Monday, May 27, 2013

TWD: Savory Brioche Pockets

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan 
Contributing Baker: Nancy Silverton 

I was excited to make these, for all the components sounded delicious. Goat cheese is my all-time favorite, and I love caramelized onions; and who doesn't like mashed potatoes!

This was my first experience with making brioche. It really is a wonderful dough to work with. You do however need a heavy-duty mixer to make this type of dough. I have read that this dough has pushed the limits of some mixers - may even have sent one to mixer heaven.

This same dough recipe was used for making the sticky buns made by the group last year at this time; the one recipe I passed on. I still have half the brioche dough in the freezer - maybe I'll attempt them after all.

Unfortunately these were just OK. Not anything like I had inticipated. The flavor quotient needs to be anted up a bit. I'm thinking roasted or grilled asparagus would have been more flavorful and the potatoes were rather bland as well. I wish I had gone with my initial idea of replacing the chives with a mixture of sage and thyme. The spuds also were very dry, to which I added a half cup of non-fat yogurt. I was surprised the recipe does not call for adding salt and pepper to the onion mixture; I did, and it made a big difference in taste - however, it did not help the overall product in the end.

I loved the look of these - they do make for a beautiful presentation. With some flavor enhancement and made smaller, they would make a great appetizer for a party.

Success meter (1-3): 1.5

The sponge. This consists of whole milk (I used half and half - I forgot to buy milk), yeast, egg, and flour. Mix together and sprinkle more flour on top and let rest for 30 to 40 minutes, at which time the flour cracks - the indication that your yeast is alive and well and ready to proceed.

Add to the sponge - sugar, salt, eggs, and flour. This gets mixed for fifteen minutes till the dough comes together and you hear a distinctive slapping sound (I barely heard it) from the dough hitting the side of the bowl. You now have a beautiful soft ball of dough.

Next step is to add the butter which needs to be similar in consistency of the dough. Smear your butter on a cool surface with a pastry cutter or bash it with a rolling pin. Do not handle the butter with your hands or mix it too much. You want it to remain cool - not warm or greasy.  This you add to the dough and mix. Your beautiful ball of dough breaks apart at this time. Do not fret! The dough miraculously comes back together into another soft and supple ball.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl to rise for two to two and a half hours, until doubled in bulk.

After the first rise, deflate the dough by running your hand underneath the perimeter and giving it a little fluff with your hand. Cover and chill overnight.

Prepare your filling by sautéing your onions, boiling your potatoes, and asparagus. I highly recommend roasting or grilling the asparagus for more flavor.

On the advice of another baker, I cut my circles in two different sizes to save time of having to stretch the second circle larger after cutting to accommodate the mound of filling.

 If only they tasted as good as they looked.

As you can see, only the tips of the asparagus are used here. To use up those tipless spears, grill them and use them in Grilled Asparagus and Portabella Mushroom Salad. (Portabella/Portobello. Tomato/Tomahto. Depending who you talk to or read, it's one or the other. Me, I prefer the spelling with o's.) A photo of this salad appears below.

 Oh so very pretty; too bad they don't hold their shape after baking. 
Once all your pockets are formed, give them an egg wash and let rise for twenty minutes.

 The sage leaves I purchased were enormous in size! I folded them in half and gave them a little trim.

After the twenty minute rise, they should be slightly puffy and spongy. Give them a second coating of egg wash and top with poppy seeds and sage leaves.

 Bake until beautifully golden brown.

 Here we have a beautiful (though bland) brioche pocket served alongside the delicious salad mentioned above.

Carrie at Loaves and Stitches is our host for the week, you can find the recipe on her blog. And don't forget to check out the results and other variations of this recipe from all the talented bakers we have in the group. You can find their links on the Tuesdays with Dorie website under the link titled LYL: Savory Brioche Pockets

I would like to share a couple of tips with you.:

To keep the dough cool while rolling out and not having to move the dough back and forth from the fridge from it becoming too soft and warm while handling, I placed an ice pack under my marble board. Works like a charm.

I also placed an ice pack between two cookie sheets while forming the pockets. This may have hampered the second rise a bit; I did not feel they rose all that much more, however, it seems no harm was done.

A fabulous tip I learned from my friend Christine, use the butter wrapper to grease your cookie sheets (or bowl in this case). Usually there is just enough butter left on the wrapper if you have let the butter set out to come to room temperature.


  1. Beautiful!
    The tip of using an ice pack between your cookie sheets is a good one. I will have to remember that.

  2. These pics are amazing Cathleen, and your pockets look sensational! But I feel like you, the flavor needs something, it´s pretty bland for the work involved. I found the sticky buns were worth the work though.

  3. Seriously...this dough is a tough mama! I had to get on my step stool and push down on my mixer, so it wouldn't gallop off the counter!
    Beautiful pockets! And yes, I agree! Must try different flavors!

  4. I'm bummed I missed these. They look delicious!

  5. This is funny - I just cleaned the freezer today and counted how many butter wrappers I have saved for greasing baking pans :) Love your pockets!

  6. They are gorgeous! It's too bad the filling didn't do it for you. Maybe it needs bacon...


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