I’ve had bees on the brain this spring. For the last few months, I’ve been learning all that I can about beekeeping in preparation of getting my own hive. After months of reading, taking classes, and attending meetings of the local Beekeepers Assoication, I finally got my bees! I made this little video of them the morning after installing the hive on my roof. I took the footage with my phone, so it’s low quality, but I had to share! I can’t wait for the first honey harvest. I’m sure my posts are going to be a little bee centric over the next few months. Hope y’all like honey!
I found this recipe for mini chocolate brioche several weeks ago and I had been waiting for a chance to make it ever since. On first glance the recipe seemed really involved, and since I’ve been busy getting ready for an art show, I didn’t think I had the time to make it. So, I’ve been biding my time and dreaming of coffee and sweet bread. Last weekend, I needed a little break from all my art-makin’ and I decided it was time to treat myself to a sweet sunday breakfast.
This brioche dough needs to rise 8 to 12 hours, so you start by making the dough and then letting it rise overnight. There are a lot of steps, but since they are broken up, it turns out to take more planning than effort. The end result really is amazing, your efforts will yield a subtly sweet and tender bread with a dark chocolate center, finished off by hints of honey. I’m SO glad I found the time to make it. Seriously, I felt like a baking superstar. This recipe has definitely found a permanent spot in my cooking repertoire.
Baby Chocolate Brioche:
- 1 TSP active dry yeast
- 2 TBS honey
- 1 cup lukewarm milk (105°F)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 2 TSP salt
- 5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 ounces of good quality dark chocolate (I use 83% Cacao) Divided into 12
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 TBS whole milk
- 1 TBS sugar
- extra honey for drizzling (optional)
1. Combine the warm milk, honey, and yeast and let it stand until it’s foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the olive oil, eggs and salt, and stir to blend.
3. Add the flour a little at a time, slowly mixing everything together. When the dough forms a ball, knead in the remaining flour. Knead until the the dough is soft and smooth, but still firm. If the dough is still sticky, add more flour. This step can be done in a heavy duty electric mixer if you happen to have one (I don’t).
4. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let it rise 8-12 hours.
5. An hour before you want to bake the rolls, remove the dough from the fridge, punch it down and divide it into 12 equal portions.
6. With the palm of your hand flatten each ball of dough into a disk and press in a portion of the chocolate into the center. Then reform the ball around the piece of chocolate, so that the chocolate is completely covered.
7. Place the rolls on a baking sheet, and cover with a clean towel. Let the dough rise another 30-45 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 400°F
9. Make the glaze by beating the egg yolk, then blending in a tablespoon of milk, and a tablespoon of sugar. Brush each roll with the glaze. (Drizzle the optional honey on the rolls if you want a little extra sweetness… which, come on, you do.)
10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the rolls are a deep golden brown.
Now, prepare yourself for a delicious and luxurious breakfast.
A simple treat that I’ve been enjoying a lot lately is figs with melted blue cheese, drizzled with honey. It’s a really quick and luxurious side dish or appetizer. Turn on the broiler in your oven and slice figs lengthwise. Place them in a baking dish face up and put a healthy slice of blue cheese on top. Put them in the oven just long enough to melt the cheese, it only takes about a minute. After the cheese is melted, remove them from the oven and drizzle with honey. It is a really fancy seeming dish that takes all of five minute to prepare. Go ahead, treat yourself!