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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…

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Anonymous April 15, 2007 um 10:06 pm

Oh! Oh I really want to try making brioche, but all my cookbooks say that I need to have a mixer (still dreaming of a kitchenaid) as the dough is far too sticky to make by hand 🙁

This little golden loaf of yours looks much so that now I’m hungry from just looking at the photo!

Anh April 15, 2007 um 10:09 pm

I have a love affair with brioche. Can’t never resist so always end up eating too much. Your loaf looks wonderful!

MyKitchenInHalfCups April 16, 2007 um 12:23 am

Looking at your loaf of brioche, I like nothing better than to have a cup and slice on a Sunday morning. Some rituals can be so enriching and nourishing and I think this must be one!

Brilynn April 16, 2007 um 12:28 am

You beat me to it! I was planning on making brioche for wtsim too!

Anonymous April 16, 2007 um 2:36 am

Such pretty brioche! Wish I could have had some with some tea!

Ilva April 16, 2007 um 8:06 am

I long for some brioche now, hmmmm

Gattina Cheung April 16, 2007 um 10:32 am

Helene, when you say it’s good, it must be good!

Anonymous April 16, 2007 um 3:26 pm

A warm toasted slice of brioche with butter and jam sounds divine, great entry for WTISM..Bread !

Jacqueline April 16, 2007 um 4:13 pm

hello, after reading so many of your entries, I know that you must be an enthusiast in participating in the various baking events. I was wondering how and where do i submit my entry for muffin-monday??
thanks alot


Patricia Scarpin April 16, 2007 um 4:19 pm

Helene, it looks stunning – may I grab a slice, please? 😉

At first I had the same thoughts as Ellie but then I tried with my regular mixer fitted with beaters that look like springs and it worked beautifully.

Anonymous April 16, 2007 um 5:24 pm

Hi Helen! I could be having this every Sunday morning?? Oh my, what on earth am I waiting for – I’ll be down there for next weekend! 😀

Your golden brioches look amazing – I’ll note this recipe to try!

Anonymous April 16, 2007 um 5:24 pm

i’m so happy you posted this recipe because i’ve been searching around for the perfect brioche lately. never made it before and wanted to try, looks beautiful. thank you.. 🙂

Helene April 16, 2007 um 5:42 pm

Ellie: a hand held mixer can do the job but it will get a workout!

Jacqueline: click on the Muffin Monday link under the "April Events" section.

Astrid April 16, 2007 um 6:07 pm

Thank you for posting about brioche, I plan to make some one day (when I get a Kitchenaid) and will bookmark your recipe.
Just a question: how do you make yours ready for Sunday morning? Do you get up early to shape, let it rise then bake it? Or do you bake it on Saturday evening and simply roll out of bed to enjoy it on Sunday?

Helene April 16, 2007 um 6:17 pm

Astrid: I usually shape it on saturday night and let it rise. Get up and take it out of the fridge to allow ot to come to room temp for a nour or so and bake it. I’d rather have it frsh but I have done the whole process on saturday evening for sunday if we had friends coming for brunch.

Cheryl April 16, 2007 um 6:38 pm

Oh to wake up mornings at your house and smell brioche. That must be heaven.

Elle April 16, 2007 um 9:17 pm

That is a wonderful looking loaf of brioche. Great texture. Let’s find a toaster and cup of coffee right away.

Astrid April 17, 2007 um 6:23 am

Thank you Helene for your response. I’ve only just started making breads, like bagels and croissants, and my big quest is to have them fresh on Sunday morning with minimal effort!

So basically you have to get up one hour before breakfast, and there’s not a lot of work involved (just baking the brioche). That’s not so bad. Thanks again!

Lis April 17, 2007 um 3:46 pm

I am so at your door this Sunday morning!!

Anuhea April 17, 2007 um 4:57 pm

I confess I’ve never had brioche…or maybe I had, but just didn’t know it as the wonderful bread I’ve been learning about. Maybe I should stop by your house so I can have some!

Anonymous April 17, 2007 um 5:05 pm

Fantastic! This WTSIM event is definitely my favorite. I’m a carbs girl and your bread looks incredible!

Andrew April 21, 2007 um 2:17 pm

I’ve never made brioche before but this sounds very 'doable'. Many thanks for taking part in Waiter

Unknown September 28, 2008 um 5:22 pm

Two days of chasing down Brioche recipes, translating from US to UK to French items! I like the simplicity of this.

Why do you 'knock back’/deflate the rising dough whilst in the fridge please?

What size loaf tins do you use? About the one pound size?


Helene September 28, 2008 um 7:05 pm

DaveP: 2 reasons: to make the gluten work a little harder in order to create all the air pockets in the dough and also because if you don’t the dough is literary going to take over your fridge it rises so well.

Donna February 27, 2010 um 6:44 am

Can I freeze the brioche dough? if so, when exactly do I freeze it?

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