{sms} sweet almond bread pudding with raspberry sauce


And brioche! I got it in my head to bake the brioche for this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays selection, Sweet Almond Bread Pudding with Raspberry Sauce.

petite brioche sans tete

I’ve made brioche before, both the one from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours and from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. This time I decided to try the brioche recipe from Elisabeth Prueitt’s Tartine. As Tartine recipes tend to go, it was a fussy recipe requiring a pre-ferment, both freezer & refrigerator time, and washing lots of dishes. And as Tartine recipes tend to go, it was the best recipe I’ve made. The crumb was unbelievable and the bread was gorgeous. I made the full recipe which yielded 2 loaves and 12 petite brioche sans tête (didn’t feel like adding the têtes).

brioche loaf

In the introduction to the recipe Elisabeth Prueitt suggests using slices of brioche for tartines, French open-faced sandwiches. I thought that was a swell idea and made one using leftover toppings from my pizza party. It’s a 4-Cheese tartine with sun-dried tomatoes and red onions.  Most of the brioche is residing in my freezer for French toast emergencies.


I only made a 1/4 of the Sweet Melissa recipe because I’m not a fan of bread pudding. I made 1/2 of the raspberry sauce because it will be great on ice cream. Thank you to Candace of Candy Girl for hosting this week. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book–Melissa Murphy’s The Sweet Melissa Baking Book.


After a long hiatus, I’ve remembered to submit this to Yeastspotting!


I did it! And I’m never doing it again…


…or at least that is what I thought before I tasted heaven on earth, or what you might call a croissant. Yes, I made croissants from scratch. Yes, I spent two days rolling and folding dough, spreading butter (oh so much butter–5 1/2 sticks!!!), and waiting-lots of waiting.


I never realized how much work went into making croissants {ignorance is bliss!} and maybe that’s why there are so many bad-tasting ones out there…nothing beats a handmade croissant. Wow. If I seem very enthusiastic right now, it’s only because I just finished eating my first one. There are still crumbs on my shirt, on my lips.


The recipe I used comes from Tartine from the owners of the bakery of the same name in San Francisco. The Daring Bakers chose it has their monthly challenge in January 2007 long before I joined. I’m slowly baking my way through past challenges and after tasting these, I’m so glad I am. You can find the recipe at Veronica’s Test Kitchen, but the recipe is so long with a lot of steps {and the cookbook is great!} I urge you to get your hands on it.


Here is a brief summary of the steps involved in making the best tasting croissant you’ll ever taste:

  1. Make a preferment. Let rise 2 to 3 hours (or overnight in fridge).
  2. Mix dough ingredients with preferment, let sit for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Knead dough for a maximum of 4 minutes in stand mixer. Let rise 1 1/2 hours or until doubles in size.
  4. Transfer dough to work surface. Pat out into a two-inch high rectangle, wrap in plastic, and place in fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
  5. An hour before your ready to start laminating the dough, take out the butter {22 ounces!!!} and use stand mixture to make butter malleable {but not warm! not soft!}. Wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator.

    This is what 5 1/2 sticks of butter spread out on dough looks like

    This is what 5 1/2 sticks of butter spread out on dough looks like

  6. Remove dough and butter from refrigerator. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface into a rectangle 28 by 12 inches. {Do you know how long 28 inches is? OMG, it’s long. I know I used a measuring tape.}
  7. Spread and pat the butter over 2/3rd’s of the rectangle. Fold in thirds starting with the unbuttered side. Like a business letter. This is apparently known as a plaque. imgp3189
  8. Use your fingers to seal the seams and give the plaque a quarter turn. Roll out the dough AGAIN to a 28 by 12 inch rectangle. I feel like I got a good upper body work out this weekend. 😛
  9. Fold it into a plaque again, wrap in plastic, and place in refrigerator for 1 1/2 to 2 hours to relax the gluten.
  10. Clean work surface, dust with flour, and AGAIN roll out dough to 28 by 12 inches. It’s neat you can see the streaks of butter when you roll out the dough.

    This is a 32 by 12 inch "rectangle".

    This is a 32 by 12 inch "rectangle".

  11. Fold it into a plaque. Wrap in plastic. Place on a quarter sheet pan and place in FREEZER for at least an hour or up to a week. Remove from freezer and place in fridge the night before you plan on making the croissants.
  12. When you are roll out the dough, lightly flour work surface. Roll out dough into a rectangle 32 by 12 inches. {That’s longer than 28 inches!! 😛 }. imgp3192
  13. Cut dough into triangles with a four inch base and 10 to 12 inch sides and roll into croissants.
  14. Let croissants rise for 2 to 3 hours. imgp3195
  15. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  16. 10 minutes before croissants are ready for oven, make egg wash and brush on croissants. Let croissants sit for 10 minutes.
  17. Place in oven and turn temp down to 400 F. Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, turning pan half way through.
Croissants...fresh from the oven.

Croissants...fresh from the oven.