Often wondering how hard it was to make brioche, I decided that this was my first recipe to try on my French Patisserie, One Girl’s Journey. Simple, very much so, but timing consuming, yes, but so worth the effort!
Special Equipment: Brioche Molds are needed depending upon the sizes of your choice
2 cups white bread flour (I use Organic Non-GMO)
1/2 cup lightly beaten egg, well chilled (2 – 2 1/2 eggs)
1 1/2 tablespoons whole milk, well chilled
2 tablespoons sugar (I use Organic cane sugar)
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 grams active dry yeast (the recipe called for fresh yeast, but it was unavailable)
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 stick plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature
Using your hands, roughly combine all of the ingredients, except the butter, in the bowl of a stand mixer.
My Notes: The recipe stated that you should not let the yeast come into direct contact with the salt and sugar. I do not know why, but I followed the instructions, which is surprising, knowing myself!
With the dough hook, knead at low speed for 5 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead for an additional 15 minutes or until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be elastic.
My Notes: My dough only needed an additional 5 minutes of kneading before pulling away from the sides and my dough was not elastic. Don’t panic, just keep going.
Gradually knead in the butter and when incorporated, knead for 5 minutes.
My Notes: I did the 5 minutes of kneading by hand!
Cover the dough in plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Flatten and push away the dough several times, folding it over to burst any air bubbles trapped inside.
My Notes: My dough was very dense so I only did this a time or two.
Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Divide the dough between the molds-each mold should be half-filled*** Lightly brush the tops of the brioche with an egg wash. Place a bowl of boiling water in a cool oven, putting the brioches above and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours before baking.
My Notes: I used 3 medium sized molds. Each brioche could be shared between two people. I did not do the boiling water step, my oven was already hot, so I just placed the brioche in a warm place and let them rise.
Lightly brush the tops of the brioche again with an egg wash and place on a pre-heated baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until a golden brown. Cooking time will vary depending upon the size. Turn out the molds straight away after baking.
***Forming The Brioche
To make small brioches, divide the dough into how many brioches that you are making. Roll each one into a ball.
Shape the balls into small logs. With the side of your hand, press down into each log two-thirds of the way along, working gently to form the brioche “head” and taking care not to twist or break the dough. The dough will look like one of those Russian stackable dolls.
Pinch around the “head” to shape it and place in a lightly greased mold. Push the head down into the “body” and into the base of the mold.
Dip a finger in flour, and using the tip like a hook, release the “head” from the body”.
My Notes: It sounds a lot more complicated than it actually is. Just do your best. The “head” ends up sitting gently on the “body”.
Adapted from the cookbook “French Patisserie” by Ferrandi