Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Glazed French Brioche

I used to love the days when my flatmate used to bring home a loaf of brioche as a tear and share - it's so light, buttery and delicious. I never thought I could make it, let alone make it well - until I found this recipe from Paula, a home-bake-aholic in Dallas. Please have a look at her original recipe (and amazing photos!) at Salad In A Jar. I've used the same techniques as her, but have plaited the brioche to create the classic French look. Also, I've converted the units so us Brits can follow her recipe! Thanks Paula!

Top tip: Brioche takes a long time to prepare if you're going do it it properly, so plan well ahead if you want to serve it fresh from the oven to your guests!

Makes three feet of brioche!

INGREDIENTS:

Warm Water - 60mls
Dry Milk Powder - 2 tbsp
Eggs - 3 large
Salt - 1/2 tbsp
Instant Yeast - 3/4 tbsp
Caster Sugar - 3 tbsp
Butter - 170g
Bread Flour - 125g
Plain Flour - 220g

For the glaze:
Egg - 1
Double Cream - 1 tbsp

1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl. Crack in the eggs and then add the other dry ingredients. Break up the butter (much easier to do at room temperature) and place it in the bowl. Finally add the water.

2. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes using a food processor with paddles or a hand-held bread kneader. It's really important to get the consistency right at this stage, so keep kneading until the bowl edges are clean and the dough is elastic, and you're done.

3. Cover the bowl with grease-proof paper and place in a warm cupboard, or gently warmed oven, and allow to rise for 2 hours.

4. Once risen, place the bowl in the fridge overnight (up to 24 hours). This helps firm up the dough while still retaining lots of the air bubbles, making the brioche fluffy and light.

5. About 2 hours before you want to serve your brioche, remove from the fridge and tip the dough out onto a flour-covered dry surface. Now is the time to get creative and mould it into whatever shape you like. To plait it, create three equal cylindrical strips about a metre in length each, making sure not to squeeze too much air out in the process. Place each them in line next to each other and alternately fold the outer one into the middle to create a plait. Squeeze the tips together to seal.

6. Cover once more and allow to rise again in a warm place for a further 2 hours.

7. Meanwhile make the glaze by quickly whisking together an egg and a tablespoon of double cream. When the brioche has risen, lightly brush the top surface of your brioche with the glaze to create an even, smooth surface.

7. Place immediately into a pre-heated oven at 190 degrees Celsius and bake for 15 minutes. The glaze will just start to turn golden and feel slightly firm. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. You can keep the brioche in a bread tin and it will last for 3-4 days (it doesn't keep so well in the fridge).

Serve warm with butter and strawberry jam.

1 comment:

  1. Somehow, I missed seeing this when you first put it up. Your bread looks fabulous. Love the braid!

    ReplyDelete