When I was in France this summer, my little love Renata was often by my side at my homes in La Rochelle and Les Sables d’Olonne.
One of her favorite ways to respond to my all-hours question are you hungry, was to tell me that she wanted brioche et du beurre – brioche bread and butter.
I got it. Within short order I knew where to buy the best brioche, and there was always the finest quality butter in my fridge. I wanted nothing less than that for her, and for myself.
In Les Sables d’Olonne, there was an extraordinary boulangerie about ten minutes by foot from our home, and it was around the corner from SuperU – the mega-grocery-home-store. There was always something we needed from SuperU, so Renata was always excited to go for a walk on the daily and stop at the boulangerie on our way back. So was I.
We made our journeys in the morning, because this bakery tended to sell the entirety of their daily gigantic brioche dotted with sparkling sugar (in foto above) early in the day. Guests simply requested what size wedge they preferred; it was wrapped in paper and gently placed in a bag, while still warm. It took everything we had to not eat the entire piece as we walked.
When I returned to Redondo Beach in August, I had brioche on the brain. In my experience, there is nothing like that Les Sables boulangerie here, nor does any brioche in town come close to that one that delighted us beyond measure, in July.
Having said that, I have indulged myself lately with the one on Trader Joe’s bakery rack. The traditional one is quite good, and their new autumn pumpkin-cinnamon swirl loaf makes yummy pan francais (with white nectarine and bacon, foto right).
Why don’t you make your own, I hear you ask! This is not beyond the realm of possibility and, it appears to me that this precious egg dough takes much mixing, for which a stand mixer is best used and, is something I do not have.
In the meantime, yesterday I made three loaves of Schizzotto, which is like Italian brioche, made with milk. The mixing was entirely done by hand – so good for my heart and soul at this hour - and this recipe is extremely special. I love that it makes enough to share, because my dear friend Paigey (my twin ;) is visiting tomorrow and I’m sending her home with a loaf. It’s incredibly delicious toasted, which I intend to serve us when she arrives tomorrow.
It will do, for now. Please stay tuned for more stories about bread, and recipes for how to enjoy it best. Bread is one of my truest passions in life, and its constant craving (with finest quality butter, all-hours) is comforting while I care for my tender heart at the moment ... I’m sure you understand ;).