Bastille Day Brioche

Happy Bastille Day, everyone! Oh, you didn't know it was Bastille Day? Aka "the french fourth of july"?? Now you do. Perhaps I've always been acutely aware of the holiday because my dad told me that growing up, he and his friends would light their leftover 4th of july fireworks - a common bastille day practice. Not the leftovers. The fireworks. My dad was a nerd.

Anyway. As you may or may not know, Bastille Day represents the day the people of France stormed the Bastille in response to their economic crisis, brought on in part by the lavish lifestyles of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Famously, when asked what the starving people of France should eat because they had run out of bread, the queen said "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche." or, "Let them eat cake."


Except she wasn't talking about cake. She was talking about brioche. Aka, the rich, buttery, decadent, slightly-sweet, you-would-never-be-able-to-afford-something-so-luxurious bread. Clearly that didn't go over well for her. (See, public decapitation shortly thereafter.) However, in honor of today's holiday, and that famous quote - today we try Bon Apetit's recipe for Brioche.


Full disclaimer. This recipe is not for the faint of heart. And probably not for those without an electric mixer. I, for the record, do not own one, and to that end, my forearms now resemble Popeye's from the amount of mixing that goes into it. (After each pat of butter is added to the dough, it must be mixed to smoothness for 4 minutes. There's 12 pats of butter. Mixed by hand. You do the math.) It is a LOT of work, and time and effort. But that's what makes it so good. 

Once you have the dough, you can make them into rolls, like in the BA recipe, or you can make it into any other pastry you like. I used some stone fruit and berries I had on hand to make this tart. Delicious. Do give this recipe a try. When you have some time. Maybe this weekend. Go ahead, celebrate bastille day late. I won't tell.