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Grilled Pizzas and Ground Chicken Kabobs for Memorial Day


Grilled Pizza on Memorial DayMemorial Day has roots, according to Wikipedia, in “decoration days,” post- and even pre-Civil War commemorations and celebrations where people gathered to decorate soldiers’ graves. Afterward they’d have a “dinner on the ground” — a potluck on tablecloths spread on the grass. I guess these potlucks are part of the spirit and the history of the barbecues and feasts we have as Memorial Day traditions today. So even if my friends and I didn’t to pause to remember fallen soldiers when we gathered this past weekend, at least maybe we can say that the barbecuing and feasting was in their honor led light. Here’s to you old soldiers, and thanks.

And boy was there was barbecuing and feasting. There were hotdogs and chickens and there were sausages. There were burgers and potato salad and deviled eggs. There were (this being Brooklyn) homemade pickles and handmade mustard. And there were ground chicken kabobs and grilled pizza. Maybe those last two stretch the traditions of Memorial Day a bit.

The chicken kabobs were simply ground chicken flavored with fresh herbs, along with onion, garlic, lemon, and lots of salt and pepper, grilled on wide, sword-shaped skewers. When I made them once before a friend said “oh, you’ve made fresh sausages.” That first time the kabobs stayed put, but this time they wanted to peel themselves off the skewers and lay down on the grill to cook like salty personal loans, herby burgers. This was no great disaster, judging by how quickly the party guests snatched them up. But still I’d like to know better how to keep them on the skewers. A friend with some experience in the matter suggested tying them in place, so maybe I’ll start practicing my butcher’s knot.

And for Memorial Day what could be more American than pizza? Cooking pizzas on a grill is quite easy, except for the part that’s always hard: stretching and pulling the dough to make a a thin crust. As usual, mine were fat and oblong, making for pizzas that were bready instead of crackery-crisp. Fortunately, the skilled and versatile Cathy Erway was on hand, and she got the knack of thin crusts down right away.

We’d prepped diligently and so had plenty of toppings: olive oil, canned tomatoes, minced fresh oregano, minced green garlic, chopped spinach, sliced mushrooms, prosciutto, anchovies, Parmesan and mozzarella. The toppings cooked up and melted down quickly on the thin-stretched dough, and the pizzas disappeared as fast as we could cook ‘em.

As for my own skills with stretching dough, well, as with the kabobs it’ll give me something to practice over the summer. I’ll have no problem trying either of them again and again and again dc gear motors. Until then, maybe you’ll have better luck with this recipe for ground chicken kabobs.
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Red Velvet Chocolate Chunk Sandwich Cookies

 
With Thanksgiving in the books, my thoughts are now firmly on Christmas baking. To me, that means lots of festive cookies and cakes and brownies and pies and such. But, really, it’s all about the cookies travel mugs wholesale.

Red velvet has become synonymous with the holidays. I’m sure these aren’t the only red desserts you’ll be seeing around the interwebs in the next few weeks. Red Velvet Cake is one of my favorite cakes, although I am pretty sure I’ve never made one. Note to self: Let’s fix that one of these days. But, I digress….

With these cookies, you can enjoy all the flavors of classic Red Velvet Cake in a cute little sandwich cookie.

You may recall that I recently partnered with Betty Crocker to have some fun creating recipes using their new Betty Crocker-Hershey’s products. I used their new Chocolate Chunk Cookie Mix, added a little cocoa powder and red food coloring for the cookies. Then, I sandwiched them around cream cheese frosting mathconcept. The result is a compact and portable cousin of Red Velvet Cake!

These cookies are amazingly delicious. I don’t often use cookie mixes, but I was quite pleased with this one. For another shortcut, you can use canned frosting. If you want to make your own frosting, I suggest this one.

I love how festive these are! I think they would be just lovely packaged for a holiday gift or on a cookie tray at a holiday party. Plus, using a cookie mix makes them a great quick treat.

