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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Besaw's Brunch

This last weekend I decided to go to a new place I've been wanting to try, Besaw.  I also thought it would be a nice treat since it was my birthday and my day off.  I had read reviews on Besaw and driven past it a couple times and realized this is the last probable time I could eat here. 
Driving up to it, the quaint restaurant has the look of an old ice cream parlor.  Beware of when you go though, people surround the corner of the front door if you happen to go on a Sunday morning for brunch. Walking in through the big glass door there is a cramped but homely feel, with servers dressed in normal clothes talking to customers as old acquaintances.  A long bar with antique parlor stoles line the maple wood bar where single patrons sip there drinks and read the paper or people watch. I was eating alone, so I asked to sit at the bar because I was pretty hungry at this point and I wouldn't have to wait long.  I was give a menu right away that consist of one page, front and back, then nicely asked by the bar man what I would like to drink.  I decided on a cup of coffee, reading that they brewed Stumptown Coffee, a local coffee roaster, this being my first cup of the day and I like this brand of coffee.  I then scanned the menu and saw a lot of tasty choices from french toast to egg scrambles all using organic local produce. I also noticed a separate card with the specials on it that I assumed they change with the local fresh ingredients available.  I ended up choosing something that wouldn't be too filling: two over easy eggs with bacon, avocado, sun dried tomatoes served on a house made brioche bun with rosemary pan fried red potatoes on the side. 

I was too hungry to take
a before picture.

After I put my order in I scanned the room a little more.  The room had a warm, light feel to it even with wood covering the walls, the bar and an old worn wood floor.  Most of the walls had big wide windows with blinds covering them with a few old pictures on the windowless walls.  Along the top of the bar was the popular Portland style of Mason jars filled with assortment of pickled vegetables.  Overall, if you can handle tight spaces and a crowded room, it a fun atmosphere and I bet if you became a regular,the employees would get to know you and treat you like family, which is what I saw.  I ended up bringing a food magazine and enjoyed reading it and taking notes while I took in the atmosphere and enjoyed my food. 

The only negative thing I could say about my food, is it was slightly cold, and the best thing was the mimosas, one of the best I've ever had, I ended up treating myself to for my birthday. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


How to make laminated brioche dough

Brioche dough is a light and slightly sweet dough that is used for gourmet sandwiches and burgers.  They are very eye appealing, usually brushed with egg wash to give them a darker, shinny top. Delicate when broken  open, very little dough inside, which is why they are great for sandwiches, less on the "bready" side, helps to capture the fillings more. 

Brioche dough is made with very few ingredients: bread flour, yeast, salt, milk and sugar.  Lite kneeding and let rise, and to get the best result, refrigerate overnight.  With the fact that there are few ingredients and it contains all milk for the liquid, this makes the dough light and rich. 

Laminate means to form or construct into thin layers.  So how to apply this to brioche dough?  Measure out a set amount of butter needed for the amount of dough from recipe.  The most tricky part is getting the temperature of your butter and dough right.  Once you can roll out the butter, it’s important to get it in a rectangular that will fit in the rolled out dough that is an inch from the edges and covers 2/3rds of the dough.   Usually after rolling out the butter, it becomes too soft, so put it in the frig till it’s the right temp. 

Once you have the brioche dough rolled out and at the right temp and your butter is the right temp, place butter on top of the dough on the left side.  It’s important to be gentle and love your dough or you could end up chucking this beautiful thing across the room after the many folds and huge amount of sweet, amazing butter that makes everything better, next to bacon. 

Fold the unbuttered side 1/3 over the buttered dough, then fold the left 1/3 over that.  Work quickly but gently, by rolling it out again till its 1/2 in. around edges to another rectangle.  Fold again in thirds same way, indent on one side with the blunt of a knife to keep track of your folds.  You will do three of these folds, refrigerate in between to let it rest and to keep the temperature low so the butter won’t melt through.  When you get to the last fold and roll it out again, you can decide how you want to cut out the dough.  In rolls, biscuit like, cut outs, they will all be beautiful.  Once you get them all cut out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, brush the tops with egg wash, let sit for a little, then bake these beauties. 

The end result will be, when you break into them, will have layer    upon layer of buttery dough and the outside might be a little crispier  when you bite into them.  All-in-all so worth the labor.  Just have patience and lots of love, which I think you will acquire when you see the amount of butter that goes into this and how beautiful the dough turns out.  Enjoy!