Whenever I look through the recipes in the Fannie Farmer Baking Book I’m transported to a kitchen out of a vintage storybook, one that pictures an aproned grandma with flour on her hands and a gentle face, with the sound of a wooden screen door slapping and the sight of a spatula resting in a big, old batter bowl coated with something sweet and buttery to lick.
It could be the photo of author Marion Cunningham on the book jacket – a smiling, white-haired woman who seems to embody all that’s wholesome and homemade. Or maybe it’s just that the very name Fannie Farmer conjures nostalgia for a fantasy of well-ordered domesticity; a comfortable nest of a home where there’s always a glass of milk and some cookies waiting on the counter.
My own nest lacks the dear presence of a living, doting grandmother, but I’ve found I can remedy that situation very nicely by baking something.
However, I don’t have all day. You know how it is.
Happily, this brioche recipe from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book – it’s called Buttered Brioche Batter Bread in the book – satisfies the baking urge yet is simple to make. It’s actually a kind of yeasted quick bread, a bit different in texture and flavor than an authentic French brioche. It’s nice toasted, and Marion says it makes great tea sandwiches if you’re so inclined.
Now go forth and bake; fill your nest with the smell of something from the oven.