Waiter, There Is Something In My…Brioche!
When Andrew announced the theme of this month WTSIM, my head started spinning….Bread! I make bread a couple times a week, from the simple dinner roll to sandwich bread to the more complicated sourdoughs and multigrains. This time around I thought about impressing my family with yet another elaborate creation but then I thought that the few readers that I have might want to know a little bit more about my tastes and the only thing to showcase that is in a simple brioche.
I like complicated, I like challenging, I thrive for multi level prepared plated desserts but comes sunday morning I live for my toasted slice of brioche. Simply buttered and touched by a spoonful of strawberry jam…nothing makes me happier. B. knows the ritual and has easily adapted to his French bride’s habits. Let’s face it: wine, cheese, brioche… who is to complaint?!
I have tried a multituted of brioche recipe over the years but I have to admit that since last month the recipe from Epicurious (extremely similar to Dorie Greenspan’s) is the one I have made every saturday afternoon. Hands down, it is the most flavorful and most adaptable one around. I play with the flavor with different fillings like chocolate chips, raisins, pralines, and extracts such as rum, toffee, and in today’s case orange water. I put this stuff in most of my baked goods, cakes, breads and crepes. It lends a subtle aroma that never makes me think of orange but if spring flowers all making my tastebuds sing on sunday mornings.
Golden Brioche, adapted from Epicurious:
Makes 2 large loaves
1/3 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1/3 cup warm milk (105°F to 115°F)
1-2 Tb orange water (according to taste)
2 envelopes dry yeast
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
Egg wash:1 egg, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water
Place 1/3 cup warm water, warm milk, orange water and yeast in bowl of standing heavy-duty mixer; stir until yeast dissolves and let proof (10 minutes)
Fit mixer with dough hook. Add flour and salt to bowl; mix on low speed just until flour is moistened, about 10 seconds. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in the eggs on low speed, then add sugar. On medium,beat until dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding next. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 7 minutes.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Punch the dough down to deflate it. Cover bowl with plastic and chill until dough stops rising, lifting up dough around edges and allowing dough to fall and deflate in bowl every 30 minutes, about 2 hours total.
At this point you can tackle forming the brioche loaves or refrigerate overnight to do this the next day.
Butter and flour 2 large loaf pans. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Cut each dough half into 3 logs. Arrange 3 logs crosswise in bottom of each prepared loaf pan. Place loaf pans on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rise another 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Brush the brioches with the egg wash and bake until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Let cool to room temperature, if you can wait that long and enjoy!
Now you know, if you knock on my door on sunday mornings you are most likely to be handed a couple of slices of brioche and a cup of coffee…