A name that says it all.
A classic French pastry that is enriched with a high quantity of butter and eggs. To be used as a simple loaf of bread , or as a classic boule ( a ball shaped rustic loaf of bread) or as a brioche à tète.
And then we had these absolutely amazing Mushroom and cheese stuffed Brioche balls. And the tide turned.
This , a simple lunch that sweet child and I enjoyed at a small bistro in Nariman Point changed the way he views mushrooms.
For our family, a brioche is a simple dinner roll that I generally make a dinner parties, Or when hubby dear wants to eat pav bhaji with loads of butter- he’s the only guy I know who can eat 200gms of butter in one sitting and still have space for more… so what’s a little extra butter in the bread?
And sweet child is so not fond of mushrooms, especially those slathered with cheese.
So we had to make these. But step 1… Make that brioche dough first. Oh and I had stollen on my mind for the longest time. But wanted a “less”sweet dough. There’s a lot you can do with a brioche dough.
I love watching Anna Olsen on Food Network. But the major problem with replicating a north American/European bread is that the bread never comes out the way there’s does. So we make a few changes. The first loaf that I made a few moons ago using her exact recipe was a disaster . But I’m wiser now. And kinder,so I’ll be sharing my recipe.
So if you live in India, try my ratios first. There’s all that science of gluten and levain and protein content and humidity and chlorine and other minerals in water quality that come to play here.
What I say may sound like crap…but I’ve baked through about a 10006 loaves already.
Once you master this dough, you can try out myriad variations.
You can make the two versions I made or the third version that I will be posting on as dough bombs.
So let’s make
Basic Brioche Bread
1/4 cup plus a little extra full fat milk at body temperature 37-40°C
1 tbsp instant dry yeast
2 cups all purpose flour or maida
2 tbsp icing sugar
3 eggs (separate one,reserving the white for the egg wash)
90 GM’s or 6 tbsp butter at room temperature (I use salted butter. If you prefer unsalted,add 1/2 tsp of salt to your dough)
1 tbsp honey
Start by pouring the warm milk into a large bowl. That milk must not be cold. Add in the table spoon of yeast and 2 tbsp of flour. Mix well to allow the yeast to start the process eating into the sugars present. Yes, flour too have sugars.
Now sift over the ground sugar and the rest of the flour.
Tip in the 2 whole eggs and one extra yolk. Using a wooden spoon beat it all together. It may seem to be an effort at first. Remember that workout your arms are getting when you begin to feel the burn.
Oh and also look at the butter you’re going to be adding.
Yup, got you there…go on, beat the dough for a few more minutes.
Add in the butter a little at a time. And once the butter is all incorporated, just scrape this excuse of a dough into an oiled bowl. I love the smooth kneaded dough..this looks a little rough around the edges. But… pop it into your fridge for atleast 8-10 hours. So if I need to bake a brioche for a dinner party, I do this the night before ,or latest early in the morning.
And when you take it out of the fridge, the dough will look as if spent the night in the stand mixer. It’s super smooth.
Clean your work top with a tissue dipped in salted water, wipe dry(keeps the ants at bay). Sprinkle some flour and pop the chilled dough out.
Remember ,it’s important to work the dough and shape whatever you want to make with the brioche when the dough is chilled.
Warm dough will make the butter bleed.
You need to keep the butter within the dough for th wheat results.
Technically you should have decided what you want to do with the dough…I was just about to roll the dough to make a loaf.
So,in walked sweet child who had just been checking out my face book timeline and decided to follow my fellow Baker blogger Pooja khannas sketch. He has great respect for anyone who can sketch better than me…
So he ran my lattice cutter over the dough at uneven distances.
If you should wish to do so use your kitchen ruler.
Roll the dough strips and place them seam side down. Just like we do for the Hokkaido Roll loaf.
That egg white that we saved, beat in the honey and brush over the dough rolls, ensuring that it doesn’t run between the dough and tin. Else it acts like glue.
Allow the dough to sit out 30-45 minutes,covered with film.
We handle cool dough but we don’t place cold dough in the oven.
The outer crust will bake and the inside will stay raw and under cooked.
Preheat The oven to 180C .
The brioche will double in 40-50 minutes. Brush it once again with the egg white honey mix and now pop it into the oven for 30-40 minutes.
If you wish to , sprinkle seeds.
But traditionally,brioche never has seeds.
You’ll know it’s done when you begin to get buttery ,yeasty aromas.
And that bread with that golden tinted glow. It’s a flaky pastry like bread. Buttery and with a beautiful looking crumb. I love breads like this .
You need no butter or cheese or jam or any accompanying condiment. And a brioche doesn’t isn’t supposed to be sliced. You’re supposed to tear it apart and have it for breakfast. A cup of coffee or a cafe au lait…and that brioche… this is a loaf…so I’ll be doing a brioche à tète the next brioche dough I do.
So I made these mushroom filled brioche balls and a stöllen. A stöllen is a European yeast bread made with dried fruit , sugar and nuts and is eaten in the Christmas season.
So,I had only I punnet of mushrooms (I know ,its a punnet of strawberries -but you get a similar size package of mushrooms,so…) So I could make only some of those mushroom filled brioche balls. Half the dough I filled with dry fruit and almonds to make that stöllen.
Oh and you have to see the super cute reindeer…
They are my friend Jacqueline’s , who’s just setting up for Christmas.
I’ve offered to be her sous chef when she gets cracking 36 eggs for her Christmas cake.
More on that next week.
Go make that brioche dough…
And remember to follow instructions.
I’ll just be posting the way to.make thise mushroom brioche bombs and brioche stollen.
The fruit bread has a whole lot of dried fruit and almonds. And the pink..well ,I had two piping bags full of royal icing and nothing else to pipe.
Make a start,because
Life is what you bake of it.