For more recipes using Betty Crocker-Hershey’s mixes, be sure to see these Cookies and Cream Filled Cupcakes and S’mores Swirl Brownies Singapore company formation.

Coconut Caramel Candy


Having had my share of baking lately, I wanted to try something I hadn’t made before. It still had to be sweet and not too tough. Recently my cousin had sent me this lovely bottle of cooking coconut oil which I wanted to use, and today I got my chance. I always thought coconut oil was good for hair but little did I know its other benefits. Coconut Oil is ideal for Cooking. Studies show that it is better for you than many of the other options on the market. Plus, it can help you with the good cholesterol that your body needs. We tend to always think of cholesterol as something bad but that doesn’t have to be the case.Many people like to cook with olive oil, but it is expensive. It is no secret that the economy is tough so people have to make cut backs where they can. Every dollar at the grocery store should be carefully calculated. The use of coconut oil for cooking can help you to get value in terms of your health and for taste. At the same time, it can help you to cut back what you are spending on items when you go shopping at the grocery store.There are several brands out there that you can select from, and that will influence the quality of what you get. It is a good idea to carefully evaluate the options on the market so that you can get something that works very well. Don’t be fooled by clever marketing ploys or the packaging End Point Backup. Read reviews online to find out what you should consider buying and what you should stay away from when it comes to coconut oil for cooking. One of the best coconut oils you can buy on the market is from Coconut-Oil-UK.Com. Some of the products offered are organic, and that can be something you are interested in to promote even better health benefits. Make sure you always read the labels carefully. There is both refined and unrefined options too, and there isn’t any evidence to suggest one may be better than the next. If your family enjoys sweets but you don’t want them to have all the bad that comes from them, change the recipe with coconut oil. You can use it to replace butter and Crisco to make pies, crusts, cookies, and more. If you want to encourage your family to eat more veggies, sauté them in a skillet on the stove with coconut oil. The taste is very pleasing and one that may even get your picky eaters to ask for seconds! The food you cook will taste different and it will smell different when you cook it with coconut oil. Most people find the smell and taste it creates to be very appealing. They seem to enjoy their food more and they feel great knowing that they have taking a small but significant step in eating healthier overall.

A little search on coconut oil and I found me a nice recipe that reminded me of my days in Ghana. These beautiful Amber coloured chewy candies are a household treat and unimaginably delicious. the flavour of the coconut is so mild and the caramel just perfect.

And on this sweet note and the Holy Occasion of Eid-ul-Adha may the blessings of Allah lighten up your way & lead you to happiness mathconcept, success and peace A very Happy Eid Mubarak to all of you.

Ingredients

adapted from Saveur

2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted, plus more for cutting caramels
1-16 oz. can coconut milk
? cup corn syrup
1 tsp. coarse sea salt
1? cup sugar
? cup water

Instructions

Line the bottom and sides of an 8″x8″ square baking dish with parchment and brush with coconut oil; set aside. Combine the coconut milk, corn syrup and sea salt in a 4-quart saucepan. Heat over medium low, stirring constantly for 2?-3 minutes until mixture is just warm and any coconut milk clumps are dissolved.Remove from heat and set aside. In an 8-quart saucepan, combine the sugar and the water and stir until sugar is wet. Place over medium high heat and let cook, without stirring, till the sugar turns a light amber colour. I made these by judgement as I did not have a candy thermometer. This should roughly take 10 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and pour melted sugar into the coconut milk mixture, a little at a time. Be careful, as the mixture will bubble and splash. Return saucepan to medium low heat, stirring continuously until all the caramel is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium high. If the mixture begins to boil over, reduce heat and continue to cook, stir continuously, and cook until caramel becomes quite thick. This could take a good 15 minutes. But just make sure the caramel is really thick. Immediately remove from heat and pour into the prepared pan. Let cool completely and cut into 1″ squares. Mine were a bit sticky so I put them in the fridge to set a little.Make it easier to cut them hong kong company setup.Brush your knife with melted coconut oil between cutting to avoid sticking. Wrap individually in wax paper squares. Store at room temperature.

