Saturday, 14 November 2009

Pumpkin Pie Brioche: HBinFive


An enthusiastic group of bakers has joined with Michelle of BigBlackDogs to bake all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book.

Well, of course The Bread Experience is joining in the fun! The challenge doesn't officially begin until January due to everyone's hectic schedule during the holidays; however, the authors have provided us with some bonus breads to bake in the meantime.

The featured bread for November is Pumpkin Pie Brioche.


Pumpkin Pie Brioche

This is a new book so they requested that no recipes from the book be posted on the Internet; however, the authors shared this recipe for the bread bake.


To view the recipe and list of ingredients, click here.

Makes:  Enough dough for at least two 2-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.



1st Attempt: Tuesday, Nov 10th

This was my first attempt at making any of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book.  I made the brioche with home-milled white wheat flour and commercial all-purpose flour. The first time I made the dough, I used vegetable oil and roasted pumpkin puree that I prepared and froze last December. The dough was really wet but the loaf turned out a little bit dry.  You can see in the picture below.  It tasted great; however, I thought it should be a little bit softer.

Although my first attempt with the bread seemed dry at first, it actually softened up a bit the next day.  I tried it as French Toast, as regular toast with homemade peach butter and as a PB&J sandwich (with yummy pear butter).  It tasted great each time!  My test for loaf breads is whether or not the bread tastes good as a PB&J and this one definitely does... even though it fell apart with every bite. ;)

I decided to make this bread again with some substitutions to see the difference.  I've documented my second attempt below:

2nd Attempt: Saturday, Nov. 14th

For my second attempt at this brioche, I used a combination of home-milled flour and commercial flour again but this time I weighed it to make sure I had the right amount.  I had this same issue with other no knead breads I've made recently so I've found that the key to working with these types of bread is to the weigh the flour and not rely on the measuring cup.  I can usually get away with just using a measuring cup for kneaded breads because it's pretty easy to adjust the water/flour ratio when you're kneading the dough.

I also used less water this time. Instead of 1 1/4 cups of water, I used 3/4 cup and freshly roasted pureed pumpkin instead of thawed puree.  These changes made a big difference. The dough was much easier to work with.

Mixing and storing the dough:

Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container. Add the remaining ingredients and mix without kneading. I started out using a wooden spoon, then switched to my Danish dough whisk. 


The dough will be loose, but it will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).  Cover, and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours.

Refrigerate in a non-airtight lidded container and use over the next 5 days.  I left the dough in the bowl, covered with plastic wrap and placed it in the refrigerator since I was planning on making it the next day anyway.

On baking day, grease a brioche or 8½x4½-inch non-stick loaf pan. Cut off a 2-pound piece of dough. 


Dust with flour and quickly shape it into a ball.  

Place the ball (or spread the dough) in the prepared pan and allow to rest for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Using a pastry brush to paint the loaf’s top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  I did the egg wash but I didn't have any raw sugar so I just sprinkled it with granulated sugar.  It made it brown a little more. 

Bake near the center of the oven for approximately 45 minutes.  Brioche will not form a hard crackling crust. Loaf is done when medium brown and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time. Remove from the pan and allow to cool before slicing or eating.

The second batch was much softer.  I just had a slice! The texture was much softer and the spices came through much more prominent in this batch. Yummy!

I'll probably use this loaf for bread pudding.  In fact, I already cut up the bread pieces and put them in the freezer. Here is a recipe for bread pudding if you would like to try your hand at making bread pudding.  I've never made it before so I'll let you know how it goes...

You might enjoy some of the other breads I’ve made using the Pumpkin Pie Brioche dough.  This is one of my favorite HBn5 doughs.

Honey Caramel Sticky Nut Buns

Honey Caramel Sticky Buns


Pear Tarte Tatin

Pear Tarte Tatin


Thanks for visiting The Bread Experience Bread-Baking Blog. We hope you enjoyed your visit and will join us again next time.

Happy Baking!

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