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Big Black Dog: Zoe François and Pumpkin Pie Brioche

November 1, 2009

Zoe François and Pumpkin Pie Brioche



Zoe François, baker extraordinaire, teacher, cookie maker, pastry chef, consultant, mother, wife and co-author with Jeff Hertzberg MD, of two wonderfully popular books, “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day".

Zoe began her culinary adventures while studying art at the University of Vermont when she began making and marketing gourmet cookies! After marrying her husband, Graham, she advanced her culinary career and attended the Culinary Institute of America (CIA). In 1997 she began teaching and presenting and is currently teaching at Cooks of Crocus Hill, Whole Foods, the University of Minnesota and other cooking schools around the country. To add more to Zoe’s already hectic schedule she works as a product development consultant for General Mills and several upscale restaurants in the Minneapolis area. She also maintains her own website, Zoe Bakes. Zoe currently lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband and two very active sons.

Psst...Doesn't Zoe look great in her chef whites!!

I distinctly remember when I first heard about the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” and I thought "bread in 5 minutes...no way". But I was amazed when I made my first loaf and it was so easy and so delicious! Earlier this year I heard that Zoe and Jeff were working on a new bread book emphasizing whole grains and being my husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes, "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" could not have come at a better time.

And to add to the excitement of a new cookbook, I am organizing a new baking group, HBinFive and we will be baking our way through the book, one recipe at a time! Since HBinFive was just announced and we're heading into the hustle and bustle of the holidays we will not be baking from the book until after the holidays. But to keep our new group busy, Zoe and Jeff are both donating a never before published recipe for November and December.

And below is the mouthwatering and ever so tempting bonus November recipe!



pumpkin brioche 16 large




Pumpkin Pie Brioche
Recipe adapted from HealthyBreadinFive

Makes enough dough for at least two 2-pound loaves. The recipe is easily doubled or halved.

3 cups white whole wheat flour
4½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tablespoons granulated yeast, or 2 packets
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/4 cup water
4 large eggs
½ cup honey
¾ cup neutral-flavored oil, unsalted butter (or zero-trans fat, zero hydrogenated oil margarine), melted
One large pie (or “sugar”) pumpkin to yield 1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree, or use a 15-ounce can of unsweetened pumpkin puree
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
Raw sugar for sprinkling on top of loaf

1. If making your own fresh pumpkin puree: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Split the pumpkin in half starting at the stem and place cut side down on a silicone mat or a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. The pumpkin should be very soft all the way through when poked with a knife. Cool slightly before scooping out the seeds.

2. Scoop out the roasted flesh of the pumpkin puree it in the food processor. Set aside 2 cups for the dough and use any leftover in your favorite pumpkin pie recipe.

3. Mixing and storing the dough: Whisk together the flours, yeast, salt and vital wheat gluten in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.

4. Add the remaining ingredients and mix without kneading, using a spoon, 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). You may need to use wet hands to get the last bit of flour to incorporate if you’re not using a machine.

5. The dough will be loose, but it will firm up when chilled (don’t try to use it without chilling).

6. Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately 2 hours.

7. Refrigerate in a non-airtight lidded container and use over the next 5 days. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container. Freeze in 2-pound portions.

8. Defrost dough overnight in the refrigerator if frozen. On baking day, grease a brioche or 8½x4½-inch non-stick loaf pan. Cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece of dough. Dust with flour and quickly shape it into a ball. Place the ball in the prepared pan and allow to rest for 90 minutes.

9. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

10. Using a pastry brush to paint the loaf’s top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.

11. Bake near the center of the oven for approximately 45 minutes. Brioche will not form a hard crackling crust. Loaf is done when medium brown and firm. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking time.

12. Remove from the pan and allow to cool before slicing or eating.


pumpkin brioche 13 large




And we have a winner in our first drawing for a free signed copy of "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day".

Drum Roll Please!!!!

And the WINNER IS...........Kelly Stodola of MaxiFortend!

Our next drawing for a signed copy of "Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" will be November 15th, so don't hesitate to join HBinFive!



© Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois, used with permission of the Authors


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32 Comments:

Anonymous Joy said...

Oh my god...the bread looks so amazing! Can't wait to try it! And I can't wait to get my hands on the book. :) Thanks for sharing!

November 1, 2009 at 1:03 AM  
Anonymous Kayte said...

That bread photo is wonderful...just perfect in fact. What a lovely tribute to Zoe, very nice. Guess I better put that book on my Christmas list since I didn't win...LOL! That must mean I am destined to win the new Ellie book! I wish! Looking forward to learning more about healthy grains, etc.

November 1, 2009 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Kelly Stodola said...

YEAH!! I'm thrilled to win! Thanks so much to Michelle for all your hard work in putting all of this together! BTW, I love your new header design!

November 1, 2009 at 7:49 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

I am wanting that for breakfast with my coffee. Toasted and slathered in butter!

November 1, 2009 at 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Kelly Stodola said...

Hi Michelle! For your consideration to post - I am giving away my unsigned copy to folks that comment this next week. Here's the link! http://preview.tinyurl.com/yhfdfcr

November 1, 2009 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

how exciting..."our" first bread!!! I'm trying to decide if I'll have time to squeeze this in for day or if I'll have to wait until next weekend to make it

November 1, 2009 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger The Quintessential Magpie said...

Michelle, Zoe is adorable in her chefs whites, and that bread looks divine. My niece is studying to be a chef, and she has become the go-to girl for my sister's family. She got the cooking gene, and I, unfortunately, only got the gourmand gene. ;-)

XO,

Sheila :-)

November 1, 2009 at 10:08 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

Congrats to Kelly!

This looks like a wonderful bread to start with!