Food Festival Queen Caryl Chinn's 5 Most Memorable Nights In


Giada de Laurentiis joined Caryl Chinn for Easter

This is not an atypical text message from food festival doyenne Caryl Chinn, who recently joined sports and entertainment marketing firm Octagon as vice president of its new culinary division: "Are you free Sunday curly wigs? Barbara got a pound of caviar and we're chowing down!"

While they say people who work at Ben & Jerry's don't eat ice cream, throwing this kind of crazy dinner party is what Chinn enjoys doing on her days off. It's the food-world version of Dre Day every day, with ballers like Chinn's meat-master pal Ed Murphy, who will wake up early on a Saturday and decide that barbecuing pork shoulder for 12 hours is the perfect way to spend his morning, afternoon and evening. Not surprisingly, Murphy, GM of Hollywood's Dolby Theatre, is often in charge of the proteins at these dinner parties.

Nye-caryl-chinn

Caryl Chinn celebrated New Year's Eve with (clockwise from top left) Jet Tila, Betty Fraser, Barbara Brass, Ed Murphy, Mimi Mok, Aarti Sequiera, Manouschka Guerrier, Stef Kelly and Joe Moller.

These days, Chinn, whose recent credits include being executive director of Coastal Luxury Management's LA festival, often criss-crosses the country to develop events for Octagon. But when she's home in LA, she's sending out the most coveted invites in town, for 20-person gatherings much more exclusive and delicious than even the awards season parties where many members of Chinn's culinary club have cooked.

For Chinn's birthday, Giada De Laurentiis, the Food Network superstar who's now getting ready to open her first ever restaurant at the new Cromwell resort in Las Vegas, made three desserts while "The Next Food Network Star" champion Aarti Sequiera took care of the savory side with her gorgeous lamb palau.

Ed-murphy-brisket

Ed Murphy's brisket is Texas-worthy.

But Chinn's core cooking crew is a group that became known as Hoodwinked Catering after the night that Chinn, Murphy, entrepreneur Mimi Mok (now in the process of creating a gourmet market in LA) and private chef/Food Network personality Manouschka Guerrier were invited to an '80s supermodel's mansion and quickly found themselves alone in the kitchen cooking dinner for two dozen revelers they did not know. As they did their prep, Chinn concluded that they had been hoodwinked Natural stone, especially because the model's dinner guests thought the foursome were hired caterers.

Zoe-caryl-chinn

Zoe goes in for a New Year's Eve kiss.

Regulars at Hoodwinked Catering gatherings, often held in Chinn's West LA house or Murphy and Mok's Mid-City digs, also include Thai food expert and TV/radio personality Jet Tila, who just announced that he's taking over the kitchen at Pakpao Thai in Dallas; "Top Chef" alum Betty Fraser, who runs Hollywood's Grub restaurant and As You Like It Catering; Stef Kelly, who does double duty as the creator of chocolate treats including the award-winning Shmookie and as a big-hearted C-CAP cooking instructor for at-risk students; Joe Moller, an upper-tier event producer who recently ran the Downtown LA Art Walk; Barbara Brass, a Wolfgang Puck Catering executive who'll often arrive with the most extravagant wine and directions on how to pair it; and Zoe, Chinn's beloved French bulldog who is the sitting-in-your-lap star of many bashes.

Chinn moved to LA about three years ago. When she lived in Manhattan, she worked at Bon Appetit for a decade and collaborated with Lee Schrager to launch his New York festival. And at her home, there were, not surprisingly, dinner parties with Marcus Samuelsson and Tyler Florence cooking and Josh Wesson pouring wine. There was also the night Tom Colicchio, fresh off opening Craft, showed up late and started making himself a sandwich. Then Daniel Boulud asked Colicchio to make him one. A couple years later, Colicchio started slinging sandwiches at 'Wichcraft. We're going to believe that this was more than just a coincidence.

But often, it's chefs who don't cook for a living who make the food you will crave for all time.

Ed-murphy-pasta

Ed Murphy's epic baked pasta for NYE.

