Jul. 10th, 2011 10:05 am
lian: Klavier Gavin, golden boy (Default)
[personal profile] lian posting in [community profile] bakeitup
I'm very cheerful this morning, because my breakfast consisted of the brioche I baked yesterday. This sweet, fluffy bread goes well with butter, milk, coffee, tea, custard, fruits, chocolate, jam.... it tastes good with just about anything sweet, really.

It's a huge loaf (pic behind the cut), but it'll be gone in no time, I can't stop myself eating... it's just that good, and what's more, easy to prepare and very basic ingredients. Only catch: the dough needs to rest for several hours.

My variation contains a lot of kardamom, which gives it that special yummy Scandinavian flavour (heh), but you can just leave it out.

(ingredients/instructions in italics are not absolutely necessary, but make for a better result IMO.)

Tools & time

* 1 small and 1 large bowl
* 1 cake or loaf pan of any kind (I use a rectangular one)
* a cool room or fridge

* preparation time: ca. 10min [for experienced bakers]
* rest time: 6-12h
* baking time: 50-60min


* 700g flour (type 550)
* 200g sugar
* 3-4 eggs
* 20g yeast (or ~half a block; live baker's yeast. I never use granulated yeast so no idea how that turns out.)
* 200g butter
* 170ml milk
* pinch of salt
* 1 tbsp kardamom
large pinch of lemon zest


Pour the flour into the large bowl.

Melt butter, pour it into the small bowl, then stir in sugar, add milk, salt.

Once lukewarm [or cold, it just shouldn't be hot anymore!], add yeast in crumbs & eggs. Then pour into the large flour bowl and mix. You can use a blender (dough hooks) or your hands -- it should be moist & sticky, but still kneadable. [Brioche dough is stickier than normal yeast dough, so be careful not to add too much flour for kneading!]

Knead very thoroughly, form into a ball.

Then cover the bowl with a cloth and put it somewhere cool -- not warm, like you would usually do with yeast dough! Let it rise for 6-10h, depending on how cool your place is, preferrably over night.

(If you don't have a room that is below ~16°C, put it into your fridge, but a cool room is better.)

Background: The trick to getting really fluffy baked goods is letting the yeast dough rise for a long time -- so instead of trying to speed up the reaction with heat ("put the dough in a warm place") we slow it down with a) less yeast and b) heat reduction. The fluffiness has got something to do with the proteins in the flour coagulating better if you let it rise longer or...something? That's also why type 550 flour is better than super-fine type 405. If you add too much heat, tough, it will start to ferment, so careful!

Once your dough has risen sufficiently (it'll probably have roughly doubled), take it out, knead it, and

a) if you have a cookie sheet: divide up into three balls. Roll these balls into three strands and braid them together. Put the braid onto the cookie sheet.

b) if you gave a cake pan: you braid it (I always do) or just dump the whole thing into the pan without braiding it first :P

You can coat it with butter or milk or cream or egg or what have you, but I never bother.

Put into the oven -- don't pre-heat! -- and bake at ~165°C for about 50min-1h.

(Honestly, I haven't looked at the time, I just stuck in a toothpick and checked if it came out clean. That was probably around the hour mark. I also coated it with cream to stop it from becoming too brown at the top somewhere near the end.)

Et voilà! Votre brioche :D

brioche loaf

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