>> Sunday, October 18, 2009
I haven't made brioche too often and I don't seem to get hold of it. When I cook a recipe some times I'm lucky and it turns out right the first time and some others, like this one, I have to go through a trial-and-error process. The previous brioche I had baked was delicious, very fluffy, but somewhat overfermented. It had to wait for its turn to get into the oven. It was in a queue behind a roast and a bread... I told you, I need a second oven. This brioche suffered just the opposite: I didn't allow for a complete proofing. But it turned out so beautiful, my little brioche, that I can't resist but posting it.
The middle-class thing comes from the brioche categories included in Mr. Peter Reinhart's book The Bread Baker's Apprentice. The rich-man's brioche is made with a butter weight approximately the same as the weight in flour, the poor-man's brioche is made with a butter weight which is a fourth of the flour weight and the middle-class brioche... well, it's something in between. Nonetheless in the end I took the recipe from the book 100 Great Breads, by British baker Paul Hollywood. I used this one instead of Reinhart's because the process is shorter (yes, I'm always short of time). Reinhart prepares a sponge, leaves it to ferment and then he mixes the sponge with the rest of the ingredients. The complete dough is then left to proof overnight in the fridge. Mr. Hollywood skips the sponge without any remorse.
Middle-class brioche from 100 Great Breads
Mix all the ingredients except the butter in a mixer or by hand. Then knead for 5 minutes by machine or 8 minutes by hand, till the dough is smooth. Add the diced butter and knead again for 5 minutes by machine or 10 minutes by hand. Put the dough into a bowl, cover tighly and leave in the fridge overnight.
Take the dough out of the fridge the next day and make 60 g balls while cold. I could make 13 little balls and there was a bigger ball leftover which I used for a brioche a tête in a muffin mold. My eldest son ate this one, straight from the oven. I'm sure he burnt his mouth, but he won't admit it. Then shape the balls and put them into the mold, with seam face under, leaving quite some room among them as they expand quite a lot. Cover the formed brioche and leave to proof at least one and a half hour, till more than double in size. I should have left it a bit longer, but I had to bake it for me to take it to my parents' house, to be served for dessert at some family meal... I lead a hard life. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200 ºC. Once the oven is a the right temperature, bake it for 20 minutes. It can be brushed with egg yolk prior to baking, but I preferred to make an apricot jam glaze (it seems I never find the right ocassion to use the frozen egg whites) for glazing when cooled. I used two large spoonfuls of apricot jam, heated and strained, with a sheet of gelatin. Brush the cooled brioche with the glaze, leave it to drip and you're done.
And... eat it with a tall glass of cava... or two... or three... I'm sure it's perfect for killing the H1N1 virus. You can use the leftover as toast for breakfast... nothing's to be wasted, we're in a crisis!
By the way, this bread goes to Susan/Wild Yeast for her lovely YeastSpotting.