Baking Project (TWD): Savory Brioche Pockets

Last week I mentioned my initiation of this baking project. I wasn’t particularly into the idea. I love baking, but generally I prefer it if my baking results in some sort of delicious dessert. Not an appetizer. Appetizers are for cooking. And Sauteeing. And searing. But not baking. It only adds insult to injury considering I’m still in the midst of my starch-free diet extravaganza and thus am not supposed to taste test the result. But I digress. I have flour and I have eggs and I have a lot of time, thus, I will bake. 20130521-113922.jpg

This recipe begins with a basic brioche dough. From what I could tell, there were at least 4 other brioche-related recipe in the Julia book so I went ahead and made a full recipe of the stuff, figuring I could divide the dough into quarters, and just make mini-batches of everything. I have no need for 16 brioche pockets. I barely have need for 2 brioche pockets. Anyway. I digress. I really enjoyed making the dough. Not that it really involved a whole lot of effort on my part. I let the yeast rest for a bit and I let my mixer mix for a bit and TADA! I have dough. I did spend some effort caressing my KitchenAid. I was about to put a pack of frozen green beans over the motor to try and keep her heat down but she did well. She endured. Good job Kay (that’s the KitchenAid). I did wonder how the old frenchies used to make this kind of bread prior to heavy duty mixers. Generally I’m all for through some dough around on the counter but considering the mixer needed a solid 20 minutes of mixing, I was afraid of how long it would take me to get the dough to the right stage.

20130521-113932.jpg Once the dough had reached it’s soft silky stage post-butter addage, I flopped it into a large bowl for it’s rise time. I LOVE risen dough. It’s like seeing macaron feet. It’s like the food is letting you know – hey! You’re doing things right! Keep going! So I did – on to the filling! The filling in the recipe was a mashed potato/asparagus/onion mixture which did NOTHING for me. I am not a fan of starch-filled starches. Even sans crazy diet. The idea makes no sense to me. You should be mixing opposite food types. Starch +meat. Meat+ vegetable. Starch + vegetable. Even go for broke and go Starch+meat+vegetable. But never a double starch! Bad! I was hoping the google machine could help me find alternate filling ideas but it didn’t. Not really. And I wasn’t feeling very creative. I made the mashed potatoes. But I added a bunch of cheese. Little did I know that would be my downfall… Fast forward a week. When I realized I had a ball of brioche dough and cold mashed potatoes sitting in my fridge and I was supposed to make something with it. By this point I was really not feeling a asparagus-onion-mashers filling. What I was feeling? Bacon. Bacon goes with mashed potatoes. I could even do a take on a fully loaded baked potato filling. So I did. Bacon+cheesy mashers+more cheese+chives. That could work. Into the dough they went. 20130521-113941.jpg I put the little dough hat on top and attempted as best I could to make a cutesy curl with the dough. It didn’t really work. But this point I was thinking maybe they could be ready in time to be served with dinner (beef stew) so I started rushing a little. I probably only let them rise for about 10-15 minutes but frankly, they had already been sitting on the counter for a bit while I figure out what to do with the filling and were already spongy to the touch. So I threw them in the oven. By this point they missed their dinnertime arrival so I wasn’t paying much attention. The recipe said a deep golden brown due to all the egg wash so I went for the full time allotted. I should have pulled them out earlier.20130521-113952.jpgThey did look nice but the bottoms were a bit too toasted. I’d like to say I bit into one and delightful flavors of bacon and baked potatoes enveloped my tongue but alas. No. Such. Luck. Instead it tasted strongly of swiss cheese and I don’t like swiss cheese. And I don’t know why it tasted like swiss cheese because I didn’t add any swiss cheese. I did add a lot of ‘italian cheese mix’ in addition to plain old cheddar and maybe the parmasean overpowered everything? I was also disappointed by the bacon, which while initially crispy went to soggy and chewy in the oven. Tres unfortunate. This was not a winner in my book, and while it was probably more my fault than the recipe I can’t imagine trying it again. Life’s too short to retry a mediocre recipe.

Clearly Carrie over at Loaves and Stitches disagrees as her pockets came out looking delish. Jealous!

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7 comments

  1. Sorry you didn’t like them. Hopefully you will like it better with something sweet….like those sticky buns. I’ve got half the dough in the freezer and I’m thinking sweet would be good!

  2. Sorry to hear your substitutions did not work for you. I’m looking forward to making these soon. No problem here with a double starch – I make a delicious roasted vegetable quesidilla that has sliced potatoes in them – so good! With your leftover dough you can make the sticky buns – that is one I passed up; or how about chocolate and raspberry filled?

  3. I also thought it was strange to be baking bread for appetizers. But I ended up taking mini-pockets to a party, and it made perfect sense as party food. Sweet filling would work really well!

  4. I have to admit to loving a little double-starch from time to time. It’s disappointing when a combination that works on paper doesn’t impress on execution. You got an entertaining blog post from it, though!

  5. Halfway through your post I was salivating, thinking about your flavor combination. It really did sound like a great idea and they look great. I didn’t love these either. I guess there’s always the next recipe. :)

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