November 1, 2009 at 3:57 PM  
Blogger Princess, Tank and Isaac: The Newfs of Hazard said...

I love the sprinkled sugar in the pan - something I'll have to try. I've been using milk or melted butter + confectioners sugar insead of egg wash for sweet breads. Also note that canned pumpkin varies a lot in how watery the pumpkin is. The Libby's brand has much more actual pumpkin. Use that if you like the pumpkin flavor or use a store brand for a weaker pumpkin flavor. It'sthe difference between roasting a pumpkin dry vs cooking it cut side up filled with water.

November 1, 2009 at 9:08 PM  
Blogger Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Looks totally delish!
While you are talking to Zoe - maybe point out that the credits for the book are skewed on the Canadian Amazon site. She is left off and the photographer is on instead. She could probably contact them and have them change it.

November 2, 2009 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger The Little Teochew said...

What a loaf. Really. WHAT. A. LOAF!

November 2, 2009 at 6:38 AM  
Blogger Tracy @ Sugarcrafter said...

I can't wait to make this!!

November 2, 2009 at 7:59 AM  
Blogger K @ Blog Goggles said...

That sounds amazing! I can't wait for the day when I bake my own bread :)

November 2, 2009 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger psassy said...

Pumpkin Pie Brioche on first rise in the oven right next to a loaf of Swedish Limpa (AB5)! I am sooooo addicted!

I am dreaming of PP brioche toasted with a slather of cream cheese and maybe some orange marmalade! YUM!

November 2, 2009 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger SwingCat123 said...

Mmmm. Now I'm inspired to go cook down my pie pumpkins just so that I can make this loaf. I've been putting them off but now I have no excuse.

November 2, 2009 at 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Elle said...

What a gorgeous, perfect loaf! Well definitely have to give this one a try. SU'ing you! :)

November 2, 2009 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Megan said...

Statring the dough right now and hope to bake it tomorrow. Cant wait to taste it!!!

November 2, 2009 at 6:08 PM  
Blogger psassy said...

OMGoodness!!! This bread is so amazing! I am not even a fan of pumpkin pie (I opt for the apple pie at Thanksgiving/Christmas), but this is fabulous!!! Really! I have put canned pumpkin on my grocery list for the week so I can make lots and lots more over the coming months. My kids and I had some while it was still a bit warm with a slather of butter and, well, all I can say is... heaven!

November 2, 2009 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I just read the recipe for the Pumpkin Pie Brioche in the book last night and thought it sounded delicious. Seeing your pictures really makes me want to make some right now! :c)

November 2, 2009 at 11:27 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Your bread looks fabulous! I made this myself and then used it in a bread pudding recipe. Delicious!

November 3, 2009 at 4:29 PM  
Blogger Brian, the old man said...

Yummy! Looks absolutely delicious. I just want to reach into my computer and grab a slice.

November 3, 2009 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bakes said...

The bread looks fabulous! I have the first book and would love to have the second too!

November 4, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Jamie Meier said...

Yum! Can't wait to try it!

Question about the pumpkin- I made my own pumpkin puree out of some free carving pumpkins I came across- any modifications you think I should make to account for the different variety of pumpkin (instead of sugar pumpkins)?

November 4, 2009 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe calls for "white" whole wheat flour. Can someone tell me the difference between regular whole wheat flour and "white" whole wheat flour?

November 6, 2009 at 7:03 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

White whole wheat flour is all grain wheat flour that has been milled using "white" or albino wheat rather than the traditional red wheat. It retains many more nutrients than the traditionally bleached white flour.

White Whole Wheat Flour is used to not alter the color of the pumpkin. You can use regular WW flour but the bread will be sort of brownish/gray color.

November 6, 2009 at 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Bridgit said...

Has anyone turned this into pumpkin cranberry swirl bread using the same technique used for cinnamon-raisin bread? Perhaps replacing a little of the whole wheat flour with pecan meal...

November 10, 2009 at 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have not been able to find a "white" whole wheat flour. Only an organic "light Spelt flour"...does anyone know if I could use this as a substitute?
Thanks in advance.

November 14, 2009 at 2:17 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

I did find some info on substituting spelt for Light WW flour.

http://www.foodlink.ca/index.php?p=products.ViewDescription&product=69

"Spelt flour can be used in place of hard or soft whole wheat flour in many products (breads, pasta, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles). The starch in spelt is more soluble than wheat, so substituting spelt flour will frequently require less liquid in the recipe than when using wheat flour. Doughs and batters will also benefit by a resting period (half an hour to overnight) to allow moisture to be absorbed and gluten to develop.
The gluten in spelt is more fragile than in durum wheat, creating breads that don’t rise as high as traditional wheat breads."

Hope this helps.

You should join our HBinFive Baking Group!

November 14, 2009 at 11:50 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I need to make this again...I just discovered that the recipe calls for WHITE whole wheat flour and I used regular whole wheat flour and I must discover the different...at least thats the excuse I'm using for making it again

November 17, 2009 at 9:23 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

This sounds really wonderful! Do you think maple syrup could be substituted for the honey?

November 19, 2009 at 7:37 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Cynthia,

Yes Maple syrup is an excellent substitute for the honey. Also something you might want to try are any of the Monin Flavoring Syrups, like the Cinnamon or Gingerbread would be fun to try.

http://www.moninstore.com/prod_Lines.html?indexcat=1&indexname=Premium Syrups

November 20, 2009 at 12:47 AM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Well, wish me luck...I made the dough yesterday and it is settling in the bread pan as I write. If all goes well, my pumlkin pie brioche will be ready and still warm just before our Thanksgiving feast today. What did I enjoy the most? Baking the fresh pumpkin, of course...what a delight!

November 26, 2009 at 9:16 AM  

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