Brioche is the ultimate French classic… a gorgeous rich and buttery breakfast bread with it’s iconic top-knot shape.
It’s definitely one of my favourites. I like to think of it as the perfect cross between cake and bread. And it’s just wonderful served either sweet or savoury…
Slather it with chocolate hazelnut spread; Toast it and spread with homemade preserves or warm camembert and honey; Slice it thinly, toast and serve with duck liver pate; Turn it into ‘bread & butter’ pudding or the most delicious French toast with bacon and maple syrup; Slice into rounds and serve with soft-poached eggs and smoked salmon……
It’s a bit of a process to make – so I would suggest saving it for the weekend – But it’s perfect for that lovely weekend brunch. And if you don’t have the classic fluted brioche tins, just use a muffin pan.
OVEN TEMP: 200⁰C
YIELD: 8-10 individual brioche or 1 large loaf
PREP TIME: about 3-4 hours
BAKE TIME: 30 – 40 minutes
MAIN UTENSILS: Mixing Bowl; Wooden Spoon; Jug, Whisk, Brioche tins/ loaf tins; Tea Towel, Baking Sheet
250g Cake Flour
250g White bread flour
10g Instant yeast
125ml Tepid milk
4 Eggs (60g or extra large size )
50g Castor Sugar
1 Egg, beaten with a pinch of sugar ( This is the egg-wash )
The following method is mixed by hand, but you can simply follow the same steps to mix in a machine, using the dough-hook attachment. My Kenwood is a little large for this size recipe, so I find it easier to do by hand. When I double the recipe, I use the machine…
1. Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and make a well in the centre. 2. In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the warm milk and eggs until frothy. 3. Pour the whisked eggs into the well and using a wooden spoon, mix the dry ingredients into the liquids to form a soft, slightly sticky dough. 4. Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until smooth and elastic. 5. Now work in the softened butter a little at a time, using your hands, to form a glossy dough. 6. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk. 7. Once risen, gently knock the air out and then cover the bowl with clingfilm. Place into the fridge to chill for a little while ( a minimum of 30 mins – and up to overnight ) 8. Grease the tins with butter or a non-stick spray and preheat the oven. 9. Take the cold dough and knead lightly for a few seconds so that it is pliable again. 10. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, divide the brioche dough into equal portions of 100g. Working with one portion of dough at a time: 1. Pinch off a small piece of approximately 20g and set aside.
2. Roll the larger piece into a smooth ball and place into a brioche tin. Using your thumb, press an indent into the centre of this dough ball.
3. Now roll the smaller piece into a ball and then gently taper one side to create a teardrop shape. 4. Place the teardrop, pointy-side down, into the indent of the large ball, to form a top-knot shape. 5. Repeat with the remaining portions and then place all the tins onto a baking sheet. 6. Brush each brioche with egg wash carefully – so that it doesn’t drip into the tin. 7. Leave in a warm place to prove until doubled in bulk. 8. Once doubled, bake in the pre-heated oven until well risen and dark golden brown. Don’t be alarmed by how dark the brioches will become… once they feel hollow when tapped, you will know they are done. Remove and cool for a minute in the tin, before turning out onto a cooling rack.