After seeing a post by Ruth Rae couple of weeks ago about bacon cupcakes, I decided that bacon for dessert sounded like a good idea. After a pretty decent search I found a recipe for brioche bread pudding with bacon maple sauce. This came from, of all places, the Time magazine website. I played with it a little. The original version is at http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1870700,00.html. You can look at 4 other bacon dessert recipes as well.
It took me 2 days to make this recipe. I started early Friday morning making the brioche dough, put it in the refrigerator for 9 hours, let it rise for 3 hours, baked it and let it cool overnight on a rack. I got up Saturday morning and assembled the bread pudding, let it stay in the refrigerator all day and baked it that evening. I made the sauce while it was baking. Since I also made rolls, I baked them just before I put the bread pudding in the oven. They all got rave reviews.
Since it was a 2 day recipe, I am going to post the first part today and finish it tomorrow.
This may sound a little hard to believe but finding a loaf of brioche even in as cosmopolitan a place as Roanoke, Virginia can be pretty tough. So I made my own. I got this recipe from “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice” by Peter Reinhart, which is a swell book on bread making. He has written several others as well. I made the “Rich Man’s Brioche” that starts on page 125, pretty much by the book.
The brioche dough is a superb recipe with a wonderful crust and great texture. It calls for equal amounts by weight of butter and flour, so you don’t need to butter it at all after it has been baked. As I was taking the first batch of rolls out, I accidently scraped off the top of one and didn’t notice that it fell to the bottom of the oven. Due to all the butter, it burned like a candle for about 10 minutes.
I used a KitchenAid 6 quart mixer with the paddle to make the dough. I reckon you could use a wooden spoon, but I think it would kill my arm. If you just want to make the loaf, make 1/3 of the recipe. For only the rolls, make 2/3.
Now for the brioche part of recipe:
Rich Brioche Dough for Bread Pudding and Rolls
1 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons yeast
1 cup milk
Stir the flour and yeast together into a large mixing bowl. Mix in the milk and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 30 minutes.
10 large eggs
7 cups flour (2 pounds)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 lbs butter
Whisk the eggs into the sponge until smooth. In another bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt and add this to the sponge and egg mix. Stir until thoroughly combined. Let stand for 10 minutes. On medium speed, gradually work in 1 stick of butter at a time, making sure that each stick is incorporated before adding the next one. Mix for 6 more minutes, scraping down the bowl from time to time.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper and mist with Pam. Spread the dough in a rectangle to within 2 inches of each edge of the sheet pan. Spray with Pam, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, cut off 1/3 of the dough and keep cold. Re-spray and recover the remaining dough and put back in the refrigerator. Put out the dough third into a 5x8 inch rectangle. It will be very sticky. Roll up starting with the short side into a loaf shape and put it seam side down in a 5x9 inch well greased loaf pan. Make sure the pan is very well greased since this dough tends to stick.
Spray the dough with Pam and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise about 3 hours, or until it is 1-1/2 to 2 times the original size. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature of the dough reaches 190 degrees. Immediately remove from pan and cool on a wire rack until completely cool. Save this to make bread pudding the next day.
Use the remaining dough to make rolls by dividing it into 24 equal sized balls and putting the balls into two regular sized muffin pans that make a dozen each. Use nonstick pans or grease them thoroughly.
Spray and cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until nearly doubled. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove from the pans at once and let cool for 20 minutes or more before serving.
One last note: this is very soft and sticky dough and tends to stick to everything including the pan. I reckon you could line the loaf pan or muffin tin bottoms with parchment, but it won’t brown as well on the bottom if you do. Since you use will cube this loaf later for bread pudding, it doesn’t really matter if you have to gouge it out of the pan. Even if you rip a couple of the rolls to get them out of the muffin tins, folks will love them anyway. One of our guests thought the rolls by themselves were dessert.