Shaped into petites brioches à tête, these minty balls of eggs and butter are perfectly portioned into small rolls meant to be savored in moderation. Unless you’re French, that is, in which case you’re likely immune to the unsavory side effects of rich foods.
High red wine consumption is supposedly the main factor behind the French Paradox. I did try wine therapy, but being Asian and genetically predisposed to have low alcohol tolerance, I merely ended up drunk and lazy. Back to green tea I go. We have our own paradox, it seems, although obviously not as much fun as the French version.
Peter Reinhart loosely categorizes brioche into three types using the ratio of butter to flour:
- rich man’s brioche (at least 70%)
- middle-class brioche (around 50%)
- poor man’s brioche (at least 20%)
According to my expert calculations, this would put Poilâne’s mint brioche (around 40%) somewhere in between poor man’s and middle-class brioche. Somehow it still seems way too rich to my taste, which is scary because Reinhart’s rich man’s brioche formula has a butter to flour ratio of 88%. Wouldn’t that turn the dough into a yellow puddle of goo? The thought of ingesting breads that rich makes me shudder and think of Paula Deen.
I really shouldn’t be thinking of brioche as bread in the same category as baguettes or miches but more along the lines of viennoiserie, considered the halfway point between lean breads and rich pastries. Thinking of brioche that way, somewhere in the back of my head I’ll hopefully think “not in one sitting.”
View Poilâne's Mint Brioche recipe »