I have a new love... I'm sorry to John, who cares for me so dearly, but I'm infatuated with someone else. I know I'm likely to kick myself after declaring my true feelings publicly - but it has to be done. I just can't keep it inside any longer.
I am in love with... Lady Gaga. Okay, maybe not in love with her, per say, but in love with her music. And she's kind of babe-a-licious herself. I've heard a couple of her songs in the past, and earlier this week - after seeing her Born This Way and Judas videos (warning: they're both rather epic in length) - I decided to download her albums. It's become ridiculous and kind of an obsession. I realize she's pop music and not ordinarily something I would listen to - but she does what she does very well. And before you get all "it's been done before!" - of course it has! Everything has! Her music reminds me a lot of very early Madonna and 20 or so years ago, Madonna did it well too. This generation needs a gender-bending, strong, intelligent, sexy siren that pushes their/our sexual envelopes (speaking of envelopes, check this out) the way Madonna did for us 80's and early 90's children. She's clever, hot, talented, and really, a whole lot of fun.
I dig her. There. I said it. And you know what else I dig? Brioche! (I know, my segways are terrible).
What is brioche you ask? I certainly did! Brioche is a slightly sweet French pastry (bread) that utilizes eggs and butter to make it super flaky, soft, and delicious. Usually an egg wash coating is applied just before cooking to ensure a glossy, brown finish. I adapted this recipe from Pardon My Crumbs.
What is brioche? It's delicious!
Buns of Brioche
1 C Warm Water.
4 Tbsp Warm Milk.
3 Tbsp White Sugar.
2 Tsp Dry Active Yeast.
3 1/3 C White All-Purpose Flour.
1 1/2 Tsp Salt.
2 1/2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, room temperature.
2 Egg, room temperature and lightly beaten in 2 separate bowls.
Black and/or White Sesame Seeds (optional).
What to Do:
In a glass measuring cup, combine water, milk, yeast, and sugar. Give it a quick stir and let stand for about 5 - 7 minutes or so, until foamy.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl. whisk flour and salt together. Add the butter and rub between your fingers in bits to make "crumbs". Work through well.
Now, using a dough scraper (I used a spatula), fold in 1 egg and yeast mixture until a dough like consistency forms. Dump it all out onto a well floured counter space and knead it for 8 - 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If it sticks to the counter (mine didn't), add a little extra flour. Just remember the more flour you add, the heavier and tougher your buns will be!
*To knead: push the dough out with your palms, slightly turning your hand up as you push. Once relatively flat, turn it .25 of a turn, slap it onto the counter, fold it over in half toward you and repeat. This is great work for your upper arms so be prepared!*
Now, roll into a ball, and return it to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and/or a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm location until doubled in size - about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your dough scraper (or in my case, a filet knife), divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Tear each of those parts in half. Gently roll each piece into a ball and arrange 2 - 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely again (you may want to spray this cover with nonstick spray) and let rise again for a further 1 hour.
At the 1 hour mark, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the center of the oven. and prepare your egg wash. That is, take the other beaten egg and add 1 to 2 Tbsp of water, and mix well. Then baste each bun with the mixture. Be quick but gently. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake about 13- 15 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from heat, transfer to a wire rack to cool, and serve.
P.S. Don't wait for them to cool to sample one (or two, in my case)! Grab some butter and lather up! Chow down! They. are. delicious. And while your arms might have gotten a work out making this recipe of goodness the rest of you hasn't... But who cares? They're worth it!