While Murphy once worked in Boston restaurants, he doesn't consider himself a professional chef. But his food is legendary. Tila has said that Murphy's pork and 10-hour brisket is the best barbecue in LA. And the first time we met Murphy, it was at Chinn's New Year's Eve party, where he brought an eggplant incaciata: a pound of baked pasta, a pound of sausage, a pound of mozzarella, all wrapped in eggplant and baked. It was a big night indeed.

Next month, Murphy is planning weekly themed dinner parties during the World Cup: Think lots of beef and maybe even choripan if Argentina is playing. But given that Chinn and friends are involved panamanian foundation, don't be shocked if it turns out to be yet another night of champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Here are five of Chinn's most memorable parties:

The birthday bash: Two Food Network chefs, no waiting. After Sequiera's lamb palau, De Laurentiis' desserts included iced lemon cookies, a pumpkin cheesecake and an amaretto chocolate tart.

Giada-de-laurentiis-caryl-chinn-tart

Giada De Laurentiis piped apricot cream on her amaretto chocolate tart.

New Year's Eve: Tila brought over roasted Thai salmon with a green papaya salad, and Brass cooked four racks of lamb with herb butter. Moller made uni/caviar toasts, and we also remember having easy access to four containers of caviar (American hackleback, two Russian osetras, Chinese beluga). For dessert, Mok baked chocolate bouchons from a Thomas Keller recipe, and Fraser served strawberry and balsamic souffle with black pepper creme anglaise to guests including actor Chris Williams.

Betty-fraser-caryl-chinn

Betty Fraser served dessert to Chris Williams.

Fireworks and snow cream: Tila, who runs Kuma Snow Cream in Las Vegas, brought over his snow cream machine and all the requisite toppings on July 4. The taro cream was a refreshing ending to a summer soiree that also featured a mixed grill of tri-tip and sausages.

Jet-tila-caryl-chinn

Jet Tila working on his Kuma Snow Cream machine at Chinn's.

Easter paella: Yes, this was Easter, so there was lamb, potatoes and green beans. But what everyone lucky enough to attend remembers most is actor Andoni Gracia's paella, overlowing with head-on shrimp, clams and mussels. Because every Easter should have soccarat. Mixologist Rich Andreoli (Harvard and Stone) added to the festivities with Moscow Mules.

Seafood-paella

Seafood paella should become a new Easter tradition.

The caviar party: Guerrier's Facebook post says it all: "Barbara asked me make to make cappellini with butter & lemon. So I made angel hair in a lemon butter sauce with chives & then she SLAPPED on alllll this caviar on top... yup."

Caviar-spaghetti

Basic Brioche


yield
Makes 16 small brioche (or one 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch-high loaf)/17.5 ounces/500 grams
This is my basic brioche recipe, soft, light, and intensely buttery. For those who desire even more butter, it can be increased to 6 ounces, which will also make the crumb finer, denser, and more cake-like. This is actually a very easy dough to make, especially in a bread machine, which handles this small amount of dough perfectly Cloud Hosting.

TIME SCHEDULE
Dough Starter (Sponge): minimum 1 1/2 hours, maximum 24 hours
Minimum Rising Time: 10 hours
Oven Temperature: 425°F (350°F for the loaf)
Baking Time: 10 to 15 minutes for small brioche, 35 to 40 minutes for the loaf

Ingredients
Dough Starter (Sponge):

water, at room temperature (70° to 90°F): 2 tablespoon (1 ounce or 29.5 grams)
sugar: 1 tablespoon (scant 0.5 ounce or 12.5 grams)
instant yeast: 1/4 teaspoon (0.8 grams)
unbleached all-purpose flour (use only Gold Medal, King Arthur, or Pillsbury): 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces or 71 grams)
eggs: 1 large egg (2 ounces or 58 grams weighed in the shell)

