Together again with my cheeseball baker friends, Ingrid and Michelle, we made conquered Brioche! Can you believe it? I was thoroughly impressed with myself after baking this bread. I felt so French and ooh la la-ish :-) Really the only connection between me and France is French Toast and crepes. ha!
Ingrid chose this months recipe and I was excited when she did because I knew my husband would love it. When we were snowed in in DC we ate a lot of hotel food. On their room service menu was a breakfast sandwich fit for a lumberjack- that sucker was huge! It started off with 2 thick slices of buttery brioche filled chive scrambled eggs, ham cubes and cheddar cheese. I think there were tomato slices on it too, but I can't remember. Anyway, we ordered that a couple times and shared. This may have been the first time Mr. H had brioche because he kept talking about how buttery and delicious it was.
So this recipe gave me the chance to be my hubby's hero in the kitchen and I knew exactly what I was going to do with it. We ate one loaf within two days, sliced and froze the other. It's not a difficult recipe but you have to plan for it. You have to prepare the dough and let it rise, then refrigerate it overnight. Only to shape it and allow it to rise again for 2 hours on the second day before baking it. Not hard, just time consuming.
All in all, I thought it was a tasty bread and it tasted very much like the one we had in DC. It was very buttery and tender. And it made great toast too! My only suggestions would be to let the bread cool completely before slicing. I cut into one loaf right away and it was a little gummy in spots (because it was still hot). The thoroughly cooled loaf was perfect though.
Golden Brioche from Epicurious
- 1/3 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
- 1/3 cup warm milk (105°F to 115°F)
- 2 envelopes dry yeast
- 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, each stick cut into 4 pieces, room temperature
- 1 egg, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze)
Place 1/3 cup warm water, warm milk, and yeast in bowl of standing heavy-duty mixer; stir until yeast dissolves. Fit mixer with dough hook. Add flour and salt to bowl; mix on low speed just until flour is moistened, about 10 seconds. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in 3 eggs on low speed, then add sugar. Increase speed to medium and beat until dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding next (dough will be soft and batter-like). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 7 minutes.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Lift up dough around edges and allow dough to fall and deflate in bowl. Cover bowl with plastic and chill until dough stops rising, lifting up dough around edges and allowing dough to fall and deflate in bowl every 30 minutes, about 2 hours total. Cover bowl with plastic; chill dough overnight.
Butter and flour three 7 1/2x3 1/2x2-inch loaf pans (I used 2 9x5 loaves). Divide dough into 3 equal pieces (Since I used 2 pans I divided it into 2 pieces). Cut each dough piece into 4 equal pieces. Roll each into 3 1/2-inch-long log (you want to make these logs as wide as your pan is), forming 12 logs total (I had a total of 8 logs- 4 per pan). Arrange 4 logs crosswise in bottom of each prepared loaf pan. Place loaf pans on baking sheet. Cover pans with waxed paper. Let loaves rise at room temperature until dough almost fills pans, about 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently brush top of loaves with egg glaze. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn loaves out onto racks; cool at least 1 hour.
NOTE: I used Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast to speed up the process. Otherwise I followed the directions exactly.
Can be made ahead. Cool completely. Wrap loaves in foil; place in resealable plastic bags and store at room temperature 1 day or freeze up to 1 month. Rewarm room-temperature or thawed loaves wrapped in foil in 350°F oven about 15 minutes, if desired.
The best thing since sliced bread? This sandwich!