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Sunday, July 12, 2009


Oh my…Brioche. What a delicious and surprisingly simple bread to make. Brioche is buttery and soft with sweet and savory undertones that make it absolutely delicious on its own or as a companion to other tastes, textures and flavors.

Brioche is deliciously comforting straight out of the oven spread with a bit of orange marmalade, the bitterness of the orange peel cradled by the soft, lush buttery bread. Or, crisped in a pan as a sandwich filled with smoked gouda and roasted red peppers…the cheese oozing and gooing out the middle. And of course, it makes one of the most deliciously fluffy and decadent French toast slices you’ve ever tasted.

We often see Brioche baked into loaves, but Brioche à tête is the classical shape for this bread. It includes forming the dough into balls that are stacked in fluted tins with one small dough ball placed on top. It’s important to note that Brioche dough is quite sticky and can turn chaotic. It tries to take control of your life (or it at least resists the whole rolling situation) if it isn’t tamed by an adequate amount of flour.

The formed dough is then allowed to proof before being egg washed and baked.

When Brioche comes out of the oven, it is shiny and golden with a soft aroma that begs you to indulge in a nibble.

Taking the extra time to make and use a pre-ferment when baking up a batch of Brioche encourages a more distinct and delicious taste. The below recipe is a fantastic Brioche that is sure to make you and your eaters very happy.

(Jeanie Brown)

105 grams flour
70 grams water
¼ tsp instant yeast

Mix together on low speed for 4 minutes and leave at room temp for 12 hours (75 degrees)

For the dough
105 grams of the pre-ferment
315 grams flour (AP or Bread)
70 grams water
1 Tb + 1 tsp instant yeast
1 ¼ tsp salt
160 grams butter (cold but pliable, take from fridge and pound with rolling pic
190 gr. Eggs (~3 ½…don’t count the shells)
3 Tbsp Sugar

Egg wash (just an egg beaten with a fork will do)

Add all ingredients to the mixer except the butter. Mix with dough hook on 1st speed for ~5-10 minutes until the dough is full developed (it should be shiny and string-like as it pulls away from sides of the bowl).
Gradually add the cold butter, slowly at first, over the period of 15-20 minutes on second speed (just break off bits of butter and throw it in…and yes, it does need to take that long to achieve the perfect texture…just be patient).
Let rise for 90 minutes.
Chill overnight.
Shape dough as desired, place in buttered pans and proof for about 60 minutes. Egg wash and then bake in a 350 degree oven (that was preheated to 375 degrees but turned down as soon as the bread goes in) for ~16-20 minutes.

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