Saturday, October 2, 2010

Brioche


The other day I was telling my sister how there are some things I am really intimidated by and brioche is was one of them.  I get so frustrated when I try to make a yeast bread and it tastes yeast-y or dough-y.  Well, I decided to face my fears head on.  I needed brioche for a caramelized pineapple brioche pudding (will be posted on Monday - I hope) so instead of buying a mediocre loaf, I made one.  This was no easy task.  This recipe took me 36 hours to complete.  I could have expedited some steps, but I choose to give the yeast time to develop its wonderful flavors.  Some doughs require a sponge as this one did.  The idea is that when you mix flour, water, sugar and yeast and let it sit; the yeast begins to do its bubbly thing in advance.  Then you add this to more flour, yeast and in this case eggs and LOTS of butter.  My initial fear was the butter.  I didn't want the dough to separate or get greasy.  Well, I followed the directions exactly and the result was the most gorgeous dough I have ever made.  Gorgeous you say?!?  Gorgeous I say!!!  I love, love, love the feel of soft, relaxed dough.  This dough was so easy to roll out and shape.  Wow!!  I miss it already and can't wait to make it again.  Oh and by the way, it tasted great too!!

Brioche- Rose's Heavenly Cakes by Rose Levy Beranbaum

Sponge
2 Tbsp. warm water
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 instant yeast
1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 large egg

Combine water, sugar, yeast, flour and egg in a small bowl.  Mix with whisk until well combined and slightly airy.  Set aside.

Dough
1 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
2 large eggs, cold
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) room-temp butter

In a small bowl, combine flour, sugar and yeast.  Whisk in the salt.
In the bowl of a mixer, scrape the sponge.  Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the sponge.  Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  (At this point, after 1 hour, the mixture can go in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)  With the dough hook attachment, add eggs to flour/yeast mixture and mix on low for 1 minute, then on medium for 2 minutes.  Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula and continue mixing for 5 minutes.  Add the butter, tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
In a bowl sprayed with cooking spray, scrape the dough and cover with plastic wrap until doubled in size (about 1 1/2 to 2 hours).  At this point, the dough will be very sticky.  Do not add more flour.  Then refrigerate for two hours.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured surface and press or roll the dough into a rectangle.  Don't be afraid to add more flour to prevent sticking.  Fold the dough in thirds (like a letter), brushing off any excess flour, and again press down on it or roll it out into another rectangle.  Rotate it 90 degrees so that the closed end is facing to your left.  Give it a second fold into thirds.  Brush off excess flour.  Wrap it loosely but securely in plastic wrap and then place it in a large resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 6 hours or up to 2 days to allow dough to ripen and firm (flavor time!!).
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and gently press down the dough to deflate it.  Roll the dough into a rectangle 7 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches long.  Roll it from the top in three turns, being sure to brush off any excess flour, pressing with your thumbs to seal the dough.  Place it seam side down in a greased loaf pan.  Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.  Allow to rise until the top of the dough reaches the top of the pan, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (if you have a baking stone, place it on the bottom rack).  Brush the top of the risen dough with 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tsp. heavy cream.  Slash the top with a sharp knife 1/4 inch down and about 1 inch from either end of the pan.  Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Unmold and cool on a rack for at least 2 hours.  Then dig in!

1 comment:

  1. You rock! I wish my gums would've let me try your masterpiece! Next time.

    ReplyDelete