Brioche

Brioche

By
From
Best Kitchen Basics
Makes
20 brioche
Photographer
Petrina Tinslay

‘Let them eat cake.’

This mistranslation of a misattribution that folklore would have us believe started the French Revolution is commonly attributed to Marie Antoinette. She is purported to have said, Qu’ils mangent de la brioche (‘let them eat brioche’). The peasantry had no money for bread, let alone this egg- and butter-enriched magnificence of the French boulangerie.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
750g plain flour
75g caster sugar
3 teaspoons salt
20g fresh yeast
9 eggs
450g unsalted butter, cubed

Egg wash

Quantity Ingredient
1 egg yolk
10ml milk

Method

  1. Put the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Crumble in the yeast and mix on medium speed until combined. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  2. Once all the eggs are incorporated, begin to add the butter a few cubes at a time. Ensure each addition is fully incorporated before adding the next. Mix for a further 5 minutes until the mixture is smooth and glossy and has come away from the side of the bowl.
  3. Remove the dough and place it in a greased stainless steel bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in the refrigerator for 24 hours to prove.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into twenty 75 g portions.
  5. Lightly grease 20 fluted 8 cm moulds. Pinch off a little less than one-third of each portion of dough, for the tête (head). Roll the rest of the dough portions into a ball and press them into a prepared brioche mould. With lightly floured hands, shape each of the smaller dough pieces into an elongated pear shape. Using your index finger, make a hole in the centre of each brioche, going almost to the bottom of the mould, and insert the elongated part of the topknot deep into the hole. Cover the moulds loosely with oiled plastic wrap and let rise (ideally at 75–80°C) until the edges of the dough reach the tops of the moulds, about 1–1½ hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  7. For the egg wash, lightly beat the yolk with the milk. Gently brush the tops of the brioche with the egg wash then bake for 10–15 minutes, until golden and the internal temperature reads 90°C on a thermometer. The base should sound hollow when tapped. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

Note

  • This brioche dough can be formed into many shapes, each having a slightly different taste and texture due to the differing ratios of crust and crumb. A quick internet search of ‘brioche mould’ will show the variety.
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