Flour mixture:

unbleached all-purpose flour (use only Gold Medal, King Arthur, or Pillsbury): 1 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons (5.5 ounces or 156 grams)
sugar: 2 tablespoons (about 0.75 ounce or 25 grams)
instant yeast: 1 1/4 teaspoons (4 grams)
salt: 1/2 teaspoon (3.3 grams)
eggs: 2 large eggs, cold (4 ounces or 113 grams weighed in shells)
unsalted butter, very soft: 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 113 grams)

Egg Glaze (if making a large loaf, glaze is optional)

eggs: 1 large egg yolk (1 tablespoon)
cream or milk: 1 teaspoon

Preparation

1. One day or up to 2 days ahead, make the dough. In the mixer bowl, place the water, sugar, instant yeast, flour, and egg. Whisk by hand until very smooth, to incorporate air, about 3 minutes. The sponge will be the consistency of a very thick batter. (At first the dough may collect inside the whisk, but just shake it out and keep whisking. If it’s too thick to whisk, it means you’ve added too much flour and will need to add a little of the eggs to be added Step 3.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl and set it aside, covered with plastic wrap.

2. Combine the ingredients for the flour mixture and add to the sponge. In a small bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar and yeast. Then whisk in the salt (this keeps the yeast from coming in contact with the salt, which would kill it). Sprinkle this mixture on top of the sponge. Cover it tightly with plastic wrap and let it stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours at room temperature. (During this time, the sponge will bubble through the flour mixture in places; this is fine scholar leaders.)

3. Mix the dough. Add the 2 cold eggs and mix with the dough hook on low (#2 if using a KitchenAid) for about 1 minute or until the flour is moistened. Raise the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid) and beat for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled spatula and continue beating for about 5 minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It will mass around the dough hook but not pull away from the bowl completely.

Add the butter by the tablespoon, waiting until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next tablespoon, beating until all the butter is incorporated. The dough will be very soft and elastic and will stick to your fingers unmercifully, but don’t be tempted to add more flour at this point; it will firm considerably after chilling. (The dough will weigh about 19 ounces/536 grams.)

4. Let the dough rise. Using an oiled spatula or dough scraper, scrape the dough into a 1-quart dough rising container or bowl, greased lightly with cooking spray or oil. Lightly spray or oil the top of the dough and cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap. With a piece of tape, mark the side of the container at approximately where double the height of the dough would be. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

5. Chill the dough. Refrigerate the dough for 1 hour to firm it; this will prevent the butter from separating.

Gently deflate the dough by stirring it with a rubber scraper or spatula, and return it to the refrigerator for another hour so that it will be less sticky and easier to handle.

6. Deflate the dough and allow it to rest, chilled. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and press or roll it into a rectangle, flouring the surface and dough as needed to keep it from sticking. The exact size of the rectangle is not important. Give the dough a business letter turn, brushing off any excess flour, and again press down or roll it out into a rectangle. Rotate it 90 degrees so that the closed side is facing to your left. Give it a second business letter turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour. Wrap it loosely but securely in plastic wrap and then place it in a large zip-seal bag. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days to allow the dough to ripen (develop flavor) and firm.

7. Shape the dough and let it rise. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently press it down to deflate it. Cut the dough into 16 pieces (a scant 1 1/4 ounces/33 grams each). Without a scale, the easiest way to divide the dough evenly is to lightly flour your hands and roll it into a long cylinder. Cut it in half, then continue cutting each piece in half until there are 16 pieces.

Pinch off a little less than one-quarter of each piece, for the topknot. Roll each larger piece of dough into a ball and press it into a prepared brioche mold. With lightly floured hands, shape each of the dough pieces reserved for the topknots into an elongated pear form. Using your index finger, make a hole in the center of each brioche, going almost to the bottom of the mold, and insert the elongated part of a topknot deeply into the hole. Cover the molds loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise (ideally at 75° to 80°F) until the edges of the dough reach the tops of the molds mathconcept, about 1 hour. (See page 493 for step-by-step illustrations.)

8. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F 1 hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lower level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.

