Classic Brioche Loaf

 

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I recall, it seems ages ago, baking Brioche in cooking school but that was so fast paced and we were doing 7 other things at the same time which is a bit sad, not to give the Brioche the appreciation it truly deserves.

You really can not enjoy the “Art of Making Bread” in cooking school as you can at home.

This weeks assigned recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Baking Bible was Brioche of which I choose the Classic Brioche Loaf option.

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Each week we as Alpha Bakers, are assigned one of the recipes from Rose’s new baking book and we as a group all over the world bake the same recipe at the same time.  Our objective is to share our successes, where we got stumped, what questions did we have along the way, our joys and in some cases our baking shortcomings.

I was commenting to a friend in the group just last night that, “If you just follow Rose’s recipes exactly, it is amazing at the outcome you will achieve!”

So it all started last Friday night with the Dough Starter or Sponge.

We added the water, sugar, flour, yeast and egg to begin the starter

We added the water, sugar, flour, yeast and egg to begin the starter

After mixing the starter, the flour blanket was made to cover the starter.  Rose gave several options of how to let the starter ferment.  I chose to cover and leave my flour mixture in a cozy, warm environment for about an hour then I tucked it away in the refrigerator, covered, for right under 22 hours.  It was so exciting to watch the starter bubble through the flour blanket, beginning to grow and do it’s yeasty magic.

Now comes the fun part of the Brioche – the BUTTER

Of course we add more eggs, it’s Brioche after all, then the softened butter is added a tablespoon at a time until fully incorporated.

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I didn't get a picture of it but I like to place the softened butter right at the tip of the dough hook and the dough so that it is forced into the dough as it kneads

I didn’t get a picture of it but I like to place the softened butter right at the tip of the dough hook and the dough so that it is forced into the dough as it kneads

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The dough is then placed in an oiled proofing container to let rise for 1.5 to 2 hours until doubled

Top of take is my goal mark

The top of the tape is my goal mark

VOILA - Over and above my expectations !

VOILA – Over and above my expectations !

As it was late, I began my sleep deprived evening getting up at 3 AM to baby sit and then again at 4 AM to begin the dough massaging –

 

HEY, wait a minute; this dough is treated better than I am …..

But I’m not complaining

We first rolled out the dough into a rectangle

We first rolled out the dough into a rectangle

The dough was folded into a business tri-fold shape dusting off any access flour

The dough was folded into a business tri-fold shape dusting off any access flour

A second business size turn was made at a 90 degree angle

A second business size turn was made at a 90 degree angle

then the sides were folded up, dusted, a prayer was said, some faint humming of monks could be heard in the distance ...

then the sides were folded up, dusted, a prayer was said, some faint humming of monks could be heard in the distance …

After the chanting subsided, the dough was wrapped loosely in cling free wrap and....

After the chanting subsided, the dough was wrapped loosely in cling free wrap and….

then placed in a air tight gallon size back and refrigerated for at least 6 hours

then placed in a air tight gallon size plastic bag and refrigerated for at least 6 hours

The next morning…well afternoon…after coffee….

The dough was deflated again and rolled into a rectangle

The dough was deflated again and rolled into a rectangle

The dough is then rolled the size to fit your pan

The dough is then rolled the size to fit your pan

I was sure I had a Brioche pan, but I either lent it out, moved it or perhaps never bought it…. so I choose my trusty aluminum MIRRO pan 10 and 1/4 x   3 and 5/8   x 2 5/8 sprayed with butter cooking spray.

A lightly sprayed piece of non-stick wrap was placed on top of the dough and pushed down

A lightly sprayed piece of cling free plastic wrap was placed on top of the dough and the dough was pushed down

Then the final rise began for the next 2 hours

Then the final rise began for the next 2 hours

Egg wash with cream was made and applied with a silicon brush

Egg wash with cream was made and applied with a silicon brush

I first tried to use my pastry brush, as in the photograph above, to apply the cream egg wash but the dough was so light and airy that it was to course of a utensil to use for the delicate dough.  The lighter silicon brush worked just fine

Cream Egg Wash was applied and gashes cut with a sharp paring knife

Cream Egg Wash was applied and gashes cut with a sharp paring knife

Rose mentioned placing the gashes at either end but I found it more uniform to begin the first gash in the center of the loaf at an angle and then work my way backwards on either side, but that’s just me…

and in to the oven we go

and in to the oven we go

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The smell of the dough baking is worth the price of admission, believe me!

The TASTE! As half of the loaf has already disappeared, I keep trying to put my taste buds on what type of cheese would go well; I think I’ll pick up some Emmental, or a cave aged cheeses like Gruyere.  I think the nuttiness of a rich, aged Parmigiano-Reggiano  might really work here.

OMG now that I think about it, I’m wondering about a nice creamy Irish room temperature BUTTER would be amazing

Imaging that… more butter and Brioche!

HAPPY BAKING YA’LL!

© Tony Bridges and One Crumb at a Thyme, 2014

 

 

 

 

8 thoughts on “Classic Brioche Loaf

  1. Tony: Wow, what a gorgeous loaf! You are so brave with the slashes! I must get better at that. Love the glaze as well. I do bake this recipe often, it is a favorite. My husband even loves it when the bread gets stale because he says it make such wonderful French toast!

  2. Congratulations on a very nice looking brioche! It is so amazing how such a light and detectable bread is the result of a few ingredients and bit of time. It never loses the magic!

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