Give your creation a name – and tell us about your recipe.
Birdy Brioche (To Celebrate the First Robin of Spring) – The recipe I used came from American Cookery by Juliet Corson (copyright 1885). When the British contestant was discussing her brioche, she said they often look like drunken sailors, but I see in them birds and chicks. I decided to bake a traditional brioche, one large and many small. The one, shaped in a ring like a nest, followed a modern recipe with a braiding and rolling technique.
Now that you’ve survived this challenge, what words of wisdom can you share?
Traditional brioche is an involved recipe with long hours of risings, many eggs and a lot of butter, making the dough wet and sticky. . . a little difficult to work with. But it was very light once baked and almost cake-like. Eaten plain, it is not too sweet. To sweeten up the nest bake and the afterthought spirals circling the base of the nest, I rolled in cinnamon and brown sugar, and even drizzled a little molasses in the batter to try to achieve a darker, nest-like coloring.
Tell us about how you added a Wisconsin twist.
I am celebrating Wisconsin’s State Bird. Robins building nests within eyesight in our yards certainly provide a fun view of nature and life. I have seen many broods grow and fly from the nest. It also needs to be said that the eggs in these recipes – 5-6 each – were provided by some Allouez Silver Wyandotte chickens.
How did you do?