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Brioche loaves - 12/23/11

Brioche is a highly enriched bread, whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender taste. Brioche is considered a Viennoiserie, which are baked goods made from a yeast-leavened dough in a manner similar to bread, but with added ingredients (particularly eggs, butter, milk, cream and sugar) giving them a richer, sweeter character. Viennoiseries are typically eaten at breakfast or as snacks.. It is made in the same basic way as bread, but has the richer aspect of a pastry because of the extra addition of eggs, butter, liquid (milk, water, cream, and, sometimes, brandy) and occasionally a bit of sugar.  Brioche is often cooked with fruit or chocolate chips and served as a pastry.  This recipe is for two loaves so you can freeze one for later.  I used the whole recipe to make 1 small brioche loaf, a bunch of Brioche à tête (head in French), Pain aux raisins, and Brioche au chocolat.

Brioche à tête or Parisienne is perhaps the most classically recognized form: it is formed and baked in a fluted round, flared tin; a large ball of dough is placed on the bottom and topped with a smaller ball of dough to form the head (tête).  Since I have a bit of caramelized pears left over I inserted a bit of it in the center of each brioche.

You can serve these brioches as desserts but they are also great for breakfast.

Here I sprinkled a lot of sugar of top of the brioche to make it a bit more festive.  They are great with a cup of coffee.

Brioche loaf freshly out of the oven.

 

In the morning I cut a piece of brioche and throw them in the toaster for a few minutes then I put a bit of butter of top and they are simply delicious.

Close look at the brioche loaf.

 

Preparation work..

For the cake

1/2 cup warm water

1 package dried yeast

3 tablespoons sugar

6 extra large eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

4 1/4 cups of all purpose flour

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk for egg wash

Equipments: 2 loaf pans if you are using the whole recipe

I only used 1 loaf pan and use the other recipe for brioche à tête

Small fluted molds for brioche  à tête

 

 

 

 

Combine water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Allow to stand for about 5 minutes or until the yeast and sugar dissolve.

Add the eggs to the bowl.

Beat on medium speed for 1 minute or until well mixed.

With the mixer of low speed add 2 cups of flour and salt.

Mix for about 5 minutes.

Add the remaining 2 cups of flour

and mix for 5 more minutes.

Still on low speed, add the soft butter in chunks and mix for 2 minutes.

With the mixer still running, sprinkle in the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.

Switch the paddle attachment to a dough hook.

Mix on low speed for 2 minutes.

 

Scrape the dough into large buttered bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Refrigerate overnight

The next day allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

This recipe yield two loaves of brioche but since I only want to bake 1 loaf and do other things with the other loaf, I cut the dough in half. 

Put half of the dough into that is lightly Grease a large bowl and place the dough into the bowl.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and set aside to rise at room temperature until double in volume.

When the dough has risen (about 2 to 3 hours), gather it together in a ball.

Make two balls and roll it into a rectangular mold.  Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash. 

Preheat oven at 375 degrees and bake for 45 minutes or until the top springs back and it sounds slightly hollow when tapped.

Freshly out of the oven... 

Turn the loaves out onto a wire rack to cool.

Use the 2nd half of the dough but spreading it out on your counter.  Flour your counter and dough.

Make small balls and insert them into your mold.

Make a hole in the center of the dough.

Add a piece of caramelized pear in the center of the dough and cover the top with another smaller dough ball.

Brush the top with a bit of egg wash and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden (375 degrees oven)

Freshly out of the oven... 

Remove the molds and put the brioches onto a wire rack to cool.

Filed as: Cake/cookies

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