Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike. -John Muir

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Brioche = heaven... plain and simple. It is light in texture, yet elegantly rich in flavor.  A chunk of this makes the perfect breakfast (or an 11pm snack like im having right now...)

The overall time for making brioche takes about 16 -18 hours. The actual work time of the dough and baking takes a little over an hour.  Which means most of the time it is sitting somewhere in a bowl.

You will need:
3 3/4c bread flour
1/4c sugar
3 tsp of fresh yeast or 2 tsp of dry yeast
2 tsp salt
6 large eggs
1 cup unsalted butter
egg wash for baking

-The first thing to do is to get out your eggs and butter acclimated to room temp.  Cut the butter into small cubes and set aside.

-Next mix the dry ingredients, then add the eggs and combine. when everything forms a dough turn it out onto a non floured surface.

-It is going to be very sticky but that is ok. There is a special kneading technique that allows the dough to develop gluten and air.  like this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvdtUR-XTG0&feature=related
(the starting dough and end result of the dough wont be that firm. its going to be wet)

-work the dough like this for about 10 minutes, until it starts to come away from the counter easier. at this time spread the butter over the dough, fold the sides over the top and resume working the dough until it is silky smooth and elastic. (it will get kind of funky for a few seconds as the butter works into it, but stay positive)

-lightly dust the work surface and form the dough into a ball. do this by pulling the sides up and on top of the dough, pressing each into the center. put the ball into a covered bowl and let it rest for 2 hours.

-after 2 hours come back and reshape the ball. just like the last step, pull the sides up onto the top and press them into the center. put the ball back into the covered bowl and let rest for 12-14 hours  in a cool place (50-53F) like a basement.

-after 12-14 hours remove the dough from the cool place and let it come up to room temp (about an hour)

-divide the dough into 2 3/4oz balls (a bit larger than a golf ball)

-put the balls into the bottom of a greased bread tin or you can grease up a muffin tin and put an individual ball in each.

-cover them with a towel and let them rise (in a warm place) for 2 1/2 hours.

(preheat an oven to 400)

-after 2 1/2 hours brush the tops with an egg wash and toss these into the oven. after 10 minutes lower the temp to 250 and cook for another 15-20 minutes until the tops are nice and golden.

-remove them from the pan and cool on a rack.

so worth the effort! enjoy!

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