This morning, I rose (relatively) early and set to work, preparing the dough I made with yesterday’s homemade butter. I’ve made brioche a few times now, and although I’d like to think I’m getting the hang of it, it still never turns out as lovely and flaky as the ones I had in France (serious competition).
The recipe I use comes from a really intimidating cookbook I own called In the Sweet Kitchen. It’s the recipe collection of Regan Daley, a pastry chef extraordinaire from Toronto. And while I haven’t got around to the hazelnut creme brulee or the ginger poached pear, I can say that Daley’s brioche is a pretty reliable go-to for the French pastry.
I meant to make 1/2 the regular recipe, but my excitement with the homemade butter got the
butter better of me and I ended up doing the entire batch. At this point, I’ve already baked two dozen brioche-a-tetes, and I can probably make another dozen tomorrow. No, I have not consumed the entire batch yet. I have frozen a dozen though, knowing that they won’t last fresh for more than a day or two. It’s a yummy treat to have warm brioche any day of the week, frozen or not.
- 2 packets active dry yeast
- 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
- 1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon water
Create your starter by adding yeast to milk and water in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Stir gently to mix. Leave for 7 minutes, until yeast begins to bubble and foam. Add 1 cup flour and salt, beating with the paddle attachment until smooth, approximately 5 mins.
Beat in the remaining flour and sugar in three additions, alternating with the eggs after each addition. Use the dough hook to create a smooth, elastic dough (about 10 mins, or 25 mins by hand).
Add softened butter in small amounts, allowing all of it to incorporate into dough before adding more. When the dough has incorporated all the butter, beat with dough hook for another 5 mins.
Allow dough to rise in a clean, covered, lightly-oiled bowl until it is doubled in size. Punch down, put in fridge, and leave it overnight. In the morning, allow it stand at room temperature for 10 mins before shaping in desired pan or molds.
For brioche-a-tetes, use the traditional fluted brioche molds. Shape a piece of dough the size of a small clementine into a ball. Poke a hole into the top. Shape a second smaller ball, the size of a blueberry, and after rolling into the shape of teardrop, press it firmly into the hole of the larger ball.
Brush with egg glaze mixture. Bake brioche-a-tete at a preheated temperature of 375 F for 10-15 minutes. Turn out to cool. Brioche will last only a day or two left out, but can be frozen and reheated for up to two months.