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Since 1998

Brioche pastry

Make the legend Let them eat cake come true! Brioche is a must-have at breakfast, as an enriched bread, that you slice, cover in jam, and dip in your mug.  Stale, it’s still very good as brioche perdue (poor man’s brioche).
Time needed 20’ preparation, 5h30 rising, 30’ baking

Ingredients

  • 250 g plain flour (0.5 lb) (non-raising)
  • 35 g caster sugar (1.2 oz)
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 g salt (0.2 oz)
  • 7 g fresh baker’s yeast (0.25 oz)
  • 100 g room temperature butter (0.22 lb)
  • warm water (approx.   70 ml) (0.15 pt)

Preparation

In a metal mixing bowl1, blend half the yeast, a little water, and all the sugar but not the salt!
Add the salt in the sifted flour.
Salt the flour evenly, then make a well in the flour/yeast blend; pour the yeasted-sweet preparation in, and stir with a wooden spatula. This wooden spatula will now be your only tool until the end of the work.
The blend will probably be a bit dry at this stage; add the rest of the warm water very progressively, but not 100%, for the sake of safety, because once too soft, it will be hard to dry it back by adding more flour without removing its structural quality.
Briefly beat the eggs, and add them to the flour; finally, once the ingredients well combined, add the soft butter until you get a fluider and even dough.
Shape the dough in a ball; if it’s too soft to shape in a ball, sift a bit of extra flour (1 tbsp), knead briefly, and shape it round again.
Cover the mixing bowl with plastic film, and leave it in a warm place e.g.   attic, car under a timid sun, near a stove, or heater, or as in the last resort, put a bowl of water in a oven, and put the oven at 100 C for 15 min, switch it off, and place the bowl in the closed oven; the optimal temperature is 26-30 C (79-86 F).   Let the dough rise for an hour.
After one hour, stir with the spatula to break up the dough (this will blow up the gas bubbles).   Let it rise again for one hour and a half.
Break up again, place it in the fridge, and let it rise again for an hour.

Usage

Grease a brioche pan (or kugelhopf pan) and pour the dough up to one third of its height, put a wet dish towel on the pan, and let the dough rise for two hours (again) in a warm place (again!).
Beat an egg-yolk in a bit of water to make the paint that you will brush of the brioche dough before you put it in a 180°C (355°F) oven for 30’.

Going further

A variation of the brioche is a fruit tarte briochée (brioche fruit pie), in this case, substitute the brioche pan for a classic pie pan, and the dough bottom is filled with cold crème pâtissière, then topped with juicy seasonable fruits (halved plums, mirabelles, blueberries, etc . . . ).
The ’icing on the cake’ will here be a flambé2 with Cognac, Grand-Marnier or any other fruit liquor before serving . . .
  • 1 Metal mixing bowl: the reason for using metal is that it’s a very good heat conductor, that’s an advantage when mixing ingredients.
  • 2 Flambé: the action of burning a boiling liquor on a dish.   Pour 1 capful of liquor in a small and heavy saucepan, bring the liquor to a boil, and set it on fire almost exactly when pourring it on the dish. Liquor will only burn when very hot and while it still contains alcohol, so don’t last to light it on.
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    created 08 July 2011
    revised 17 February 2017 by
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