Tuesday, March 18, 2008

TWD: Brioche Raisin Snails


It's another Tuesday, and you know what that means! Tuesdays with Dorie. I gotta admit... I almost bailed on this week. I threw a party last weekend, and all my attention went to that. I woke up after the party with a sinking feeling. Peabody picked a daunting recipe for this week in the Brioche Raisin Snails. It's three! Three recipes in one! First you have to make the brioche dough and let it chill overnight. Then there's a pastry cream, and then you flame the raisins/dried fruit and put it all together.

Click here for the recipe.

Brioche Mosaic

I decided to give it a shot, and I'm really glad I did. I checked out the main blog for the scoop and tips from all those baking before me, and found that most folks were worried about the flaming fruit part. That should probably have worried me, but I was more "het" up about the brioche dough. I've done a pastry cream before, and figured good prep and being careful would work with the flaming part. (Or you know, calling in the big guns and letting Bill do the flame thing while I took pictures. Whatever. :D)

I did snitch one idea from the other TWDers. Someone (Steph? Slush?) mentioned using dried cherries instead of raisins and I was hooked. I would probably have loved the raisins, but I thought Bill might like cherries better. (He mostly picked them out, doh!)

Pastry Cream Mosaic

The dough came together mostly painlessly. I wasn't sure what to expect at each step, so I spent some anxious moments wondering if it had come into a ball too quickly. Mine pretty much pulled away from the sides of the bowl before I even started incorporating the butter.

The pastry cream came out tasty and thiiiiick. I thought about messing around with one of the flavor options listed in the book, but opted for the plain jane version for the first shot.

Flaming Cherries

Flaming the cherries went off without a hitch. I tried to get a good photo (the one above was the best of the bunch), but the constant moving and light didn't really help.

The dough rolled out, and everything came together well. The snails rose beautifully, and all was great until the baking. I switched the sheet placement at the 15 minute mark, but the snails on top were already too brown. The other sheet came out nicely browned for the most part.
Brioche Snail Mosaic

Oh, and you may have noticed from the recipe. The snails recipe only calls for half of the brioche dough. I thought about doing another log of snails to freeze, but in the end, decided to make the brioche loaf. Just for kicks. I tried letting the dough proof at room temperature (on the oven because it was still warm from dinner), but there was no rise after an hour. So then, I moved it to the laundry room. (I know, but it seemed like a good idea.) I'd been running the dryer with the door closed, and it was slightly warmer in there. After another hour with little rise, I noticed the oven was still warm. Bingo - an hour in there, and we have rise!

Verdict? Tasty. But just shy of burned even with taking it out 5 minutes before the minimum time listed in the recipe. I gotta check my oven temp or learn to start checking these recipes at the half way time (then every 5 minutes).

Brioche Loaf Mosaic

Lessons Learned: My house is freezing. I'll do the oven trick the next time I need to proof a yeast dough instead of messing around. Also, I need to be a little more vigilant with the baking times and/or check the oven temp. Wandering away and trusting the minimum time is probably not the smartest approach!

Conclusion: Awesome recipe. I'll definitely be making these for overnight guests. I'd probably make a few stripes for guests though: one chocolate chip, one raisins, and one with just cinnamon sugar. Oh, and I'd love to try some of the flavored pastry cream in these as well.


Engineer Baker said...

My apartment is really cold too (I like it that way) and so here's what I do when I bake bread. I turn on the oven low and just set my bread on top. It still takes a bit longer, but not all day! I'm loving the chocolate idea though, and your snails turned out beautifully!

Annemarie said...

I love the look of the icing! They look wonderful!

ostwestwind said...

I turn the lights on that's warm enough. Your snails look great!

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

amanda. said...

They look great!

My husband keeps our apartment insanely cold so whenever I make bread I put the oven on the lowest setting while I'm getting the dough ready and I let the bread sit in there after cutting the oven off. It seems to work well.

Heather said...

My seemed to keep rising for some reason. Your snails look delicious! Great job!

CB said...

Same here! I feel like my apt is in a dark abyss. Its dark and cold. I did the oven trick per Laurie's rec - get it up to the lowest setting, turn off and then put dough to rise inside and it worked great! Your snails look delish. Great job!

slush said...

They look fantastic! Fab job!

I would love to try some of the flavored pastry cream too. Next time, for sure!

noskos said...

Great looking snails!!

Erin said...

These look great! The glaze looks so pretty. I'd love to try these again with some different combinations too.

Judy said...

I made a loaf with the other half of the dough as well, freezing it as soon as it was cool so I wouldn't be tempted.

Bumblebutton said...

All told, I let my brioche loaf rise for 3.5 hours!! All in the name of having it stale so I could try Dorie's recipe for Bostok! Wish I would have used cherries for the snails, like you did. But, I have 2 oven thermometers (don't ask...) and even at the right temp, my snails were done 7 minutes early. And I ended up covering the brioche loaf with foil so it didn't brown too much--took out 5 minutes early.

Dianne said...

The addition of the cherries was a great idea! Your snails look great and so did your brioche loaf.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Too bad that things were so cold, that would have been tough! The snails sure look tasty! Great job with the recipe!

Rachel said...

Great job! This week was worth the effort, don't you think? :)

cheri said...

I had the same cold issue and used the oven myself. My was not budging! I like the idea of choclate chips! These look great.

Sherry Trifle - Lovely Cats said...

Your Brioche Raisin Snails look lovely! I waited 2 hours for the first rise to be ready - I was freaking out with anxiety. Find that using a small room heater on high, with the dough about two feet away seems to help quicken the rising.

Jaime said...

great job! i always let my dough rise in the oven, as my apartment is never warm enough. it's funny, i totally didn't think to photograph the flames...but after they ignited i was like "Wow! is should take a pic of that!" and then i went running to find my camera and grab a few shots! i was happy i was able to get a few before they burned out! :)

KN said...

I LOVE the step-by-step photos!! They look awesome!

Rebecca said...

The three-recipes-in-one was pretty daunting, but I'm glad we didn't skip it. Plus, it sounds like all of our husbands loved torching the raisins. ;)

Sweet and Savory Eats said...

I'm loving the idea of the cherries.

Jhianna said...

Engineer Baker: Thanks! I tried the oven on, but it wasn't really cutting it. I may have been a little impatient :)

Annemarie, CB, Noskos, Erin, Dianne, Gretchen Noelle, Kn: Thanks!

Ostwestwind: Really? The lights work for you? My house must be very, very cold then!

Amanada: That's what I think I'm going to have to do for mine from now on too - good tips, lowest setting. Thanks!

Heather: Doh! I read that a few folks had problems with it rising forever in the fridge. Mine didn't seem to have that problem.

Slush: The only question for me is which flavor to try first? :)

Judy: I should have frozen mine, but it's currently stale on the counter. Maybe I'll freeze it now to use later in some sort of bread pudding?

BumbleButton: I'm sorry you had the same problem but it's good to know that I wasn't the only one!

Rachel: So, so, so worth it!

Cheri: That was difficult wasn't it? Thanks!

Sherry Trifle - lovely cats: I thought about pulling out the space heater!

Jaime: Oven for me next time! You got a much better shot than I did of those fl
ames, nice job!

Rebecca: It's that whole man-fire thing! LOL

Sweet and Savory Eats: give em a try, they were tasty!

Peabody said...

Nice action shot of the flaming raisins.
Excellent job!

Jhianna said...

Peabody: thank you, thank you :)