Lately, I have been having a craving for one of my favorite bread recipes. Of course, it’s not just any bread – it is brioche. For me this word has a bit of an onomatopoeic quality to it. It’s a bit of a stretch, but let me explain. The “che” sound reminds me of the way the crust cracks as you tear your desired piece away from the rest, and the “brio” is that soft buttery flavor that melts in your mouth as you savor the taste. I by no means did the delicious quality of brioche justice, but hopefully I made some sense.
Now, if you’ve never had brioche, it truly isn’t bread as you know it, it is special. After all, it is a process to concoct, but oh, so very worth it. In fact, I created a time schedule for each time I want to make this recipe if my goal is to serve it to my guests for breakfast. Yes, it does involve me getting up in the wee hours of the morning, but the process itself is very simple.
- 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 120 degrees F)
- 1 package dried yeast
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
1. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it's at least 110 degrees when you add the yeast.) Mix with your hands and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the yeast and sugar dissolve. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed for 1 minute, until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 cups of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add 2 1/4 more cups of flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Meanwhile, grease 20 mini brioche tins. Set aside.
3. Place the dough in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes, adding additional flour as needed to make a ball. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into 20 (1 3/4-ounce) balls and place them in the tins. Cover the tins with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
4.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the rolls have risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops spring back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped. Turn the rolls out onto a wire rack to cool.
Now for the moment you’ve been waiting for . . . stay in bed or cozy up on the couch, pour yourself a steaming cup of coffee or tea and savor each lovely bite.
Other ways to enjoy brioche:
*Hamburger buns – this brings an pop of flavor to an already juicy burger that continually impresses me.
*French Toast – there’s nothing left to say. My mouth is watering.
Have a beautiful Friday and fantastic beginning to your weekend!