This weekend I went home to the countryside and was greeted by dad flourishing two cooked lobsters from his backpack – he does not habitually wear backpacks, but is a MAMIL, and treats cycling the 60 mile round trip to Portsmouth fish market like a trip to the corner shop!
In the summer there is nothing better than a lobster salad with the best mayonnaise, but the cold weather required comfort i.e. pillowy brioche to make New England (via Paris) -style lobster rolls. Brioche dough is easy to make with a freestanding mixer and the only hassle is it needs to prove overnight in the fridge (which only meant waiting longer for the lobster!). For the filling, I made a thousand island dressing, to keep with the American theme and gave diced avocado, old-school lettuce and vine tomatoes for everyone to build their own. The best sandwich ever??
Adapted from Raymond Blanc’s Kitchen Secrets
300g Strong White Flour
7g Fast Action Dried Yeast
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Caster Sugar
50ml Milk, warmed
250g Unsalted Butter at room temperature, diced into 1cm squares
- Whisk the yeast into the milk and leave for a moment to bubble.
- In the bowl of a free standing mixer with a dough hook place the flour, salt and sugar. Mix on a low speed and add the eggs to form a dough.
- Slowly pour in the yeasty milk and mix for a few minutes.
- With the mixer running, add in the butter one bit at a time, making sure the butter is fully incorporated each time. This takes a while – up to half an hour. By the end you should have a glossy dough.
- Cover with cling film and leave to prove in the fridge overnight. In the morning take out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This should take 1 ½ hours.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and roll each into a ball. Place widely apart on a well-floured baking tray and leave to prove for another hour.
- Brush with egg wash and cook in the oven until golden and hollow when tapped – about 20 minutes.
Thousand Island Dressing
- Grill 1 Yellow Pepper and 1 Red Pepper on all sides until blackened. Place in a bowl and cover with cling film. After ten minutes peel off the charred skin, remove the seeds and cut into small dice.
- In a bowl mix 6 tbsp Mayonnaise, 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup, a splash Worcestershire Sauce, a splash of Tabasco (to taste), the juice of half a Lemon, 1tsp Paprika, a pinch Cayenne Pepper and plenty of ground black pepper. Stir in the diced peppers and serve.