Monday, June 1, 2009

Brioche, Crackers, and Beer

The above is a photo of one of my mini Brioche loaves that I made this weekend for week 4 (?) of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge. I'm so excited that I've been able to keep up so far, but I can't believe how much flour I'm going through. I haven't spent as much time as I would like following along with other people who are doing the challenge. I'll have to try to spend some time doing that this week. Anyway, for the brioche, it would have been nice to use the classic little brioche tins, but I didn't have any of those. I did have some really cute mini loaf pans that my father had given me a few Christmases ago, so I ended up using those, and they worked out perfectly. I put the egg and the 1/2 cup measuring cup in the photo, so you could get an idea of the size of the loaves. I made four altogether. They came out beautifully. They're the prettiest golden color and taste exactly how I would expect brioche to taste. I sprinkled a bit of sugar on the tops after I brushed on the egg wash because that's how I'd had it in one of my favorite bakeries. It was at least as good which I think is a pretty huge accomplishment. The biggest problem is that they're not Vegan. The recipe calls for 2 sticks of butter and 5 eggs. I just couldn't see substituting that much Earth Balance and Egg Replacer. My new Vegan diet and my new bread-baking hobby were in direct conflict. I compromised and had a slice (okay two) and gave the rest away to some very appreciative coworkers. So now I'm even getting ahead in the book. It'll be nice to have a week or two to spare when I'm feeling lazy. This weekend, I also made the Lavash crackers that are in the picture above. We'd been invited to a party and asked to bring an appetizer. I wanted to bring something homemade and Vegan (in case there wasn't anything else for us to eat - there was actually - a ton of really great food), so I thought I would try these. I bought some Muhammara at a great little local gourmet grocery shop. I'd never had it before, but oh my God, it was sooo good (the muhammara, I mean even though the crackers were good, too.) I'll definitely have to try to make it. We walked to the party with this little basket of homemade crackers and muhammara on my arm. It felt so old-fashioned in a happy kind of way. Finally, I'm giving up beer. I asked my husband rhetorically yesterday, how I could spend months eating Vegan and still not lose any weight. I mean I've given up cookies, M & M's, nachos, etc. It was really just more of a lament that a question that I wanted answered, but he, in such a male kind of way, immediately answered "alcohol". It's not like I'm a lush (I guess that's what they all say), but I do really like to have a beer or two or glass of wine especially while I'm cooking which as you know I've been doing more of lately. So apparently, more cooking = more alcohol. Anyway, I decided my husband has a good point, so since it's the first day of a new month, I'm going to give up alcohol for the whole month of June. We'll see how I do.


  1. Oh wow, You deserve a medal for giving up the alcohol. Your brioche loaf is beautiful. Glad you compromised your morals and tried a few slices!!

  2. Hi Cindy,
    Thanks for your comments. I just checked out your blog - love it!