A Tasty Brioche

Here is Ms. Casella’s recipe:

BRIOCHE

Brioche is typically French. Some authorities believe that it was named for the town of Brie, where it supposedly originated, and that originally it was always made with Brie cheese. It is a rich basic dough with many uses. This recipe, my favorite, is based on the one given in Catherine Owen’s Culture and Cooking, or Art in the Kitchen (1881 edition), which she said was from the Paris Jockey Club.

1 or 2 cakes or packages yeast
1/4 cup warm milk or water
3 tablespoons sugar
7 eggs, or 6 egg yolks and 4 whole eggs
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups soft butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon cream

If dry yeast is used dissolve it in the warm milk or water along with the sugar. If fresh yeast is used, cream it with the sugar and add the milk or water. Add the 7 whole eggs, or the egg yolks and eggs, and stir well to blend. Add 2 cups flour, the salt, and the butter and beat thoroughly. Add the remaining flour, blend, and beat well. Beating Brioche dough is very important, as it is too soft to knead. Either beat it is a heavy-duty mixer, or else pick up the dough in your hands and slap it down on a breadboard. (This will become frustratingly sticky, which is why I beat the dough in a mixer, very thoroughly, before and after adding the last 2 cups flour.) When the dough has been well beaten, brush the top with melted butter, cover the bowl, and let it rise until doubled. Then punch it down, cover the bowl again, and place in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly. This will take at least 12 hours, so it is best to made Brioche dough the day before it is needed. It will keep in the refrigerator for several days. When needed, remove from refrigerator. Handle it quickly, as it soon becomes too soft to use. Brioche dough can be shaped in various ways. You might braid small pieces of dough and place the braids in small, buttered loaf tins (these are fluted tins available in specialty shops). Or make small loaves, or regular-sized loaves, or buns to be baked in buttered muffin tins. In any case, let the shaped dough rise until doubled. Glaze with egg yolk and cream. Bake rolls or buns at 400-degrees for 20 minutes; large loaves at 375-degrees for 45 to 50 minutes.

NOTE:
If desired add another 1/2 cup flour to the dough. Shape it into a crown or large round loaf and place on a buttered cookie sheet. Let rise until doubled and bake in a 375-degree oven until browned and done.

Next I’m going to buy some small loaf pans and try Terry Thornton’s bread recipe. I’m just very afraid mine won’t be as pretty as his turned out to be!

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