Yup, people, I baked Brioche. It is no secret that I love bread. It is one of my favourite things to eat. Anything made with dough gets a thumbs up from me. When I make meat pie, I break off the dough on the outside, eat the filling with the pastry over it and then come back to the dough. That is the best part for me. I do this too when I am eating pizza. I break out the outer part and come back to it later. Many times I am grateful for my metabolism because bread is poison to many people on a diet. You will never catch me eating whole grain bread though. No siree. It is the white stuff for me.
The breads I absolutely love are mostly the French and Italian variety. My mum says I have a posh palate. Now, whose fault I say back to her. Not to forget Agege bread too though. It ranks right up there with French and Italian greats. Brioche is one of those French breads I absolutely love. I think of Brioche, and immediately my mind drifts to Paris, because both go hand in hand for me. I get off the train at Gare du Nord and the first thing I do luggage in hand, is to run across to my favourite patisserie to buy brioche, which I then munch with a huge smile on my face, then remember to find my hotel. I repeat the same dance on my way back home, never forgetting to buy a loaf to bring home with me. The store Paul in Gare du Nord does it so well, all soft, fluffy and buttery. Brioche is not for the faint hearted. It has enough butter in it to probably kill you, but you will go smiling. It is a very eggy, buttery bread that you will absolutely love. If you have tried the other bread recipe I put up, especially if you are a member of So You Think You Can Cook on Facebook, you need to try Brioche. Don’t get sucked in though, this bread is seriously addictive and I have to add a health warning as my public responsibility. hehehehehe
Making this was very easy. Much easier than the other free form bread recipe HERE. Dump everything into a food processor and let it do all the work for you. In terms of the duration, this would probably take longer, but see it as your taste buds and your tummy are preparing for delicious goodness, so are your arteries, prepping themselves for all that butter. Lol. Here’s Terry’s recipe:
You will need
250 grams of Bread Flour – a little under 2 cups
6 grams of salt – 1/4 tsp
25 grams of sugar – 2.5 tbs
7 grams active dry yeast – 1 sachet
150 grams eggs – about 3 large eggs
150 grams room temperature unsalted butter – a little under 0.75 of a cup
N.B – the goddess of baking is one mean personality. Get out your weighing scales people and be precise
1. Place all the dry ingredients into your food processor with the dough blade attached. Likewise you can use your stand mixer – Place dry ingredients in bowl of stand mixer attached with paddle attachment and mix. if you are using a stand mixer, start with paddle attachment and switch to hook attachment when all the ingredients come together. if you are using a food processor, just attach your dough blade. That is all you will need. You can definitely make this by hand, so don’t let the lack of these devices deter you. Many French bakers, still bake by hand.
2. With the engine running, add eggs one at time and let it mix for about 6 minutes or till the dough becomes firm and stretch a little.
3. Still with the engine running, add the soft butter in bits at a time. Keep mixing for about 12 minutes. Remember, the butter should be soft, but not melted.The result should be a very soft, smooth and shiny. See below.
4. Put dough in a greased bowl, cover and allow to double in size. Takes about 2 hours. A warm place could be your kitchen cupboard or even a wardrobe full of clothes.
5. After about 2 hours, the dough would have risen.
6. Deflate dough, roll into a ball, cover in bowl and keep in the fridge overnight. This will allow the flavors to develop.
7. The next day, divide the chilled dough and shape into balls.
8. Then you can get a little creative by taking one ball, cutting it into half, to form crescents or half moons. It even gets better. Sprinkle on your kitchen work top sesame seeds, or desiccated coconut, or even chopped pine nuts, almonds, cashew nuts, grounduts, whatever you fancy. Roll the ball or crescent over what you have spread out on the work top, and place in baking pan. Allow the dough to sit outside for about 3 hours.
9. The dough balls will further rise during those 3 hours. See the picture below.
10. Brush with egg wash and bake in a preheated 180 degree centigrade or 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 25 mins.
……………………….and that’s Brioche done, done, done. Wait a little, to just take in your glorious creation. Look at it adoringly, touch it gently, smell its heavenly goodness. Okay, okay, enough faffing around, dive into it and savour the rich butteryness slowly. Come on, come on now. You know you want to.
I remember taking this picture on my balcony and my neighbours who have never said a single word to me for almost 2 years, beyond hello and nodding their head, stopped and said wow, that looks amazing, can we have a slice of that. Hehehehehe. I was not in the mood to share.
Slice into your Brioche. Believe me, you are never going to forget your first time with Brioche. It will be ingrained in your memory forever.
Croissants are another buttery trap I also love. You need to see me act like a glutton at breakfast when I’m in France. I have received a couple of looks from the wait staff, but I don’t care. No one gets between me and my croissants. The stores here try their best, but no one does Croissants like the French please. You have to give it to them. I have seen recipes for Croissants, and they just give me cold shivers. I haven’t baked bread since December though, so I will step gently back into the water by baking a Baguette. If I nail that one, I am going to dive head in and make Croissants. Wish me luck.