After some thunderstorms and a few tug-of-wars with humidity, the weather is finally beginning to cool off. A crisp air has swept in to take place of the heavy moisture in our lungs. The first day of fall is nearly here; the catalyst of the holiday season and holiday eating. Do you know what that means?
The good, glorious, carby, succulent foods of the holidays are coming. Are your thighs ready?
Brioche: a french pastry that is full of butter. It’s crumby, flaky, moist and perfect as a breakfast bread with jam.
Brioche, when done right, is really a very wonderful bread that puts any baker on their knees. Really, take it from Jeffrey Hamelman, the guy who wrote this beautiful book I extracted my brioche recipe from:
Even this guy is fawning over brioche in his own book. That being said, Bread a Baker’s Book of Techniques and Recipes is an excellent book for bread lovers and bakers. I highly suggest purchasing it. I will always cherish my copy.
A quick note: Brioche is a timely process. It will take two days to make this bread. It is also important to keep all ingredients as cold as possible (without freezing). Cold ingredients insures flaky bread 🙂
For one loaf
Bread Flour- 2 3/4 cups
Water- 1/4, cold + additional during mixing
Eggs- 3, whole + 1 additional for egg wash
Salt- 1/2 TB
Sugar- 3 TB
Instant Yeast- .2 oz
Butter- 6 oz, cold
You Will Also Need
Mixer with paddle and dough hook attachments
Wax paper and plastic wrap
Small bowl with brush
- Combine yeast and cold water. Add a tiny pinch of sugar and give a small stir. Set aside.
- Combine all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Use a paddle to give everything a quick mix. With the mixer on a low speed, add the 3 eggs, one at a time.
- Slowly add the yeast water in a steady stream. As soon as the dough begins to form, switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook. Continue mixing.
- You’ll notice the dough is probably still dry. Slowly add additional cold water until the dough has pulled together. I added about 1/4 cup extra. Mix until the dough is uniform and springs back. It will be a little tough.
- Place the cold butter on a sheet of wax paper and place a piece of plastic wrap over it. Use a rolling pin to smash the butter into a flat, soft sheet.
- Begin punching off pieces of butter and add it to the dough as it continues mixing. Once all the butter is added, the dough will fall apart a little and slowly come back together.
- Once the dough is uniform again, place it in a clean bowl. Tightly wrap the top of the bowl with plastic, and allow the dough to ferment for at least one hour. I fermented for two hours.
- With clean fingers, fold the dough over itself one time while keeping it in the bowl. Cover it once more. After a few hours, repeat this process. Then, place the covered bowl in the fridge. It will cool overnight.
- The next day, turn your oven to 200 degrees, and place a shallow dish with about an inch of water on a low rack. Allow the oven to heat and create steam for about half an hour.
- Place your brioche dough in a loaf pan, spray the top with pan spray and loosely cover it with a linen towel. Turn off the oven, and quickly place the pan on a middle rack. Shut the oven door, and allow the dough to rise and soften; about an hour.
- Remove the water dish and the loaf pan from the oven. Preheat the oven to 380 degrees.
- Score a line down the center of the brioche loaf. Mix one egg in a small bowl, and brush it over the top of the bread in a thin layer.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 180-190 degrees. The crust will be a dark brown color.
Cool, slice and enjoy with jam or whipped butter.
Also enjoy with some sweet red wine..or a glass of milk.