Brioche

Brioche

By
From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery
Makes
12

A little topknot-shaped yeast bread which, along with croissants, spells breakfast to millions in France. Eat brioche warm with chilled butter, preferably unsalted, and fruit conserve. They are also delicious toasted, or may be hollowed out and used as a case for cooked savoury food such as seafood, pâté or mushrooms.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
15g compressed yeast
60ml lukewarm water
600g plain flour
pinch salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
190ml lukewarm milk
105g butter, softened
egg, beaten, to glaze

Method

  1. Dissolve yeast in water. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Take out 75 g flour and work gradually into dissolved yeast to form a soft dough. Form dough into a ball and cut a cross in the top. Place ball in a bowl of warm water and leave for about 5 minutes or until it doubles in bulk (it will rise to the surface when ready). Meanwhile, make a well in centre of remaining flour, put in sugar, eggs and milk and stir them together. Drain yeast sponge, place it in the well and combine with egg mixture. Stir in flour gradually to form a soft dough. Beat dough vigorously with the hand until thoroughly mixed, then beat in butter.
  2. Place the dough in a greased bowl, sprinkle lightly with flour, cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours. Remove from refrigerator, punch dough down, and turn onto a floured board. Knead lightly, then divide into pieces the size of an egg. Cut off one-third of each piece; roll remainder of each piece into a ball and put into greased brioche moulds (deep fluted moulds). Roll small pieces of dough into little ‘tadpole’-shaped tops with tails. Cut a cross in top of each brioche, open a little and push tops in, tail down. Leave to rise for 10–15 minutes in a warm place. Brush with beaten egg and bake in a preheated hot oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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