Monday, February 7, 2011

For Super Bowl Sunday Dan, Remi and I were rather lazy (and unsocial to boot.) Growing up, we would gather with several other families at one home starting at around 4pm or 5pm; the parents would have cocktails and the kids would play.

We haven't made friends yet, so we just made a day of it on our own. We had 2 rounds of snacks; chips and dip during the Caps hockey game in the afternoon and deviled eggs once the Super Bowl pregame started.

I decided to make mini sloppy joes and mashed potatoes for a "main course" of sorts. I had seen an article in the NY Times years ago (09) breaking down what makes a good burger and they had a recipe for brioche buns.

I used their recipe and just rolled my buns smaller so I ended up with 16 slider size buns vs. 8 hamburger size buns; I separated them onto two trays for more even baking.

If you recall, we live in an icebox currently so it took two full hours for the first rise and another hour and half for the second rise. In a normal environment it would likely take an hour.

I really liked these on the whole and will definitely be engaging these this summer when we can get the grill going again

I put a McClure's pickle on the side because they have great flavor and crunch, and Dan and I just like pickles. Honestly, I prefer a sweet gherkin to a dill (surprise) but Dan likes the dill; these are the best dill in my book.

Light Brioche Buns:

First Published: June 30, 2009 in the NY Times
(Adapted from Hidefumi Kubota, Comme Ça, Los Angeles)


--3 tablespoons warm milk
--2 teaspoons active dry yeast
--2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
--2 large eggs
--3 cups bread flour
--1/3 cup all-purpose flour
--1 1/2 teaspoons salt
--2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1. In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.

2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter, smudging between your fingers with the flour to make crumbs. Using a dough scraper (a curved piece of plastic or silicone; you can find it here...this is different from a bench scraper), stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until the dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping dough up, thwacking it on the counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, roughly 1 to 2 hours. (I roll the dough around in the bowl with the oil to prevent the dough from forming a skin).

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a bench scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts (I did this and then divided those in half)
. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange them 2 to 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours. I had to put mine by the radiator because it was so cold in the house.

5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor (or on the bottom rack if you have an electric oven). Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns (sprinkle sesame seeds now if using). Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

**I schmeared a little cinnamon toast butter on two and microwaved them for 30 seconds for breakfast...yum! (Cinnamon toast butter is exactly what it sounds like; butter blended with lots of cinnamon and sugar. You can make your own, or if in the Hudson Valley, Ronnybrook Farm makes it already mixed; I purchased mine at Fleisher's.)

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