Le Boulangerie (15) Brioche

To accompany my novel in progress: Breaking Bread, welcome to Le Boulangerie.

This is the recipe I use for making brioche. This is such a pretty thing. Traditionally, the dough for the brioche is separated into one large and one small piece with the smaller piece resting atop the larger one as in the header image (not mine, but I wanted to show you what it looks like). You do not have to bake it that way. It can be baked in a standard bread pan or a round baking dish. Additionally, you can turn this dough into one big loaf, two smaller ones (what I do) or even into 10-12 rolls depending on how large you want them. It’s a light, airy bread that makes amazing French toast for breakfast! Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dry milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 10 tablespoons butter

Method:

  •  In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together all of the ‘wet’ ingredients: water, eggs, butter… and the sugar and the yeast. Then add in flour and salt. Knead to form a smooth, shiny dough. It will look like a sticky mess to start but it becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. For that to happen, however, you need to knead (ha!) for up to 15 to 20 minutes in the stand mixer. Also, it’s not really a good dough to knead by hand.
  • Form the dough into a ball (it’ll be very soft), place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl, and it let rise for 1 hour. Then refrigerate the dough for several hours, or overnight. This will slow the fermentation and chill the butter, making the dough easier to shape.
  • Place the dough into a greased pan (I use a 10 inch round cake pan), cover lightly, and let rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until it’s doubled and looks very puffy.
  • Place the pan into a preheated 400°F oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 350°F and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes more. Check the brioche after 15 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if it appears to be browning too quickly. Brioche should be a deep brown when done, should sound hollow when tapped, and will read 190°F at the center using an instant-read thermometer. (It’s easy to underbake, since it browns so quickly!) Remove the brioche from the oven, and after 10 minutes remove it from the pan to cool completely on a rack

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