Brioche with candied fruits, hazelnuts and crème frangipane filling. Brioche is a pastry of French origin that is similar to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. It is “light and slightly puffy, more or less fine, according to the proportion of butter and eggs.” It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust, frequently accentuated by and egg wash applied after proofing. Brioche is usually eaten for Sunday’s breakfast but sometimes it is treated as cakes as well. In France, there are many traditional cakes made using Brioche dough.
This is made using indirect method, in which the ingredients are combined and the dough is prepared in more than a single phase. Unlike straight/direct dough method, the indirect method uses the poolish, the biga, or the crescente. A poolish is often imprecisely referred to as a sponge in the US. It is made of a mix of water, flour, and yeast, and is normally used as a starter. The poolish is a substantial cultivation of yeasts and acids which is very firm to the touch, cool, and made active by dose of yeast (1%). The rest time of the poolish is commonly from 16 to 18 hours although I rested them for only 25 minutes.
The crème frangipane is made by mixing crème pâtissière and crème d’amande. The scent of vanilla beans and the almost combination were just perfectly made in heaven.
Kouign-amann is a Breton cake. It is a round crusty cake, made with bread dough containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry albeit with fewer layers. The resulting cake is slowly baked until the butter puffs op the dough (resulting in they layered aspect of it) and the sugar caramelises. The name derives from the Breton words for cake (“kouign”) and butter (“amann”). Kouign-amann is a speciality of the town Douarnenez in Finistère, Brittany, where it orginated in around 1860. The Welsh equivalent is the etymologically identical Cacan menin, literally ‘cake, butter’.
The bread dough was made using straight/direct dough method, a single-mix process, except for the butter that was folded similar to croissants and puff pastry . The dough is made from all fresh ingredients, and they are all placed together and combined in one kneading or mixing session. After mixing, a bulk fermentation rest for 90 minutes with the bench time of one hour, and then was fermented overnight before folding the butter and sugar in the last stage.
A small yeast cake saturated in hard liquor (usually rum) and syrup and sometimes filled with whipped cream or pastry cream. It is most typically made in individual servings but sometimes can be made in larger forms similar to those used for Bundt cakes. The batter for baba is even richer than brioche batter, and includes eggs, milk and butter. I added organic raisins in the batter. It is good to wait for 2-3 days before soaking into liquor and syrup.
The original form of the baba was similar to he babka, a tall, cylindrical yeast case (babka is still cooked in Poland and in Polish communities over the world). The name means “old woman” or “grandmother” in the Slavic languages; babka is a diminutive of baba. The modern baba au rhum, with dried fruit soaking in rum, was invented in the rue Montorgueil in Paris, Frence, in 1835 or before. The original baba was introduced into France in the 18th century via Alsace and Lorraine. This is attributed to Stanisław I Leszczyński, the exiled king of Poland.