This bostock is made from aerated brioche bread soaked in an orange syrup, topped with almond cream and baked a second time in a regular oven. This is not a conventional approach like the one I just made, following a Nancy Silverton’s recipe, posted earlier. This brioche bread can be made in minutes using a modernist approach and equipments. A blender, a whipping siphon and a microwave oven.
The dough consists of flour, sugar, eggs, butter, milk and salt, the usual suspects for enriched bread dough, but no yeast. There is no kneading or fermentation, a time-consuming process that takes hours and, somtimes, an overnight rest to complete. Yeast is not necessary in this recipe. The leavening of the modernist dough happens in different phases, and in a compressed time frame. The dough is initially mixed in a blender, then pressurized and aerated in a whipping siphon and finally finished in the microwave oven. In less time than it takes getting all the ingredients in place, the brioche bread is ready to eat. All in less than five to ten minutes.
|microwave 1 min. in shallow pan|
This may sound complicated, especially if you have not done it or seen it done before. I found this helpful youtube video. Michael Voltaggio demonstrates the steps to make the aerated brioche. He makes it look so easy to do. In my view, the microwave brioche is no harder to make than the conventional one: just different challenges.
The conventional approach requires experience and skill in fermenting and shaping the dough. It takes time. I’ve learned from years of baking that time should be treated as another ingredient in the mix. The baker should allow time (and the feel) to let the dough rise and do its magic.
The modernist approach requires using the proper equipments and getting the timing of each step right. Either approach takes some trials and errors before you come up with the perfect loaf. Modernist takes you to the finished loaf, instantly. You know, precisely and instantaneously, how everything turns out, the successes as well as the failures. There is, undoubtedly, the proverbial learning curve. It’s less steep than that of traditional bread-making.
One thing about the bread made in a microwave oven: there is no crust and the crumb can be uneven. I microwaved the dough in a 16-oz paper coffee cup. It rose and then collapsed which made for a dense crumb. I resolved that by using a shallow 7-in x 3 1/2-in mini paper baking pan. The brioche did not collapse as much after microwaving. The second bake of the brioche dough creates the crispy crust, like that of a toast. You can hardly tell that the brioche was not baked conventionally. Twice-baked microwave brioche strikes an ideal balance of convenience and taste in making some high-quality delicious pastry that home bakers can easily produce with a whipping siphon and an adventurous spirit.
I forgot to sprinkle confectioner’s sugar on top of the bostock for garnish. The success of the microwave broiche took my breath and concentration away!
|crumb shot of bostock with brioche microwaved in a paper cup|
|microwaved in mini pan and cut into two pieces|
My final take on the bostock with microwave brioche:
- I would make this bostock again: it’s fun, fast and a conversational piece.
- It won’t win any award as the best brioche I’ve ever eaten. That goes to Tartine brioche with natural leaven.
- Once baked brioche is best made with yeast (natural yeast produces the depth of flavor unmatched by that using commercial yeast). For twice baked brioche, or bostock, aerated brioche works just as well. It rewards you with instant gratification.