My bread obsession continues. I have fallen madly in love with the soft cake-like french sweet bread, brioche.
It has been the center of a lot of drama historically…
“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!”
or, “Then let them eat brioche!”
Whether or not Marie Antoinette actually said this, you have to admit, brioche is quite the luxury, even in modern days.
Brioche is unique because it is given a fluffy, yet spongy texture from excess of butter and eggs. It is a base-recipe, so you can do a lot with it as well as Boule, but this is more of a pastry base than a regular bread.
I’m not any regular bread. I’m a cool bread! ;.)
I can’t resist a good (or bad) Mean Girls reference…
Anyway, here’s my version of artisan brioche:
- 1.5 cups of warm water
- 1.5 Tbs. yeast
- a generous pinch of salt
- 8 eggs, beaten
- half a cup of honey
- 1.5 cups of melted butter, and then some for greasing the pan
- 7.5 (ish) cups of basic flour
- egg wash (an egg white mixed with 1 Tbs. water)
- Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, butter, and warm water in a large bowl. Cover with a cloth or loose fitting lid
- Mix in the flour. Once again, use wet hands, or a machine. It’s going t be lumpy, and be a bit on the liquid side.
- Let it rise for about two hours
- Chill dough (30 minutes-5 days, whatever you prefer)
- Grease a medium~small pan (9x4x3 works best)
- Flour the top of the dough, and pull off a 1 pound bunch (about the size of a grapefruit)
- Stretch the surface by folding the edges to the bottom until it looks presentable
- Stretch the dough into an oval so it fits in your pan, and place it in.
- Let it rise for an 1 hour and 20 minutes *preheat oven as needed
- Gently paint on the egg wash. Don’t force yourself to use all of it if you’ve already coated the surface. Excess will make your beautiful bread soggy!
- Bake at 350 F for 35~40 minutes.
- Cool, and enjoy 🙂
This bread is so much fun. It’s golden, and has a sweet taste to it! You can roll out the dough and dribble chocolate sauce on it, roll it up and bake the roll, then you’ve got Brioche Au Chocolat (Probably a bad translation, but it sounds nice to your non-french-speaking-friends) or you can doll up the dough in a fancy tin and serve it up like a French baker. The possibilities are endless!
And just like that, you’ve got a whole new creation.