burnt bread

Tomatoes and Burnt Bread

Brioche bread, tomatoes, green onion and fire

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Both Melissa and I appreciate any opportunity to set fire to things… maybe a little too much! This recipe looked deceivingly simple, but alas, it took us a few days to get through. The idea behind the recipe is simple… burn some bread, slice some tomatoes, and make some scallion oil and mayonnaise to dress the plate with. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that:

  • You are burning brioche that you make from scratch (which takes ~24 hours)
  • Making scallion oil takes 24 hours (including resting time in the fridge)

Perhaps with some better planning, we could have gotten through these recipes in a couple of days… Next time!

We started by combining the ingredients for the brioche (flour, eggs, salt, yeast) in a stand mixer as it seemed like the most time-intensive activity.

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After dough had some time to combine, we added butter and beat the dough with the dough hook attachment to the stand mixer until it was silky and smooth.

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At this point, the dough rested in the fridge overnight. The following day, we separated the dough into sections and rolled them into balls.

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We then placed the dough in a preheated oven to proof for 3 hours.

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Upon removal from the oven, we applied a glaze of egg yolk to each bun and cut an X mark on the top. This process was a little stressful because we noticed the buns collapsing–as a result, not all the buns got a perfect X mark.

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When we removed them from the oven, the buns were golden and had a beautiful glossy finish.

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With the brioche completed, we chopped up the green part of some scallions as the first step in preparing the scallion oil.

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After a quick blanch for 30 seconds in boiling water, the scallions were combined with oil and the mixture pulsed until there weren’t many large pieces left.

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The resulting mixture was placed in the fridge to infuse overnight. The following day, we ran the mixture through a conical strainer and set the bowl aside to start plating.

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I think the fiery part of any recipe is our favourite… there’s a little (I really mean a lot) of danger involved in letting either one of us hold a torch. We may have burned some holes in the foil we were using to line the baking pan, but the silver lining here is that we used a baking pan under the foil.

We tried to burn each of the brioche pieces as lightly as possible . After a certain amount of time though, Melissa threw caution to the wind and really burned some bread with a truly pyromaniacal look in her eyes.

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We cut the brioche into several shapes with the intention of trying different plating techniques. This later turned into a plating competition, so feel free to vote for your favourite at the end of this post!

Plating Style #1

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Plating Style #2

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This deceivingly simple combination of flavours was amazing. The burnt flavour of the bread combined with a hint of tang from the scallion oil and green tomatoes created a very complex and appealing flavor. We added some Maldon salt which added another dimension to the dish. There’s no question that we would make this again, but maybe next time we will plan a little better and combine the preparation of elements that require similar time frames. The complexity of the elements means that this recipe probably isn’t going to be something you’d prepare for a dinner party, but maybe for a small gathering of friends or family.

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