February 25, 2011
Brioche can be easy to make. The best French Toast, Bread Pudding, Cinnamon Rolls, Croutons and Fresh Bread Crumbs can all be made from a loaf of Brioche.
Brioche is that Buttery, rich Eggy Bread served in great bakeries in France and America that brings some people to tears when they eat it. I may even have a tear in my eye as I write this. When you think of Brioche or Bread making in general, you assume it will be difficult and impossible to do. Brioche can easily be made with a KitchenAid stand mixer which does all the work, giving your hands a rest and resulting in the most delicious Bread. Of course, you can hand knead it if you like...but why?
When you are Cooking The Amazing it's all about the end result being the most delicious even if it's easy.
Here is the recipe.
1 T Butter (To Butter the Bowl)
2 1/4 t Dry Active Yeast (1 envelope)
1/3 c Warm Water
6 c Bread Flour
1/3 c Sugar
2 1/2 t Sea Salt, fine grain
6 Large Eggs
3 Large Egg Yolks
4 Sticks Butter (cold, no salt)
1/4 c All Purpose Flour (to Flour the board)
1 Large Egg (for Egg wash)
1 T Water (for Egg wash)
1. Butter a large bowl to place the Dough in later with 1 T room temperature Butter and set aside. In a small cup or bowl pour 1/3 c very warm water from the tap (about 110 degrees) and add the Yeast and stir. Set aside to proof for 5-7 mins. The Yeast will begin to bubble and increase in size. This means it is alive and well. If nothing happens the Yeast is not alive and won't make the Brioche rise.
2. In the bowl of a KitchenAid mixer fitted with the dough hook, put the Flour, Sugar and Sea Salt. Mix well for a couple minutes while the Yeast proofs.
3. In a separate bowl, crack 6 large Eggs and add 3 Yolks from large Eggs and whisk well. Set aside.
4. Remove the cold Butter from the fridge and cut each stick into small cubes, about 1/2 inch square or so. Set aside.
5. Once the Yeast has proofed, turn the mixer on low and add the Yeast to the Flour mixture all at once then add the Egg mixture all at once. Continue to mix on low. The Dough will look dry and crumbly at first.
6. Increase the speed of the mixer to medium speed and add 1/4th of the cold Butter. Allow to mix for 15 secs. then add 1/4th more of the Butter. Repeat every 15 secs. until all the Butter has been added.
7. Continue to mix at this speed for 10 minutes allowing the cold Butter to incorporate. The Dough will go from looking dry to looking sticky and finally to form a smooth large ball. Scrape down the bowl often. You may also need to wrangle the Dough from creeping up the Dough hook from time to time.
8. After 10 mins. the Dough ball should be smooth. Pull it from the Dough hook and place in the large Buttered bowl that you prepared earlier. Cover very tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. 16 hrs. minimum but 24 hrs. is even better.
9. The next day remove the Dough from the fridge and take the plastic wrap off. The top of the Dough will look dried out and the the Dough will have increased in size, but not a lot. Spray 2 loaf pans with non-stick Vegetable spray (like Pam). Sprinkle about 1/4 c All Purpose Flour on a board and dump out the Dough on the Flour. Cut the Dough in half and form into a rough loaf shape. The Dough will feel heavy and dense. Knead it for 1 minute to soften the Dough to make it workable. If you are not making loaves, form the Dough into the shapes you want at this stage (as in roll out the Dough for Cinnamon Rolls or for small individual Brioche rolls).
10. Place the shaped Dough into the prepared pans then cover with a kitchen cloth and place in a warm place and allow to rise, doubling in size, approx. 2-2 1/2 hours. A trick I use is to turn my oven on to 200 degrees for a couple minutes then turn it off. I open the door and let some of the heat out and check that it isn't too hot. I put my loaf pans with my Dough in the oven with the door closed to rise for the 2-2 1/2 hrs. This makes a nice warm protected spot.
11. After the Dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If you used your oven as a warm spot to rise, remove the risen Dough and set on the counter as the oven heats up.) Score the top of the Dough gently with a sharp knife down the middle lengthwise. Make the Egg wash: Mix one large Egg with 1 T Water in a small bowl and brush this mixture on the tops of the Dough. This will give the Bread a beautiful shiny brown top crust.
12. Bake at 350 degrees in the center of your oven for 50-55 minutes for loaves until the top is well browned. Small Rolls bake for 25-30 minutes.
Tap the Bread on top listening for a hollow thump indicating it is done. Immediately remove from the loaf pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Click here for an amazing Cinnamon Rolls Recipe made from this Brioche Dough recipe or for the most delicious French Toast you will ever eat!
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