Sunday Brunch! Homemade Bread and Homemade Butter

This was Sunday’s brunch: homemade Brioche bread with homemade butter and some interesting jams we bought when we visited London last November. The bread comes from the cookbook, “Barefoot in Paris” by Ina Garten. I didn’t follow a recipe for the butter, I’ve just seen it done a few time on Food Network, so I thought I could try it at home. It worked!! And the jams are: Tipsy Strawberry with Champagne and Morello Cherry with Vintage Port. I’d love to say we picked up the jams from some specialty foods store off the beaten path, but no… we found them in the Westminster Abbey gift shop. They were very tasty though!

So I’m not going to lie, baking bread from scratch is quite a production and takes a long time, but I enjoyed the process and am glad I did it. Homemade butter on the other hand, couldn’t be easier and takes almost no time. This bread recipe makes 2 loaves. You could either halve the recipe or like me, just make the whole thing and freeze one loaf. Enjoy!
1/2 cup warm water
1 package dried yeast
3 tbs sugar
6 eggs, at room temperature
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg mixed with 1 tbs milk, for egg wash
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix with your hands (ugghhh – I used a spoon!) and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 more cups of flour and mix for another 5 minutes. Still on low speed, add the butter in chunks and mix for 2 minutes, scraping down the beater as needed. With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Switch the paddle attachment to a dough hook attachment and mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Scrape out the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight. The hardest part is done!
The next day, allow the dough to come up to room temperature for one hour. Grease 2 loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a floured cutting board and cut in half. Pat each portion into a 6×8 inch rectangle, then roll up each rectangle into a cylindrical loaf. Place each loaf, seam side up, into a greased pan. Cover the pans with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. When the loaves have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back and it sounds hollow inside when tapped. Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool.
This barely even needs a recipe. Just take some heavy cream, pour it into your food processor, turn it on and leave it going until the cream separates into butter and buttermilk. Stop the processor, and turn it out into a strainer fitted with a cheesecloth over a bowl. Let it drain for about half an hour. Save or discard the buttermilk, your choice. Then you can flavor the butter if you want. I added some fresh cracked black pepper and a sprinkling of fleur de sel. It will probably take several minutes for the food processor to do its job. I watched mine the whole time (out of nervousness, I confess) and it went something like: nothing, nothing, it’s doing nothing but spinning cream around, oh wait, it’s now whipped cream, that’s cool, oh look, now there’s butter!! Cool!!
Here are some more pictures, enjoy!!


About jwall915

I love to cook and I love to travel! This blog explores my love of both. I share recipes and restaurant reviews, and I blog the trips I take.
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