September 02, 2014
I kind of put my foot in it last week. I was bragging about how amazing a brioche loaf would be in a request for bread and butter pudding without even knowing how to make brioche. I’m certainly not new to bread making, I used to make bread by hand on a regular basis until I found out I am gluten intolerant and it lost it's appeal, so I thought to myself ‘how hard can it be?’ Have you ever made brioche? Well let me tell you that it would be a piece of cake if you have a mixer of some sort but to make it by hand takes c o m m i t t m e n t ! It’s messy, time consuming and somewhat tiring!! Don’t be put off by the messy hard work though, the rhythmic kneading action is kind of therapeutic and the mix does eventually come together into a soft, smooth, pliable dough. I'm also told that the effort I went to was well worth it *wink
This brioche was used to make the most luxurious bread and butter pudding – recipe coming soon, and I think it would make an equally delectable french toast.
Brioche – makes one large or two small loaves
(recipe from Gourmet Traveller but the method is my own)
160ml warm milk
1 1/2 tsp yeast
5 egg yolks – lightly beaten
375g flour, plus extra for dusting
150g butter – cubed
1 egg – egg wash
Sprinkle the yeast over half of the milk and mix gently. Set aside till frothy, approximately 5 minutes. Whisk egg yolks into the remaining milk and set aside.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl then pour in both the yeast and yolk mixtures and mix till well combined and dough like. Tip out onto a lightly floured bench and knead for approximately 10 mins. Once you have a nice dough, flatten out and place half of the cubed butter on one side of the dough then fold the remaining dough over the top of the butter. This gets messy but you need to work the butter into the dough. Knead the dough, working the butter in, till it is well combined and then repeat with the remaining butter. Trust me, it does come together but requires a good 15-20 mins of vigorous kneading.
Once you have a nice smooth dough place it into a butter bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. Once doubled, gently fold the dough over on itself a few times then cling wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before placing into a lined loaf tin (this is where you can divide the dough to make two loaves). Leave the dough to rise for a second time. Preheat oven 180° and brush the loaf/loaves with the egg wash. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool briefly in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.