I don’t get sick very often but when I do it is usually a doozy. Three weeks ago I picked up a nasty flu bug that completely knocked me off my feet and I couldn’t get out of bed for 4 days. I’m slowly getting my strength back but get tired quickly and the doctor says it can take another several weeks to feel normal again. Whatever that bug was it packed a whallop! I know I am getting better because yesterday I felt like baking…nothing complicated…just something that would make good toast and go well with a cup of tea. I have tried at least six or seven recipes for brioche over the past several years…and many of them are good. Ina Garten’s BRIOCHE recipe is a favorite and I had a hard time deciding between her recipe and one from KING ARTHUR FLOUR. I chose KAF and am thrilled with the results. This egg and butter rich bread is so light and tender and makes wonderful toast and sandwiches. This is the bread I use to make a CROQUE MONSIEUR or madame.
When you first mix the ingredients together…everything goes into the mixing bowl at the same time…you won’t believe that it will go from a sticky blob to a beautiful, easy to handle dough in 15 – 20 minutes of mixing. It does take that long so don’t skimp on this step. It will develop a satiny surface and you will know it is ready to form into a ball to let rise overnight. You can make individual rolls, one large loaf, or two braids that fit perfectly into 2 8-1/2″ x 4-1/2″ bread pans. (Make one braid and cut it in half). Start this bread the day before you want it because of the overnight in the refrigerator and a 3 hour rise after the loaves are formed.
I brushed the top of the loaves with a wash of egg white and milk and then sprinkled on some pearl sugar that I purchased at
G. DETOU in Paris. This little shop is a “must visit” if you like to shop for basic and unusual French food items for yourself and for gifts. The prices are excellent…in many cases half of what you would expect to pay in more well known food markets. Many French breads and pastries have a topping of this crunchy sugar that doesn’t melt in the oven. KAF also carries PEARL SUGAR. Today, 8/6/13, it is on sale for 50% off.
A full sized, fully baked brioche should register 190 degrees F at its center using an instant read thermometer. Loaves and small rounds should register 205 degrees F.
This post is linked to FOODIE FRIDAY at Rattlebridge Farm. Stop by and meet all this week’s participants.
- 2-3/4 cups all purpose flour
- ¼ cup nonfat dry milk powder
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 10 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup pearl sugar for garnish
- *Use 3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk if desired. This will allow you to brush the leftover egg white on the loaf if you are planning to garnish it with sugar.
- 1) In a stand mixer or bread machine (programmed for dough), mix together all of the ingredients to form a smooth, shiny dough. Don't worry; what starts out as a sticky mess becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. This dough takes longer than most to develop, so be prepared to let the dough knead for up to 15 to 20 minutes in a stand mixer.
- 2) 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.
- 3) Divide the chilled dough into 12 pieces to make mini-brioche; leave it whole for one large round brioche; or divide it in half for two 8½" x 4½" loaves.
- 4) Place the dough into the greased pan(s) of your choice, cover lightly, and let rise for 2½ to 3 hours, until it's doubled and looks very puffy. If you're making two loaves, it's fun to make simple three-strand braids, and set them in the loaf pans.
- 5) To bake a large, round brioche: 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.
- 6) To bake the mini brioches: Place the pan(s) into a preheated 375°F oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (tent after 10 minutes if they're browning too quickly). Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.
- 7) To bake the loaves: Allow the loaves to rise till they've nearly reached the rim of the pan, about 3 hours. Bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 15 to 20 minutes.