how to make brioche the easy way
paris was the first place i had ever eaten a brioche, and up until yesterday, it was also the last place i had ever eaten one. the girl and i were staying on the border of the 6th and 14th arrondissements for a week, and since it was my first time in france (and i don’t speak french), brioches became one of the only things i felt comfortable ordering myself because we call it the same thing in the states.
we fell into the routine of visiting the cafe down the street from our hotel for a quick cup of coffee and a pastry before heading out to see pretty much every historic point in the city (on foot) and collapsing back in our hotel room 10 to 12 hours later. while i can’t claim that my brioches are anything near what i assume most french bakers can whip up in their sleep, biting into these soft flaky rolls shorty after i took them out of the oven instantly took me back that parisian cafe.
the recipe couldn’t be easier – there are no tricks or special techniques you need to know.
the only consideration you may need to take is having the dough prepared the night before so it can rest in the fridge overnight.
getting the unique brioche shape is a matter of pressing a tiny dough ball into a slightly larger dough ball. i don’t happen to have brioche molds so they don’t have the fancy ridges, but each one came out differently, each a special little golden brown explosion of flaky goodness.
the dough is full of egg and butter, which makes them soft and delicate, perfect for breakfast or dessert. there are brioche variations that have chocolate, cheese or jam baked right into the center of the roll. try brioche in bread pudding, serve it with ice cream, toast it and make sandwiches…
from Taste of Home’s Complete Guide to Baking. makes one dozen.
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 packages (1/4 oz each) active dry yeast
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
1. in a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, lemon peel and salt. in a saucepan, heat butter and milk to 120-130 F. add to dry ingredients and beat until moistened.
2. add four eggs and beat, add one cup flour and beat until smooth. stir in the remaining flour but do not knead. spoon dough into a greased bowl and cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.
3. punch dough down, cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. punch dough down and turn onto a lightly floured surface. cover and let rest for 15 mintues. cut 1/6 from the dough and set aside. divide the remaining dough into 12 equally sized balls and place into greased muffin cups. divide the 1/6 of the dough into 12 smaller balls. make an indentation in each larger dough ball and place a small ball into the indentation. cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.
5. beat remaining egg and brush over rolls. bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. you may also want to put an oven proof bowl of water in the bottom of the oven to keep the brioches moist as they bake.