Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Golden Brioche

Tomorrow the 14th of July is Bastille Day, a national French holiday that commemorates the Fête de la Fédération and the storming of the Bastille. I wish I could say that I will be in Paris standing along Avenue des Champs-Élysées celebrating and watching the parade, but sadly I’m here in my hometown in Holland, feeling weary after we lost the World Cup to Spain :-(. Sob. I do celebrate Bastille Day every year by making some fabulous, indulgent dessert. I believe last year I made a Marshmallow Chocolate Mousse, but this year I wanted to make something a bit more French and so, I made this week’s poll winner; Brioche. I used a Pierre Hermé recipe, which was amazing! Rating: 4 out of 5.

Brioche Loaf recipe: Pierre Hermé - Desserts

Ingredients: Makes two loaves. You won't be successful with the brioche if you make a smaller amount.
- 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¾ ounce fresh yeast, crumbled (three ¼-ounce packages)
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick + 4 ½ tablespoons (6 ¼ oz) unsalted butter, softened

Instructions:
- Put the flour, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed just to combine. With the mixer at its lowest speed, add the milk, eggs and salt in succession, mixing until the flour is moistened. Stop the mixer and, with a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and incorporate the dry crumbs that in all likelihood will be at the bottom of the bowl.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until the dough comes together and cleans the sides of the bowl, 5 to 10 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. When you start this beating process, the dough will look hopeless – persevere and it will smooth out.
- Cut the butter into 6 or 7 pieces. The butter should have the same consistency as the dough. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and add the butter a couple of pieces at a rime, mixing until it is incorporated. Continue to mix until the dough detaches itself from the sides and bottom of the bowl, curls around the dough hook, and makes a gentle slapping noise as it hits the bowl. The process of incorporating the butter and beating the dough until it detaches might take as long as 15 minutes. When the dough is properly beaten, it will be silky and voluptuous.
- Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in a warm place (about 72°F/22°C) until it doubles in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.
- Gently deflate the dough (this means forming a fist with your hands and pushing the center of the dough down a couple of times to let the excess air out, flour the top, fun to do!) and press a piece of plastic wrap against it surface. Cover the bowl well with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer until the dough doubles in bulk again, 2 to 3 hours. Deflate the dough, remove it from the bowl, wrap it tightly in several layers of plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Generously butter an 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan. Divide the fully risen and chilled dough into 6 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time on a clean unfloured work surface (marble is ideal), roll the dough under your cupped palm to form it into a tight ball. Push the dough around and around with the hell of your hand and press down gently with your palm to form a ball. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Place the pieces side by side in the pan (you’ll have 2 rows each with 3 balls of dough), cover the pan loosely with wax paper and allow the loaf to rest in a warm place (about 72°F/22°C) until the dough doubles in volume, 2 to 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Glaze the top of the loaf with the egg wash (see recipe below). Bake the loaf for 20 to 22 minutes, or until deeply golden and an instant-read thermometer plunged into the center of the loaf reads 190°F to 200°F. Unmold the loaf and cool to room temperature on a rack.

Egg Wash recipe:

Ingredients:
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 ½ teaspoons sugar

Instructions:
- Whisk the ingredients together in a small bow until well blended.


A brioche is a rich French bread, made with lots of butter and eggs, making it ultra-delicious
and super-extravagant (especially if you eat it with butter and Nutella, like me).


As an avid bread-lover, this bread is as good as it gets, and it is one of my
all-time favorite things to eat! J’adore!


What I love about making breads is that it never seems like much work.
The preparation is minimal, you just need to let everything rise.


Oh, and I picked up some pastries from a local bakery. This is an apricot linzer bar.
Brioche AND apricot bars ... my life is so hard ;-)!


Avenue des Champs-Élysées on Bastille Day.
Photo by Ammar Abd Rabbo

15 comments:

Heather said...

I love making brioche. Now I can try a Piere Herme recipe. Great job!

FireintheBreeze (Brittany) said...

vraiment parfait. et quand le brioche va fade tu peut prepare du toast français!

Paris Pastry said...

Je sais! J'adore pain perdu!

ABowlOfMush said...

ooh yummy!
I might have to make this at the weekend! :)

mr. pineapple man said...

looks delicious!!

Natalie... said...

Oh wow your brioche looks like its turned out perfectly!! Yummm!

Moon said...

Mmm, looks great!! They look perfect for french bread!!! In Belgium we call it: 'lost bread'.

Paris Pastry said...

@ Moon: Really? How is that pronounced in Dutch? "verloren brood"?

How To Eat A Cupcake said...

I love brioche! :D

La Lola said...

J'adore brioche!! yay so glad it won. I will let this be my first ever bread recipe, very intimidated though. its funny you say its minimal work, for me bread is scarier than macarons! they all say its so hard and time consuming.
Happy Bastille Day! xx
ps- i featured you on my blog ;)

Eliana said...

Happy Bastille Day!!!

Your Brioche looks so golden and delicious.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

Sorry about the world cup, but at least your brioche and apricot bars look like very delicious consolation prizes ;p.

Cornflake said...

J'adore Brioche!! Especially home cooked golden brioche!!!! Oh I truly wish I could have some right now with my coffee! :-)
xx

La Lola said...

sweety guess what! my granny has a bread machine! how exciting. the one category i thought i would never bake and now i have a helpful little cheating machine. think i can make brioche in it? xx

Paris Pastry said...

@La Lola: I think you can! I've never worked with a bread machine, but all you need is a little help with the kneading. After that, it's fairly easy. Good luck!