Buttery Weekend Brioche
by eat in my kitchen
Lots of butter, lots of eggs – the secret to a great brioche! I enjoy this sweet golden bread fresh and warm out of the oven on the first day, and toasted, for breakfast, lunch or as sweet and savory sandwiches on the second day. Therefore, when I make brioche, I bake a big batch of them!
The dough has to rise three times, but that shouldn’t put you off. If you time it well and let it rise overnight the second time you can be rewarded with the best French breakfast treat ever, apart from croissants maybe but their preparation reaches another dimension. I never managed to move myself to give them a try but one day their time will come even in my kitchen. Back to the brioche, this recipe makes a wonderful buttery, light pastry, rich but tender. I like to break them in pieces and spread even more butter on top of them and some of my homemade strawberry or Tyrolean plum jam, a hot latte macchiato on the side and I’m happy!
I always bake one loaf and a few little round brioches. The bread stays fresh for days wrapped in parchment paper and it’s great for tea time, sliced, toasted and – again – with some butter melted on top. It also makes a delicious dessert, in a trifle, bread pudding or thick fresh slices topped with a thick warm berry compote and some whipped cream!
For 2 loaves you need
plain flour 700g / 1.5 pounds
dry yeast 1 package for 500g / 1 pound of flour
salt 1 1/2 teaspoons
sugar 60g / 2 ounces
organic eggs, mixed with a fork, 5 plus 1 egg mixed with a pinch of salt for the glaze
milk, lukewarm, 50ml / 2 ounces
butter, soft, 250g / 9 ounces
Melt 50g / 2 ounces of the butter, let it cool and mix with the milk.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the lukewarm milk butter mixture and eggs and mix with your dough hooks for 5 minutes until well combined. Continue kneading with your hands for about 5 minutes until you have an elastic dough ball. Add the remaining soft butter cut into little pieces and mix until all the butter is worked into the dough and you have a soft, shiny but sticky ball. This will take about 5 minutes.
Put the dough back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a 35°C / 95°F warm oven ( top / bottom heat, no fan!) for 1 hour.
Take the dough out, knead for 1 minute and put it in a clean large bowl. Close well with a lid or cling film and keep in the fridge overnight to rise slowly a second time.
Take the dough out the next morning and let it sit for 10 minutes before you knead it for 1 minute and divide it into 2 portions (or more depending on the tins you use to bake the brioche). Butter the tins generously and push in the dough, the tins should be filled 1/2 to 2/3, not more. If you bake a round brioche you can shape little (or big) balls and place them on top. Form a little hole with your finger in the middle and gently push the ball in to prevent it from falling off. Cover with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
Set the oven to 175°C / 350°F (top/ bottom heat).
Brush the brioche with the egg mixed with salt and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top, depending on the tins’ shape and size the baking time can be shorter or longer. If you’re not sure if it’s done turn the brioche around and knock on its underside, it should sound hollow. Enjoy warm.