Baked Sunday Mornings: Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches

I don't have a lot of experience with yeasted breads, but I have been getting more comfortable with the category over the years. This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches, looked pretty straightforward except for the timing -- there are hours of waiting time and an overnight chilling phase. After reading through the recipe I realized that the bread would have to be a weekend project.

On day one, you start out by mixing together instant yeast, bread flour, and room temperature milk. You let the mixture ferment for an hour, and mine became puffy and developed large air holes. Then you use a dough hook to mix in more bread flour, sugar, salt, and eggs. The recipe says that it will take 8-10 minutes to form a dough that pulls away cleanly from the sides and bottom of the bowl, but my mixture formed a stiff but smooth and cohesive dough after just a minute or two. I kept it in the mixer and let the dough hook keep slapping the dough around the sides of the bowl, but after about 5 minutes this process became painfully noisy and threatened to dislodge the mixer bowl (I have a 7-quart Kitchenaid mixer with a bowl lift mechanism; the stiff dough was putting a lot of pressure on the pins that keep the bowl in place and I had to physically hold down the bowl to keep it from jumping off). The recipe warns that making brioche is hell on your stand mixer, but I decided to cut the mixing time short.

Then I gradually incorporated softened butter and kept mixing until the dough was uniform. I covered the bowl of dough and let it rise for 90 minutes before dividing it into twelve pieces. The dough was very oily and a bit sticky, but I was able to form each piece into a taut ball and drop it into the well of a well-buttered muffin tin. Then I covered the pan with plastic wrap and left it in the fridge overnight.
The following morning the balls of dough looked about the same, but they were hard. After almost two hours at room temperature, the dough had risen quite a bit and some of the rolls had large air bubbles on top (which I decided not to pop). I baked the rolls for 20 minutes, until they were golden brown and the internal temperature reached 195 degrees. Some of the rolls that had air bubbles on top baked into miniature Smurf houses with pointy tops. But other than that, I thought the rolls looked great, and they came out of the muffin tin without a problem.
Tom and I tried a piece of brioche fresh from the oven and it was soft and fluffy -- the very bottom of the roll was a little undercooked, but it wasn't bothersome. The bread was very buttery and left an oily residue on our fingers -- it reminded me a little of the inside of a Pillsbury crescent roll (that is a compliment; I love Pillsbury crescent rolls!).

I didn't have enough time to make my own ice cream this week, so I used some store-bought cappuccino gelato to make the brioche ice cream sandwiches. The sandwiches were good, but I don't think that they were the best use of the brioche. The soft texture of the bread didn't offer much contrast, and I think the flavor of the gelato overshadowed the bread. The recipe suggests toasting the brioche before assembling the sandwiches, and I think that would definitely be an improvement to enhance the flavor and texture. A few years ago I made brioche cinnamon toast topped with ice cream, and it was a much more impressive dessert.

But I couldn't help thinking that the brioche would be wonderful toasted with jam, or as the base for a savory sandwich. There are a lot of great ways to use these delicious little rolls!

Recipe: "Brioche Ice Cream Sandwiches" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

Previous Post: "Why I'm Thankful This Year: Pain aux Raisins and a Brioche Bonus," November 30, 2012.


Sheri said…
Oh man. I had the same experience with my mixer. I just stood there and watched Netflix while it mixed. :)

Your brioche is gorgeous. I had the same issue dealing with timing... ended up making the dough on a Sunday, baked it off on Monday night.
Anonymous said…
I haven't made brioche, yours looks yummy! I will have to try that some time.
Anonymous said…
Beautiful-- your brioche rolls are so perfectly golden! I know what you mean about the mixer and timing. I would have loved to re-bake my ugly/greasy rolls, but I couldn't do it because vacay was over-- this one takes planning! I probably didn't let the dough mix long enough because I was anxious to turn off the mixer. Anyway, I wish I could take a bite out of your brioche! :)
Louise said…
As an avid reader of Baked Sunday Mornings, I have to say that I'll definitely be baking these brioche sometime soon, but I'll only use them for a grilled sandwich. Save the ice cream for another purpose. Right now, I'm thinking that these would be terrific with pickle-brined chicken or yogurt-marinated chicken or Turkish lamb burgers.
Pinar said…
I had the same experience with having very oily dough, but I'm glad it worked out for both of us in the end! Your brioche looks so fluffy and wonderful!