Brioche, Cake-like bread. ‘Nuff said.

I love to make bread. My bread class in culinary school was by far my favorite. Maybe it is because I love to eat bread. Maybe it is because making bread doesn’t require a lot of tools or creativity. Either way, I love it, and brioche is my favorite bread to make. I love how soft and pillowy the dough is (does that make me a nerd for liking how a dough feels?), and it doesn’t hurt that it is loaded with butter! I also love how versatile the cake-like bread is. Nothing beats a great brioche bun for a delectable burger. And no bread can compete when making french toast! It just soaks up all that delicious custard for a fantastic breakfast.

I frequently make brioche just for the french toast. My hubby and I love to have french toast on the weekends with coffee and a mimosa. And the extra freeze very well. My most recent reason for brioche was to make hot dog buns for a party. I’ve never made hot dog buns before so this was a new experience for me. Everyone loved the buns, so of course the imperfections were only noticed by me!  Just look at how delicious that french toast looks!

This recipe is for plain brioche (although brioche isn’t plain by any standards!) from the great Ciril Hitz and it is verbatim from the book  Baking Artisan Pastries and Breads.  It does not require a starter but it is a two day process. The dough can be frozen up to two weeks. When ready for use, simply put in the refrigerator overnight. The whole process takes about 1 1/2 hours of hands on time total between the scaling, mixing, and shaping. Easy even for the busy baker!

Here is a video from Hitz showing how to shape brioche. It is very helpful.

Source: Baking Artisan Pastries and Bread by Ciril Hitz

Equipment required: Stand mixer with dough hook, or some serious muscles.

Ingredient list

  • Bread Flour                                    500g (4 1/2 cups)
  • Granulated Sugar                         50g (1/4 cup)
  • Instant Yeast                                 14g (4 tsp)
  • Salt                                                     8g (1 1/2 tsp)
  • Lemon zest (optional)                1/3 lemon
  • Whole Milk                                      200g (3/4 cup)
  • Unsalted Butter                            200g (14 tbsp)
  • Eggs, whole                                     50g (1 egg)
  • Egg yolks                                          50g (2 yolks)
  • Egg Wash                                           As needed
  • Toppings                                           As desired

Procedure

Day before baking

1. Before beginning, make certain that your liquid ingredients (milk, eggs, egg yolks) and butter are cold.

2. In the bowl of a 5 quart stand mixer stand mixer, mix the flour, granulated sugar, instant yeast, salt, milk, eggs, egg yolks, and lemon zest at low speed until cleanup stage.

3. While the ingredients are mixing, make the butter pliable by hammering it with a rolling pin.

4. Increase the mixing speed to medium and slowly start to add the butter to the dough in stages. Remember to wait between additions until the butter is completely absorbed and the sticky, slapping noise in the mixer has subsided. If it is warm in your kitchen, you might want to put the butter back in the refrigerator in between additions. Also, you can rub ice on the bottom of the mixing bowl to keep it from getting too warm.

5. Mix until all the butter has been incorporated into the dough and the dough is well developed with a nice gluten structure. Check the dough with a gluten window test. This whole process will take 15 to 20 minutes.

Gluten Window Gluten Window

6. Remove the dough from the mixer and work into a ball. Gently press it down to flatten and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the freezer for a minimum of six hours.

7. The night before baking, take the dough out of the freezer and transfer to the refrigerator for 12 hours.

Baking Day

1. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up at room temperature for about 20 minutes.

2. Using a scale and a bench scraper, divide the dough into 50 g (1.75 oz) increments.

3. Work the units into small balls. This can easily be done by cupping your hand around the dough and moving it in a circle motion. The video helps too!

4. Spray two loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray and place 10 units of dough into each loaf. If you have extras, simply place on a sheet pan and you will have rolls for dinner!

5.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof until double in size, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the temperature of the room and the dough.

6.  Mix up the egg wash and preheat a convection oven to 33oF (165C).

7.  When the dough has doubled in size, brush the tops with egg wash. If desired, sprinkle with sugar or cinnamon and sugar. If making savory rolls, try sesame seeds.

8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a rich, golden brown. Internal temperature should be around 180F.

Let cool as long as possible before diving in! Freeze any unused portions.

To make the hot dog buns, scale out 100 g (3.5 ounces) and shape into a log.

The finished product!

 

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2 Comments

Filed under bread

2 responses to “Brioche, Cake-like bread. ‘Nuff said.

  1. Pingback: Yum! » Share Food, Love Food » Cranberry Brioche Coffee Cake

  2. OMG!!! I love brioche! I’ve been looking for a recipe that I could actually imagine myself following and I think I’ve found them!!!! Thanks!

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