Brioche…I love thee…yes, I do!
My first baking experience of Brioche bread was when I took a French Pastry Course at the International Culinary Center (formerly, The French Culinary Institute) a few years back in New York City.
After I completed a class, I’d go home with the goodies I baked, and wondered why I did not know of french baking earlier. I hope to bake at least one french item a month and post it on my blog. I will be pulling recipe ideas for baking from the textbook used in class, The Fundamental Techniques Of Classic Pastry Arts. Any french cooking I do will be posted on my savory blog, sometimes SAVORY.
Strawberry Butter goes really well with warm Brioche.
Simple to make…combine strawberry jam with butter and mix. That’s it.
Caveat…this tastes like strawberry ice cream. Very addictive! I have to remind myself this is not ice cream.
Brioche + Strawberry Butter…fantastic pairing.
After the first day, I wrap the Brioche in plastic and refrigerate. I place the portion I want to enjoy in the microwave, on a paper towel-lined plate, for about 10-15 seconds. Texture is nice and soft.
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Recipe Source: Fine Cooking
Adapted by Carmen Ortiz of Baking is my Zen
Yield: 2 Loaves
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
4 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast, preferably Red Star brand
2 teaspoons table salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg for the egg wash
Pinch of salt and sugar for the egg wash
½ cup whole milk, at room temperature
2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, slightly softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened [1 tablespoon for each loaf pan]
1) COMBINE DRY INGREDIENTS: Add flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in stand mixer bowl. Mix dry ingredients with a spatula. Set bowl in the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
2) ADD WET INGREDIENTS: Beat 4 eggs slightly. Add eggs and milk into the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed to combine.
3) MIX DOUGH: When dough starts to clump together, remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook. (There will still be unmixed egg and flour in the bowl.)
4) Mix dough on medium speed for 2 minutes.
5) Scrape the bowl and hook using a plastic dough scraper.
6) Continue mixing until the dough is firm and elastic, about 2 minutes.
7) If the dough sticks to the hook at this point, scrape the dough off the hook again.
8) ADD BUTTER: Add half of the butter, a few pieces at a time while mixer speed is on medium-low.
9) Scrape down the bowl and dough hook.
10) Reattach the dough hook.
11) Add the remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, while mixing on medium-low speed.
12) Increase mixer speed to medium. Mix dough for 4 minutes.
13) Scrape the dough hook and the sides and bottom of the bowl.
14) Mix until the dough is smooth, soft, and shiny, about 4 minutes.
15) The dough slaps against the sides of the bowl when it’s ready.
(If kitchen is warm, the dough may seem too loose at this point. Resist the urge to add extra flour, or the brioche may be tough.)
16) KNEAD DOUGH BY HAND: Use a plastic dough scraper to turn the dough out onto a clean, very lightly floured work surface. The dough will be very moist.
17) Knead gently by hand a few times.
18) FORM DOUGH into a ball by folding the sides into the middle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
19) Flip dough over.
20) Place your palms on either side of the dough.
21) Tuck it under itself, turning the dough as you tuck to form a loose ball with a smooth top.
22) Transfer the dough, smooth side up, to a clean large bowl.
23) PROOF ~ 1 HOUR: Cover bowl with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
24) AFTER 1ST RISE: Use the dough scraper to turn the dough out, smooth top down, onto a very lightly floured work surface.
25) FORM DOUGH into a ball by folding the sides into the middle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
26) Flip the dough over.
27) Place your palms on either side of the dough.
28) Tuck it under itself, turning the dough as you tuck to form a loose ball with a smooth top.
29) Transfer dough, smooth side up, back to the bowl.
30) Cover tightly with plastic.
31) REFRIGERATE DOUGH OVERNIGHT: At this point, for best flavor refrigerate the dough overnight.
32) DAY 2 – REMOVE DOUGH FROM FRIDGE: Place in a draft-free place.
33) Allow dough to come to room temperature, about 2 hours.
34) BRUSH BUTTER into two loaf pans. 1 tablespoon per pan. Set aside.
35) SHAPE THE DOUGH INTO SMALL BALLS: Turn the dough out, smooth top down, onto a clean work surface.
36) Form the dough into a ball by folding the sides into the middle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
37) Use a scale and a bench knife (or kitchen knife) to divide the dough into 2 equal pieces. (about 1 lb. 3 oz. each). (I used my judgement, not a scale, to divide the dough.)
38) Divide each half into 8 equal pieces. (about 2-1/2 oz. each, for a total of 16 pieces of dough.)
39) Cover the dough with plastic to prevent it from drying out while working with part of the dough.
40) Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball by cupping your hand over the dough and moving it in a circular motion with the fingers of that hand slightly tucked in.
41) After dividing the dough into 16 balls, arrange eight dough balls in two rows of four in each of the pans.
42) PROOF THE SHAPED BRIOCHE LOAVES FOR 1 HOUR:
43) Cover the two brioche loaves very loosely with plastic.
44) Let the dough rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. It should spring back when gently poked with a finger.
45) PREHEAT OVEN TO 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the center of the oven. It is important that the oven be thoroughly heated so the brioche loaves bake evenly.
46) EGG WASH: In a small bowl, beat one egg. Add a pinch of salt and sugar.
47) BRUSH TOP OF BRIOCHE LOAVES WITH EGG WASH: Lightly brush the top of the brioches (without letting the egg wash drip down into the molds or pans, which would make the brioches stick to their molds).
48) BAKE BRIOCHE LOAVES until dark golden-brown on top, about 18 minutes. (The internal temperature should be 190°F.)
49) COOL ON RACK: Cool brioche loaves on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve while they’re still warm to the touch.
50) SERVE WARM: Brioches are best served barely warm. Spread Strawberry Butter on sliced brioche.
51) STORAGE: Wrap cooled brioche loaves. Store at room temperature for up to two days. They reheat well. Reheat in a 325°F oven until the outside is crisp, about 7-10 minutes. Or, freeze for up to five weeks. Let them thaw, wrapped, at room temperature.
Baking is my Zen
…sweet nibbles for the soul
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Photography by Carmen Ortiz.
~All Rights Reserved.
Not to be used without permission.