Brioche

If you saw my Mother's Day post, you know that I was treated to some wonderful homemade brioche French toast for breakfast on Sunday. Of course, homemade breakfast, not made by me, is always a treat. But homemade bread as well - now that really is special. 


As you know, Mr. DD has really taken to the bread baking as of late. The girls and I are lucky enough to be the recipients of freshly baked Boules on a weekly basis, which I love. But who doesn't like a little change every once in awhile...variety is the spice of life, after all. Bring on the brioche.

{boule}

Brioche is basically a sweet bread, containing both eggs and butter. Butter, lots of butter. This recipe came from, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, by Peter Reinhart. There were 3 options, depending on how much butter you wanted to add: Rich Man's, Middle Class and Poor Man's. We went Middle Class, all the way.


This was no easy feat. There was the dough making on Saturday, followed by the 5am wake up call on Sunday to form the loaves and allow them to proof in time for a 10am brunch. Needless to say, I felt pretty special. 


Fortunately, we had a whole day in the garden to burn off the French toast and make room for the pork belly we had for dinner. Oh yeah, it was good. 


Sponge
1/2 c bread flour
2 tsp instant yeast
1/2 c luke warm whole milk

Stir together the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 30 -45 minutes.

Dough
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 c bread flour
2 tbs granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
1 c unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg, whisked for egg wash

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the eggs to the fermented sponge and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the sponge and egg mixture, mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the butter. Once the butter is incorporated, continue to mix with the dough hook on low speed for an additional 6-8 minutes. 

Move the dough onto a lightly oiled piece of parchment paper and form into a 6 x 8 square - we did this in a brownie pan.   Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

When ready, divide the dough into two equal parts and form into loaves on a floured surface.  Note, this dough can get stick pretty quickly, so it is important to do this step when the dough is cold.  To form the loaf, stretch the dough into a rough rectangle, about 8 inches long (or the length of your bread tin) and 3-4 inches wide.  Fold the dough over lengthwise into thirds, like you would a letter. Roll the dough to seal the seam and put into a lightly greased bread tin.  Let proof for about 2 hours or until the dough doubles in size.  Brush the top with egg wash and proof another 30 minutes while preheating the oven to 400 F.  Bake for 35-45 minutes.  The bread should be golden brown on top.  Our loaves started to get a little too dark, so we covered it with foil for the last 10 minutes.

Remove from the tin immediately after baking and let cool on a rack.  

{Thanks Mr. DD for your interpretation of this recipe and a wonderful Mother's Day weekend! }


until next time,