Sunday, February 26, 2012

Brioche - Eating Clouds

Brioche are from France, even though some baking books I had said they are from Italy. Doh! The brioche I make get their liquid only from the eggs. So you need lots of them! I wanted to start this recipe with "First you milk your cow, then you separate the cream and make butter. Once you finished the butter you go out and get some eggs from under the hens". The fresher the ingredients the better the brioche. So my ingredients can't get any fresher.

Ingredients (Bakers percent in brackets):
500 gm strong flour (100%)
350 gm Eggs (abut 6 - 7) (70%)
250 gm unsalted butter, cold and cut into small cubes (50%)
50 gm caster sugar (10%)
10 gm salt (2%)
7 gm active dry yeast (1.4%)

Mix flour, eggs, sugar yeast and salt in a bowl. The dough is very liquid. I mix in a machine using the paddle (or K-hook) for 2 minutes and then the dough hook for about 5. When it forms an even dough, slowly add the butter. Once the butter is incorporated completely into your dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and form a ball. You might need the help of a dough scraper dipped in water. Put the dough in a lightly floured bowl and let rest at room temperature (21 deg C) for 2 hours.

Dip out your dough onto a lightly floured bench (the word "lightly" should be taken literally!!!). Fold lengthwise into the middle from both sides and then fold then ends into the middle again from both sides. Form a ball again and put back into the bowl.

Let ferment overnight at around 10 - 12 deg C.

Next day put your bowl at room temperature for an hour to bring the dough back to room temp. Put the dough onto a lightly (!!!) floured surface and cut 70 gm pieces. Use a scale to get even sized pieces. Roll the pieces into balls. Use a bit of flour and roll the dough ball with the edge of your hand. Press down firmly but not too much to almost separate a smaller ball shape from the bigger part. But don't separate the two. So you will end up with a bigger ball and a smaller ball linked together. Flatten the bigger part and push a hole through the middel. Push the smaller ball shape through the whole. So you end up with a bigger ball and a small ball ontop. These are called Brioche a tete.

You can put them into a muffin pan (use a bigger one) or into a loaf tin. Or get some original Brioche moulds if you can find them. Let proof for 2 1/2 hours.

Heat your oven to 190 deg C and bake the brioche for 10 minutes. If you put them into a loaf tin bake them another 10 - 20 minutes at 180 deg C. They should have a golden brown crust.

Let cool completely on a rack. Brioche are best eaten fresh.

Happy baking

Coquo, ergo sum

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