We could make either Whole Wheat Brioche or Pumpkin Pie Brioche. I made both. I made the Whole Wheat Brioche because I had not yet made it and I wanted to try it. I made the Pumpkin Pie Brioche because I HAD made it, in our first pre-season bake, and wanted to make it again. Also, I thought the regular Brioche might work better with the pear tart[e] than the Pumpkin Brioche, which I thought would be particularly good with the sweet rolls and doughnuts.
Before I get to the cooking, I would like to share a new initiative related to that subject: The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. According to their website, the Alliance "is a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and combat climate change by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions." The Alliance notes that
Exposure to smoke from traditional cookstoves and open fires—the primary means of cooking and heating for nearly three billion people in the developing world—causes 1.9 million premature deaths annually, with women and young children the most affected. Reliance on biomass for cooking and heating forces women and children to spend many hours each week collecting wood. Women face severe personal security risks as they forage for fuel, especially from refugee camps and in conflict zones. Cookstoves also increase pressures on local environmental resources (e.g., forests, habitat) and contribute to climate change at the regional and global levels.For more information go to GLOBAL ALLIANCE FOR CLEAN COOKSTOVES.
For the Pear Tarte Tatin with Brioche I made half a recipe of the Whole Wheat Brioche, using egg substitute and Land of Lakes Light Butter. I used 1/2 pound for the Pear Tarte Tatin. I cooked the pears (I could only fit 4 pears in my 10" cast iron skillet) in butter and brown sugar with some star anise and cinnamon sticks. I eschewed the optional cardamom rather than risk using to much, which I find off-putting. Then I topped the pears with rolled out brioche, and baked it.
It came out well. I managed to hit the plate rather than the counter or the floor while inverting it, and it was good with a scoop of vanilla fro-yo.
I think that some ground cinnamon in the caramel, to give it a little more spice, might be worth trying.
Next, I made a full batch of the Pumpkin Pie Brioche, again using egg substitute and light butter. Also, using trick I saw on America's Test Kitchen for a more pumpkiny pumpkin pie, I used some drained candied yams along with the pumpkin. (Both from cans not from scratch.) ATK suggests 1 cup of drained yams to 1 can of pumpkin, but I did half and half, a can of each, and then used 15 ounces in the bread. I also doubled the spices, which most of us who made this dough before thought was a good idea. Once risen and rested I commenced to make the Honey Caramel Sticky Nut Buns.
I wanted to have them pretty early in the morning, so made these the night before. I rolled the dough, stretching the corners gently to make more of a rectangle. For the gooey stuff, I reduced the honey, butter and brown sugar each from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup. I think I still had plenty. I kept the amount of nuts and raisins the same, but used craisins to go with the pumpkin. I rolled it up, cut it into 12 slices and smooshed them into the pan.
I do not think that letting them rise the whole time in the fridge gives as good a rise, so I let them rise for an hour and then put them in the fridge. They deflated some in the cold, wouldn't you, but not much. Then I took them out and let them sit while the oven pre-heated. They baked up fine, but I gave them an extra 5 minutes. I did not want to overbake, but another 5 might not have been a bad idea, perhaps because the dough had been in the fridge overnight.
My saintly wife and I each had one, then, for self preservation, we sent the rest to work with one of our daughters who is not only prefect but has red hair. She stops on her way to work to drop off her Miniature Irish Wolfhound Chloe.
Zoe(y) and I provide daycare.
The final diet-buster was Indian Spiced Whole Grain Doughnuts. I made 6 instead of 12, thereby cutting the calories in half! I rolled out the dough, cut the doughnuts with biscuit cutters, and then deep fried them.
I combined the sugar and spices in a paper bag, dropped in the warm doughnuts, and shook gently. Viola!
I put the leftover sugar/spice mixture into a shaker bottle to sprinkle on toast.
Since I had made a whole batch of dough I decided to do something a bit special with the rest, in honor of my sister-in-law Susan's 60th (yes, Sixtieth) Birthday.
(Not a recent picture.)
I made a Brioche à Tête.
With the onset of fall (at least here in the northern hemisphere) I thought I would close with a couple of garden tips. I went to an herb seminar by Jim Long, of Long Creek Herbs, and he had a guy's way of drying herbs. Take a couple of handfuls and stick them in a brown paper bag. Clip the bag closed (or use duct tape). Then, throw the bag in the trunk of your car, or in the back seat. Every couple of days, shake the bag. When the herbs are dry and crisp (maybe a week, more or less) they are done. (The bag absorbs moisture and keeps the herbs dark, the car is warm, at least if it is sitting outside in the sun.)
Also, I grew a variety of cilantro called Caribe that I got from Pinetree Garden Seeds. It was touted as being slow to bolt. Some of mine have not bolted yet, and those that did stood a long time before doing so. (Your results may vary.)
Well, that's it for this time. Be sure to check out Big Black Dog to see what everyone else did with these breads.