Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Pleasurable Spelt Brioche



I have a confession to make: Pleasure in life is my top priority. More specifically, embracing the philosophy of Epicurus. Curiously, most associate this doctrine to be one of gluttony, extravagance, and senseless self-gratification. Upon further investigation, however, an epicurean way of life honors simplicity while seizing upon any opportunity to be fully present -- naturally leading to a sense of pleasure. Cultivating close friendships along with a deep connection to the natural world both have a treasured place in this life-affirming philosophy. All in all, it is an attitude of fully savoring the moment, slowing down, and really living. Traditionally, the French are known for their exquisite embodiment of epicurean living. To read more about this orientation, click here.

In quiet celebration of pleasure, a recipe for brioche. Here we are using classic ingredients with an eye for quality and simplicity. Pasture butter, free-range eggs, heirloom spelt flour. It is worth the extra effort of sourcing sprouted flour for maximum nutrition while minimizing bone harming phytic acid. On a sweet note, orange blossom honey is the perfect compliment to the unique flavor of lavender.


Spelt Brioche with Lavender

Ingredients...

1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon evaporated cane juice
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup white sprouted spelt flour
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 free-range egg
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried lavender flowers
3 oz pasture butter, room temperature
Orange blossom honey for serving

Method...

Whisk yeast, evaporated cane juice, and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes until it begins to foam.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour, honey, egg and lavender into the yeast mixture until combined. Add butter in fourths until a sticky and soft dough forms. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a six-cup capacity brioche mold or small bread pan. Lightly dust the dough with flour and shape into a round ball. Place in brioche mold, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes to rise once again. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from mold and serve warm with orange blossom honey. Savor fully with those who delight in wonderfully simple pleasures.

"Laetus in praesens" (Happiness now)
-Inscribed on the wall of villa Careggi, Florence, Italy  

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful website. Love the Epicurean references. Very in tune with Ayurveda, the oldest system of health care in the world.

    One suggestion. Ayurvedic texts, strongly advise against heating honey above body temperature. Cooking with honey not only destroys much of its value, but also makes it toxic.

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    Replies
    1. You are absolutely correct about heating honey. I remember reading a brief article about this very subject a few years ago, but had forgotten about it while creating this recipe. Thanks for the reminder!

      Agave would be a good substitute.

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