Brioche. Sounds like something gourmet that would take hours to prepare, right? And it tastes like it, too. In reality, you can make a loaf of brioche in less than two hours–and most of that is rising time and baking time, during which you can read a magazine.
As far as I know, no one grows grains commercially in Whatcom County. It’s not the ideal climate. However, Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill (Bellingham) uses regional grains from as close to home as possible. They grind organic flour freshly each week, and they make a hard red spring wheat flour especially for use in bread making. The texture, fragrance, and flavor are delightful.
I used half bread flour and half all purpose flour. The results were perfect!
Milk with a few teaspoons of apple cider vinegar makes a simple substitute for buttermilk, and local honey from 4th Corner Farm (Ferndale) gave my brioche a slightly sweet flavor. Only the yeast, salt, and baking powder were non-local.
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
45 min rise, 45 min bake
- Ready In:
1 hour 50 min
- 2 packets of yeast (see Exceptions)
- 1/4 cup of lukewarm water
- 1-1/4 cup milk with 4 tsp apple cider vinegar (Twin Brook Creamery, Lynden, and homemade vinegar)
- 2 medium eggs (neighbor’s roadside egg cooler)
- 3/4 cup of butter, softened (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
- 1/4 cup honey (4th Corner Farm, Ferndale)
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder (see Exceptions)
- 1 tablespoon of salt (see Exceptions)
- 2-1/2 cups bread flour (Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill, Bellingham)
- 2-1/2 cups all purpose flour (Fairhaven Organic Flour Mill, Bellingham)
- 1 tsp butter to grease bread pan (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
- 1 Tbsp butter, melted to brush top of brioche crust (Breckinridge Farm, Everson)
In large mixing bowl, mix the yeast in the lukewarm water.
Add the buttermilk, eggs, butter, honey, baking powder, salt and 2-1/2 cups of bread flour.
Stir vigorously for about 200 strokes, mixing ingredients evenly.
Stir in the remaining flour and continue mixing, using hands as necessary. Knead until smooth.
Shape into a loaf and place in greased bread pan.
Cover and allow to rest until light (about 45 minutes).
Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and brush the top crust with melted butter.
Use to make Savory Stuffed French Toast, or serve sliced with butter and honey.
Terra Organica, Flora and Cornwall, Bellingham
Community Food Co-operative, Westerly and Cordata, Bellingham
Neighbor’s roadside egg cooler