When I left you yesterday, we were all twisted into pretzels, keeping everything crossed that we could. Some of you complained about being off balance from all the crossing. Ladies, you are the best friends a baker could ask for. The brioche dough had been given two hours to rise, and had done nothing. I gave it another two hours after writing yesterday's post, and I smacked my hands every time I tried to check it. (My habit is to check it approximately every five seconds. In the way that a watched pot won't boil, I'm realizing that watched bread dough will not rise.) So anyway...after an additional two hours, it had risen nicely.
From here, I brushed it lightly with an egg wash, and then let it rise an additional hour before baking it off. When it came out of the oven, it was truly lovely. Oh my gosh...all of the breads I've made, successes and flops, have created the most beautiful aroma that fills all the rooms of the house.
The loaves are a bit squat, and the book was confusing about whether this recipe would make two or three loaves. There's conflicting information in the recipe in that it says at the top it will make three loaves. Then, in the instructions it says to divide it into three parts, but to grease just two loaf pans. Okay, so which is it? I needed three loaves, and so I went with three loaves. Looking at these, they might have baked up nicer if I'd only made two.
No worries though. Short or tall, our loaf made the tastiest French toast this morning. Mmm, mmm, mmm. And since I didn't think the French toast would clog our arteries enough, we had bacon on the side. (Mike needs his protein.)
If you don't count the baking of the bread, the French toast was really quick and easy to make. I've made French toast a few times, but not since the kids were little. I was doing it the way my dear MIL showed me. My mother made it all the time when I was a little girl. If I know my mother, she probably used Wonder bread for hers. That's not a criticism...she was a woman of her time, and Wonder bread was the French toast of the town back then. So, all of that to say that the buttery brioche was very nice in the French toast. Since I didn't really have a tried and true recipe for making it up, I used this recipe for Bell-less, Whistle-less Damn Good French Toast off the Food 52 website. With that name, how could I resist? Aside from the bread, all you need are eggs, heavy cream, and butta. Can't go wrong with those ingredients, now can you?
So aside from watching bread dough rise (or not), I finished up the Chicken Buffet block yesterday. First, I did all the top-stitching, and I needed to add a little embellishment for the basket handle.
After the bread was baked, I came back and added its label. I'm doing these using my sewing machine's lettering capability. Every time, I have to get the instruction book out and re-learn how to do it. The last time, I penciled in some notes for myself and it only took me about 5 minutes to come up to speed this time around.
So, making French toast this morning already set the day on a rapid pace. Later this afternoon, I'm meeting up with Matthew and Valerie. Valerie is a first-year teacher teaching 6th grade social studies at one of the local middle schools. We're meeting up to see her classroom this afternoon, and then we'll go out for happy hour and dinner. I'll be bringing one of the loaves of brioche to them.
Aside from that, I'll be working on my cactus quilt for the 3rd challenge of Project Quilting. If you still have the ability to cross your fingers and any other body parts, now would probably be a good time.