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Brioche

We love a good brioche, and the best recipe I’ve ever tried is Emmanuel Mollois’s recipe from his book, Et Voila! – filled with French pastry delights. I’ve asked him if I can share this recipe and lucky for me (and you) he has agreed! I prefer making braids and round buns, but I’ve made this recipe many times and it never fails – a must try for the dough lovers out there.

Credit: Emmanuel Mollois, ‘Et Voila! French pastries from Choux Café’, photographs by Karin Calvert-Borshoff

Makes about 1 kg of dough, or enough for 8-10 smaller brioche

Preparation Time: 20 minutes kneading/shaping + minimum 65 minutes rising / Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g plain flour, sifted
  • 15g / 3 tsp dry yeast
  • 200ml lukewarm full cream milk
  • 65g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • Egg wash (1 egg + 1 egg yolk + 50ml milk, beaten)

Method

  1. Put the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer with the hook attachment, make a well in the centre and add the yeast and 1/3 of the milk. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the top and wait a few minutes to make sure the yeast is working (it starts to bubble). Add the sugar and salt then the eggs, one by one, mixing well each time, alternating with the rest of the milk.
  2. Mix on low speed, scaping the dough off the hook after about 5 minutes, until it forms a consistently smooth elastic dough (about 10 minutes in total).
  3. Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, and mix on medium speed making sure it is completely incorporated before adding the next amount.
  4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and band it quite hard onto the bench at least six times until the dough no longer sticks to the bench (this expels any gas from the dough). Put the dough in a large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm room. When it has doubled in volume (at least 40 minutes)) bang it again a few times on the bench so it goes back to its original size. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. NOTE – Brioche is easier to shape if it has been refrigerated overnight; however, this step can be skipped and the brioche made the same day.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease brioche moulds (or muffin tins).
  6. Break the dough into ten 100g pieces and form these into balls or brioche shapes and place them in the moulds. Leave to rise, uncovered in a warm room until doubled in volume (about 25 minutes), then brush with egg wash and bake for about 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°, turn them upside down to cook through, and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until golden brown.

To check if the brioche is cooked, insert the tip of a skewer into the top; if it comes out clean the brioche is ready.

TIP – Eat your brioche warm with honey and a cup of tea, or wait until the next morning and dip it in your coffee… parfait!

STORAGE – Freeze any uncooked dough for up to one week.

Enjoy! GPW