9. Glaze and bake the brioche. Lightly beat together the egg yolk and cream for the glaze. Brush the top of the brioche with the egg glaze, being careful not to drip any on the side of the pans, or it will impede rising. Allow it to dry for 5 minutes and then brush a second time with the glaze. Use greased scissors or a small sharp knife to make a 1/4-inch-deep cut all around the base of the topknot so it will rise to an attractive shape.

Set the molds on a baking sheet and place them on the hot stone or hot baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted under a topknot comes out clean (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 190°F).

10. Cool the brioche. Remove the brioche from the oven and unmold them onto a wire rack. Turn top side up and allow them to cool until barely warm.

Note?? The small brioche can be reheated in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes.

ULTIMATE FULL FLAVOR VARIATION
For the best flavor development in Step 2, allow the sponge to ferment for 1 hour at room temperature, then refrigerate it for up to 24 hours.

VARIATIONS
Black Pepper Brioche??When I tasted this brioche, filled with lobster salad, at Larry Forgione’s An American Place years ago, I imagined that it would be a great counterpoint to the smokiness of bacon in a BLT. Simply add 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 grams) coarse or butcher’s grind black pepper along with the salt. For foie gras, 1 tablespoon (12 grams) green peppercorns in vinegar (drained) can be substituted.

Sweet Potato Brioche??This delightful version was inspired by Julia Carter, who used to be Susan Spicer’s pastry chef at Bayona Restaurant in New Orleans. Sweet potato, or yam, adds a beautiful golden color and moister texture to the brioche, without adding the eggy flavor that more egg would produce. The flavor of the sweet potato, however, is so subtle as to be unnoticeable.

Add 1/2 cup (about 4.5 ounces/126 grams) of sieved baked sweet potato or yam to the dough when adding the cold eggs. The overall sugar can be decreased by 1 tablespoon to compensate for the sweetness of the potato.

Brioche Loaf??The basic recipe, or the above variations, can be baked as one large loaf. Follow the recipe as written through Step 6, then proceed as directed below.

7. Shape the dough and let it rise. Deflate the dough as directed, then press or roll the dough into a rectangle about 7 1/2 inches long and 5 inches wide. Roll it down from the top in 3 turns, being sure to brush off any excess flour, pressing with your thumbs to seal the dough. Place it seam side down in the prepared pan, pressing it down firmly. Cover it lightly with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise until the top of the dough reaches the top of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

8. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F 30 minutes before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.

9. Glaze (if desired), slash, and bake the brioche loaf. For a shiny top crust, brush with the optional egg glaze. With a sharp knife or single-edged razor blade, make a 1/4- to 1/2-inch-deep lengthwise slash in the dough, starting about 1 inch from one end of the pan and going to within 1 inch of the other end.

Set the pan on the hot stone or hot baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 190°F).

10. Cool the brioche loaf. Remove the brioche from the oven and unmold it onto a wire rack. Turn top side up and allow it to cool until barely warm, at least 2 hours.

Giant Brioche
Makes: a 9-inch-by-5-inch-high round loaf/2 1/4 pounds/1047 grams

Make a double recipe of Basic Brioche dough (2 pounds 6 ounces/1 kilogram, 80 grams), following the recipe as written through Step 6. Shape and let rise as in Step 7. Glaze and bake as in Steps 8 and 9, but after 5 minutes at 425°F turn down the oven to 375°F and continue baking for 45 to 55 minutes or until a skewer inserted under the topknot comes out clean. (An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 190°F.) After about 20 minutes at 375°F, or when the top crust is brown, tent it loosely with foil, shiny side out. Cool for several hours until barely warm.

Dairy Dinner Challah
People often complain that challah seems dry. This one isn't, because it's a true brioche, made with butter. According to kashruth (kosher) laws, bread made with butter or dairy products cannot be eaten when meat is served at the same meal. So break with tradition, and serve fish instead of chicken one Friday night. This challah will still be moist the next morning, ready to be lightly toasted and topped with smoked salmon.

