Friday, 30 April 2010

Beautiful Buttery, Brioche

Oh brioche, how I love thee! I love thine fine golden colour and amber crust. I love thine rich buttery flavour. I love thine soft, yielding fibrous texture. I love thee! I yearn to eat thee!

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Pete's been promising to make me brioche for ages. Why does Pete have to make it, you might ask, why can't you make it yourself? Because Pete is definitely the master baker in this household and I'm happy to admit to being the weaker sex in the bread domain (I said bread!)

The trouble is, he doesn't really like brioche himself (though he's partial to a slice of it toasted, alongside a lump of fine, fried foie gras). But the challenge of the bake and, I like to think, the love for his Mrs, has seen him agree to giving brioche a go. Then again, he's been promising me this brioche for the last few years!

I even picked up a bag of brioche flour in France last summer - though I didn't really look at it much, I just spotted it and threw it into the trolley during a ginormous supermarket shop!

So when Pete finally set a date to make me breakfast brioche, I fished out that bag of flour. Looking at it's ingredients we discovered that it's regular flour with added milk powder.

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I showed Pete the several brioche blog recipes I have bookmarked, pointing out the repeated reference to how much stirring and kneading the dough needs to develop the distinctive fibrous texture of this bread. He picked one from La Tartine Gourmande and got to work.

I "helped", which mostly meant asking annoying questions and taking photographs!

La Tartine Gourmande's Most Simple Brioche
250 grams all-purpose flour (we used that brioche flour, above)
75 grams butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon dry baker’s yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
80 ml warm milk
1 pinch salt
1 egg yolk for glaze

(Bea provides measurements in ounces and cups. I've converted them to metric).

  • In a bowl, mix the flour with the yeast.
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  • Make a hole in the middle and add the warm milk, mixing with the tip of your fingers.
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  • Add the sugar and a pinch of salt, then add the soft butter, piece after piece, waiting each time that each piece is absorbed.
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  • Then one by one, add the eggs, mixing well between each. Work the dough until it is elastic and detaches from your fingers more easily (or from the bowl of the stand mixer).
  • Cover and let rest in a warm place, away from drafts, for two hours, until it doubles in size.
  • Work the dough again for 10 min and divide it in four balls. Place them in a greased rectangular mold and cover. Let rise for an hour again.

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  • Preheat the oven at 400 F.

  • Brush the brioche with the egg yolk mixed with a dash of sugar.

  • Place in the oven to bake for 10 min then reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for about 20 to 30 min.

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  • Remove, unmold and let cool on a rack.

To my delight, the finished brioche looked just like the one in Bea's blog post photographs – like a proper brioche! I love a reliable recipe, so a big thank you to La Tartine Gourmande!

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How was it?

Well, it was good – very good, in fact, for a first attempt.

But it wasn't my dream brioche.

I want a sweeter version, and one which has a slightly denser texture with those long fibres which I associate with brioche. I shall keep bookmarking likely recipes and call on Pete to have another go.

It may be that I have finally found cause to get my hands on a shiny, pretty Kitchenaid, though Lord knows where it'd live!

If you have any recipes you think might give me the result I'm looking for, please share the link (or recipe) in the comments, below. Thanks!


Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

This looks fantastic Kavey, I really need to have a success with brioche as the fruits of my first attempt, the chocolate turd-a-likes were truly hideous. I reckon the mix was dodgy as seemed too floury and was rock hard after cooking. Yours looks scrummy and soft.

The Cooking Ninja said...

I always make this Brioche Aux Pralines - a hot favourite in my little household and friends. Thought you might want to give it a go.

howtomakeamess said...

Definitely looks like brioche to me! Never attempted it myself not having the best of luck in the bread department either. Cakes, oh I can do cakes, but not bread it seems.

I've told myself though that as soon as my shiny shiny Magimix comes out of it's box that will all change. I read the recipe book that came with it when it arrived a few months ago and I'm pretty sure there was a brioche recipe in there; I don't often use the recipes that come with gadgets but figure it must be worth a go?

Will compare it to your recipe and report back ^_^

sandi said...

I've not tried this one yet. Am slowly working my way through all the Dan Lepard recipes. Not had a bad one yet. recipe

sangeeta said...

Bumped into your gorgeous blog today and i am so happy i came here.

I love baking my own breads but never tried any looks beautiful here.
bread baking is very therapeutic to me :)

Maunika said...

That looks delish Kavey. Love Brioche! I use it to make a bread & butter pudding. Its brillaint. With just the right amount of sweetness.

Kathleen said...

Having been lucky enough to consume some of Pete's wonderful bready items, I know this brioche must be wonderfully delicious. I am not a bad baker--love making cheesecakes in all kids of flavors and even made a 5-tier wedding cheesecake for a friend's wedding several years ago. But use the word "yeast" in a recipe, and I flee. A pal in my neck of the woods is trying to coax me out of this. We'll see how it goes...meanwhile, enjoy the brioche!

Josordoni said...

I found this one Kavey - not tried it, but I think it might be Dan Lepard, and he is always very trustworthy. And it has a LOT more butter than yours which will change the texture a lot I would think.

snowy said...

I've made this recipe as a large brioche.

Kavey said...

Many thanks everyone, your comments and links much appreciated!