Gas station without pumps

2020 May 14

Brioche

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 17:45
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For tomorrow’s bread-and-tea I’m finally going to do the brioche that I’ve been thinking about for the past few weeks.  I’ll have to start it today, as one of the risings will be overnight in the refrigerator.

The recipe is a half the recipe from Lindsey Remolif Shere’s Chez Panisse Desserts.

1½ teaspoon yeast
⅛ cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
¾ cup unsalted butter

Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes. Let eggs warm to room temperature.

Mix flour, sugar, and salt in large bowl.  Stir 3–4 tablespoons of flour mixture into bubbly yeast mixture to form a smooth, light batter.  Let it rise until double.

Make a well in the flour mixture and break in the eggs.  Scrape in the yeast and beat until smooth. Slice cold butter into long strips (¼ thickness of stick of butter) and distribute on top of dough, without working it in. Cover and let rise until tripled in volume (about 90 minutes).

Punch down the dough, and mix using dough hook to beat in the butter.  This dough will be soft and sticky—if you have to knead by hand, pick the dough up and slap it down on the board, rather than trying the usual hand kneading of bread dough.  When properly kneaded the dough should go from being stringy and sticky to “very smooth, satiny, and light”.

Put it in a bowl, cover it, and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator.

Shape the dough directly from the refrigerator without letting it warm.  I’ll be using a brioche pan (yes, we have some rather specialized tools in our kitchen), so I’ll just shape the dough into a ball, put it in the buttered pan, and let it rise until doubled.  It should not spring back when pressed gently.

I may or may not brush the top with eggs and milk—that makes for a brown crust which can be quite attractive.

Bake at 375°F for 35–45 minutes.  Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

Update 2020 May 15:  The final rising of the refrigerated dough took longer than I expected at room temperature.  I ended up warming the oven to 100°F, turning it off, and putting the brioche pan in the oven to speed up the final rise.  I did brush the top with an egg-and-milk mixture (it takes much less than an egg, so I made a mini-omelet of the leftover).  Here is a picture of the final brioche:

I remembered to make a small ball of dough to stack on top of the main ball of dough, to get the classic brioche shape.  The quality of the photo is low, because I took it with my phone instead of getting out a proper camera.

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