Makes: a 9-by-5-inch-high round loaf/ 2 1/4 pounds/1047 grams

Make a double recipe of Basic Brioche dough (2 pounds 6 ounces/1 kilogram, 80 grams), following the recipe as written through Step 6, then proceeding as directed below.

7. Shape the dough and let it rise. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Flatten it gently so as not to activate the gluten, making it stretchy. For a loaf with a braided top, divide the dough into 3 equal parts. Roll each on a lightly floured counter into a rope about 26 inches long. (If the dough is very elastic, allow it to rest, covered with plastic wrap, for 5 to 10 minutes.) For the most symmetrical loaf, braid the dough starting from the center and working toward each end, pinching it at the ends (see page 73). Coil the braid into the pan, starting at the center, and tucking the end underneath. Or, for an elegant snail shape, make one long thick rope and coil it around in the same manner.

8. Glaze the dough and let it rise. Brush the dough with the egg glaze, going deep into the crevices. Cover and refrigerate the remaining glaze. Cover the dough with a plastic box or oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place until the dough has reached the top of the pan, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

9. Preheat the oven. Preheat the oven to 425°F 1 hour before baking. Have an oven shelf at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.

10. Glaze and bake the challah. Brush the challah again with the egg glaze, going well into the crevices; be careful not to drip any down the side of the pan, or it will impede rising. Sprinkle the challah with the poppy seeds.

Place the pan onto the hot baking stone or hot baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to 375°F and continue baking for 50 to 55 minutes or until the bread is golden and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read about 190°F). After about 20 minutes at 375°F, or when the top crust is brown, tent it loosely with foil.

11. Cool the challah. Remove the pan from the oven and unmold the challah onto a wire rack. Turn it top side up to cool completely.

Convenience Brioche
To make the dough in a bread machine with a programmable setting and pause button, after mixing the sponge (Step 1), scrape it into the bread machine container and sprinkle the flour blanket on top, as in Step 2. Add the cold eggs (Step 3) and mix the dough for 3 minutes, then let it proceed through the knead cycle for about 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, shiny, and elastic. You will need to pause the machine a few times to scrape out any flour or dough that collects in the corners of the container. Add the softened butter at once and continue the kneading cycle until it is incorporated, about 3 minutes, pausing and scraping down the sides if necessary.

For the first rise (Step 4), turn off the machine and let the dough rise (with the lid closed) until approximately doubled, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the container from the machine, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for 1 hour (Step 5). Return the container to the bread machine (you can leave the plastic wrap in place) and deflate the dough by pressing the mix button and mixing for about 30 seconds. Return the container to the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then proceed from Step 6, deflating and chilling the dough.

POINTERS FOR SUCCESS
? In a superb article on brioche in Pleasures of Cooking, the cookbook author Paula Wolfert recommends melting and browning about one-fifth of the butter (2 tablespoons) for an extra rich, delicious flavor.

? On some mixers there may not be an adjustment to raise the bowl, and the dough hook may not work as well for this small amount of dough; if this is the case, use the paddle beater.

? If after unmolding a brioche loaf the sides are still pale in color, place the loaf directly on the oven rack and continue baking for about 5 minutes to brown the sides and make them firm to prevent collapse.

? If a deeper shine is desired, the brioche can be double-glazed by brushing with the glaze immediately after shaping and then a second time just before baking. This also serves to prevent the dough from drying out during rising. Understanding

UNDERSTANDING
This dough is exceptionally wet. Just enough extra flour is added to be able to handle it for shaping, resulting in a very light, soft bread. I do not use the food processor for this dough because it is so sticky that it is very difficult to remove from the bowl and blade; it also lifts up the blade when incorporating the butter.

THE DOUGH PERCENTAGE
Flour: 100%
Water: 55.4% (includes the water in the butter and egg white)
Yeast: 2.1%
Salt: 1.5%
Fat: 47.7% (includes the fat in the egg yolk)

Reprinted from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Berenbaum. Copyright (c) 2003 by Rose Levy Beranbaum. With permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc

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