Duck Fat Brioche
If you’ve been reading this blog for some time now you know that I love ducks and I love brioche. More than these two things combined I love the fabulous bread book, Tartine Bread by Chad Robertson. It has lovely pictures, beautiful breads and just feels good in the hand. I am a collector of cookbooks and this is one of my treasures.
I have known I love duck eggs for several years but it wasn’t until a friend gave me a tub of duck fat recently that I truly appreciated the duck for all it provides. Duck fat is a culinary dream.
Note: If you own Tartine Bread, you know all of his recipes are by weight but I converted some ingredients into volume to make it easier for me to visualize. I can’t visualize 2.5 g of salt but I can visualize 0.5 teaspoon.
I made this Brioche in a day, from start to finish it took about 12 hours. It may sound laborious but it really isn’t. It’s a great recipe to start in the morning, go run errands and then in the late afternoon finish while you’re doing stuff around the house. Before you go to bed you have a fresh loaf of Brioche that can sit on the stove overnight to cool and slice up for breakfast the next morning.
Duck Fat Brioche
adapted from Tartine Bread
makes one beautiful loaf
150 g all purpose flour
150 g water
3 T. freshly fed starter*
250 g all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
2 T. sugar
0.5 t. active dry yeast
2 duck eggs (or 3 chicken eggs, roughly 120 g of just egg, no shell)
1/3 c. whole milk
175 g of leaven (Step One)
120 g duck fat
*starter should have been fed in the last 24 to 48 hours and actively bubbling. I pull my starter from the refrigerator the night before I know I will bake with it and feed it. Then leave it out at room temperature overnight and use some of it for recipes like this.
Step One: In the morning, combine the ingredients in Step One in a bowl, stir with a wooden spoon and cover with plastic wrap, 6 to 7 hours later start Step Two. You’ll know your leaven is ready when a small spoon of it will float in a bowl of room temperature water.
Step Two: Tare the bowl of a stand mixer on a scale and weigh out the flour, then add the salt, sugar and yeast. In a separate bowl weigh out the eggs and add those to the stand mixer bowl. Then add the milk. Weigh out the leaven and add lastly to the bowl. Mix with the knead hook for 6 to 8 minutes until the dough starts to pull away from the bowl. Scrape down the bowl around minute 4 to make sure all ingredients are mixed in. Stop the mixer and lay a towel over the bowl while the hook is still attached and let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. During this time pull the duck fat out of the refrigerator so it can warm slightly.
Duck fast isn’t as solid as butter so it will melt more easily than butter. After the dough has rested, turn on the mixer to medium speed and add a tablespoon or so of duck fat at a time. Do this until all fat is incorporated (about 7 minutes). Around minute 3 you’re going to panic because your dough looks extremely wet and greasy but don’t worry! Just allow the mixer enough time to incorporate all of the fat into the dough. Scrape the dough into another bowl and cover with plastic wrap (or a shower cap) and let ferment for about 2 hours, turning half way through with a bowl scraper.
Note: If this all seems completely foreign to you, I highly recommend you get the book Tartine Bread, there are much better pictures in the book than I could ever show you.
After the fermentation step, scrape the dough into a duck fat greased bread pan and cover again with the plastic wrap. Let it sit on top of the stove and pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit. Let the dough rise for an hour and then brush melted duck fat on top of the loaf. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until very brown. Remove from the oven and let sit overnight (or at least an hour) to completely cool in the pan where it will finish baking. I let mine sit overnight (uncovered) and the next morning it came easily out of the pan and was ready to be sliced and toasted with butter for breakfast. It is a tender and fabulous bread!
March 20, 2016
Posted in baking, breads