In The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Reinhart provides three variations of his brioche formula: rich man’s brioche, middle-class brioche, and poor man’s brioche. The difference between these variations is the amount of butter incorporated into each dough. To be considered a “rich” dough, according to Reinhart, a dough’s fat to flour ratio must be in excess of 20%.
His rich man’s brioche formula is labeled at 87.7%
Not ready to take on that much butter, I opted for the middle-class brioche formula, which is labeled at 50%
This dough, by far, is the most difficult dough with which I have worked. Incorporating all that butter was a definite challenge, both physically and mentally. It was a process that went on for some time.
The ending result was, I am happy to report, a success. On a sad note, I did not leave myself with an adequate amount of time to proof the dough. As a result, the loaves were a bit denser (and shorter) than they probably should have been. But, baking the brioche was still a good time (as was eating it). Plus, I have two more variations to test. I have now made 24 of Reinhart’s 55 bread formulas (percentage complete: 43.64%).
In perhaps a vain attempt to counter all that butter, we served the bread with this garden salad.