these recipes here: Bubble-Top Brioche Rolls and Nutella Tartine

Baking Bread and Watching Birds

Birds at the feeder.

I’m out in the Valley today, baking bread at my parents’ place, which gives me a great view of the birds making short work of the seed in the back porch bird feeder. My mother tells me that it takes them about two-and-a-half days to work their way through a full container. That should slow, now that the weather (dare I say it?) is turning toward spring.

Stll more birds, feeding.

I’ve started participating in another group project, but I’m reserving Tuesdays for my community posts on this blog, so I’m taking my Tuesdays with Dorie posts over here. It’s going to be a bit different, more collaborative, and a little more focused on the kitchen.

Thanks so much to Elaine for sending me the copy of Baking With Julia! I think my friends and family will be thanking her, too. I see a lot of baked goods in my future.

A bird at the feeder.