You know what’s the coolest thing about participating in a cooking club? Getting out of your comfort zone and getting over any cooking hangups you have. For example, when I was in culinary school (for baking, mind you) I had the worst luck with my brioche. It was overproofed…or underproofed…or just not the right texture. I must have tried to make that damn bread like 10 times and I never quite got it right. At that point, I pretty much gave up on brioche. I mean, maybe it was just the fates telling me I needed to visit french bakeries more often. And who am I to question fate?
So then, almost seven years later, imagine how delighted I wasn’t when one of the recipes listed in Around My French Table was for brioche. I figured I’d take a pass on that weekly cook-along. I mean, nothing like showing your ineptitude to the world by posting your bread baking failures on the interwebs. But then I thought, isn’t that the whole POINT of the challenge? So I gritted my teeth, pushed up my sleeves (well that’s a lie, actually, I HATE long sleeves, but I did push up my proverbial sleeves, I think I was wearing a tank top…) and decided to give the brioche one more try. And damned if it didn’t turn out amazingly well. Like, disturbingly well. So well that when I made the extra dough into cinnamon caramel rolls people were literally FIGHTING over the last couple in the pan. And now I’m all like, “Brioche? Sure, I can throw together a couple of loaves for you, no problem, I’m all over it…”
So when the second brioche-based recipe came up for French Fridays, I was filled with more dread over having to share my bread with my family than having to actually make it. And this recipe was definitely a keeper, a quick snack or amazing breakfast based on the french open faced sandwich called a tartine. Starting with the aforementioned and no longer dreaded brioche, slices are buttered, toasted, and covered with orange marmalade, drizzled with nutella, and sprinkled with sea salt and toasted chopped hazelnuts.
The only small issues? Not a big fan of orange marmalade. And while Nutella’s okay, I’m not fond enough of it to keep a jar in the pantry. So I made some adjustments. I mean, it’s basically a sandwich, right? It’s practically a given that the ingredients are gonna get messed with based on who’s building it…so here’s what I did:
-Subbed homemade sour cherry preserves for the orange marmelade.
-Subbed Trader Joes chocolate almond butter for the nutella…and btw, that stuff is the BOMB!
-Subbed chopped, toasted almonds for the hazelnuts.
Call it what you want, it was a damn tasty sandwich. And a sweet reminder that sometimes challenging yourself can lead to some surprising results!