Stay Home, Save Lives

I’m trying to make sense of things, trying to remind myself not to live in fear, even as we’re all social distancing and the country (along with many others around the world) has gone into lockdown. I’m naturally more introspective, and in fact that’s one of the reasons I started this blog in 2011, to work out my thoughts and feelings while I bake and cook for therapy.

So now more than ever, as you can imagine, I’ve been baking and cooking to work myself through these weeks of quiet time. I’m working still, full on at home, but those hours usually spent stuck in traffic while commuting to the office, or time spent gossiping over coffee with friends, or at the pub after work, now they’re all just more time on my hands for some self reflection and thinking.

I’m conscious of the fact that resources are scarce, and even if stores are stocked and eggs and butter are available, we shouldn’t be heading out too often to get them. So I’m trying to find recipes that don’t require those items, and also just baking things that will definitely get eaten. For today, unfortunately, I’m going to share a brioche recipe – now that we all have more time on our hands (a luxury we often complain about not having!) I’ve been gravitating towards the bread type recipes.

Edd (theboywhobakes) is doing a make along of sourdough, and is now on Day 2 of feeding his starter. It’s all on his highlights, so I’m going to make along as well. Will start mine today, and I’ve decided to name my starter Tullah (because “viral” in Malay is “tular” and has been used more often in the last few weeks in my life than I’ve ever heard it before). So come along for the journey, let’s stay sane and pick up skills together.

This is a recipe from Magnolia Kitchen in Auckland, who has one of the most amazing instagram accounts in my follow list. I love every single recipe in her book, I love her personality and stories, and I also really truly enjoy reading her cookbook beyond just the recipes. So for those of you who love a good cookbook, PLEASE get yourself a copy of hers. I actually got TWO copies, one I ordered online and another gifted by my brother. So I gave the one I had bought to a friend to share the love.

I made some changes to this based on my restricted pantry: I don’t have almonds on hand, and didn’t want to go to the store so I made a sweetened tahini filling instead. Bets uses an almond filling that is amazing (I’ve made this before) and that is shared in her book.

Seriously the easiest brioche dough you’ll ever make

by Bets Gee

  • 50g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 240ml milk
  • 1 packet 10g instant dry yeast
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 560g all purpose flour
  1. Whisk the sugar, salt and eggs in the bowl of your stand mixer
  2. Heat the milk in the microwave until just lukewarm (seriously, don’t make this too hot or your dough with explode later), then add the yeast to the milk and stir. Slowly add the milk to the eggs and sugar and stir to combine
  3. Melt the butter, cool it slightly before also adding to the batter and stirring to combine
  4. Add half the flour to the mix, stir by hand, then add the rest and change to a dough hook attachment. Let it mix on low until all combined, then increase the speed to medium and let it knead in the bowl for around 5 minutes, or until the dough pulls from the side and up the hook
  5. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap touching the top, and leave to proof in the fridge for minimum 3 hours (or overnight)
  6. 3 hours later, take the dough out and give it a gentle knead on a lightly floured surface. Not too much that you activate all the gluten again, but just enough to shape it a bit.
  7. If making brioche scrolls: Roll out into a rectangle and lay with filling (I’ll share tahini filling recipe below), roll on the long edge into a long, cut at 2 inch intervals then arrange the scrolls cut side up on a prepared baking tray. Let it rest, covered, for up to an hour (can be 30 minutes depending on how active your yeast got). Preheat the oven to 170C when ready to bake, then bake covered for 25 minutes, and remove the cover and bake for another 20 minutes or until beautifully golden and a knife inserted between the scrolls comes out clean.

Sweetened Tahini filling

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  1. Mix the tahini and sugar, taste to your preference (more of either ingredient) and spread onto the brioche dough.
  2. Top with whatever you like, I put dark chocolate and orange zest on

This dough is also what Bets uses for her doughnuts in store, the base for raisin or fruit loaf, and also the base of her hot cross buns. Which is timely for Easter, and I may make some cos I love hot cross buns.

Chins up, friends, lets do fitness videos and baking activities together. Hope you’re all keeping well. Stay safe!

#stayhomesavelives

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