What better way is there to start the year than fill the house with the lovely smell of fresh-baked bread – brioche, in this case. I haven’t made a brioche since my Intermediate pastry course in Le Cordon Bleu Paris about 15 years ago so this was like starting over. The recipe was simple and all the ingredients were in our pantry plus our son loves brioche for breakfast. Here’s to another year of gourmet restaurants, travels and recipes.
(from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)
Makes 2 loaves
- 4 cups (about 18 ounces) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick or 125 grams) cold butter, cut into chunks, plus softened butter as needed for greasing the bowl, plus some for greasing the loaf pans
- 3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup milk, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1/3 cup water, plus more (if necessary)
- Combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the container of the food processor fitted with the dough blade and process for 5 seconds. Add the cold butter and the whole eggs and process for 10 seconds. With the machine running, pour (don’t drizzle) the 1/2 cup milk and 1/3 cup water through the feed tube. Process about 30 seconds, then remove the cover. The dough should be very sticky, almost like batter. If it is too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 or 10 seconds after each addition, If it is too wet, which is almost impossible, add another tablespoon of flour and process briefly.
- Grease a large bowl with softened butter and scrape the dough into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until at least doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours. Deflate the dough and, using just enough flour to enable you to handle it, shape it into 2 loaves. Place each loaf in a buttered 8 X 4 inch or 9 X 5 inch loaf pan. Or shape the dough into rolls. Cover and let rise for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 400F (about 205C). Mix the reserved egg yolk with the remaining 2 tablespoons milk and brush the top of the loaves with this mixture. Bake the brioche for about 30 minutes, or until nicely browned. When done, the bottom will sound hollow when you tap it (it will fall easily from the loaf pan) and the interior temperature will be at least 190F (87C).
* In the recipe, it states at least 3 hours, largely unattended but it took 4 hours to prove then another 30 minutes to bake so set aside the whole morning or afternoon to do this recipe.