Saturday, August 27, 2011

Brioche's been my favorite thing to make in culinary school so far. I love portioning out the rolls/loaves, shaping them into uniform rolls or uniquely designed loaves, watching them double in size, and then pulling them out of the oven to smell that fresh bread smell. I am quite a carboholic as well. It's got to be my favorite food.

So here's yet another bread recipe we made in school. Brioche (bree-OHSH). Isn't it such a lovely name? Brioche is a rich, tender bread made with a generous amount of eggs and butter. It's great to eat right out of the oven, with sandwiches or french toast, or even as a PB&J sandwich. There are many ways to shape it as well.

For part of the recipe I used mini brioche pans (picture above). They almost look like little flowers. I also made some mini loaves as well as a regular size loaf of bread.

*I only made half of the recipe below and it still made a TON of bread! I ended up with 8 mini brioches, 7 mini loaves, and 1 regular loaf. Enough to share with my neighbor and my husband's coworkers!

Source: On Baking: A Textbook of Baking & Pastry Fundamentals

4 lb. 7 oz. All-purpose flour
2 lb. 6 oz. Eggs (~ 24 eggs)
1.75 oz. Salt
7 oz. Sugar
1.75 oz. Active dry yeast
7 fl. oz. Water (around 100°F)
3 lb. Unsalted butter, room temperature
Egg wash, as needed

1. Place the flour, eggs, salt and sugar into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir the ingredients together.

2. Combine the yeast and water and add to the dough.

3. Knead approximately 20 minutes on medium speed. The dough will be smooth, shiny and moist. It should not form a ball.

4. Slowly add the butter to the dough. Knead only until all the butter is incorporated. Remove the dough from the mixer and place it into a bowl dusted with flour. Cover the dough and ferment at room temperature until doubled.

5. Punch down the dough, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

6. Portion and shape the chilled dough as desired. Place the shaped dough in well-greased pans. Brush with egg wash and proof at room temperature until doubled.

7. Bake at 375°F until the brioche is a dark golden brown and sounds hollow. Baking time will vary depending on the temperature of the dough and the size of the rolls or loaves being baked.

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