Why I select this very popular French bread as my first post. Brioche reminds me very much of “banh my ngot” that we used to have in the old days. I mean the very good one! My first “brioche” experience at Le Cordon Bleu (LCB) was not good, I didn’t like the texture, the taste, we had only two hours to make it. The real brioche requires much more time!.
Until early 2017, when I took the baking class, we did prepare the brioche dough a day before, plus another three hours in the next day. And this time we created probably the best brioche in Paris! There are several kinds of brioches, today I’m making the basic one, and remember, for brioche, do use the best quality butter!
I love to play with different ingredients. Today I’m going to mix the whole wheat pastry flour with the refined bread flour, The whole wheat flour is full-flavored, containing vitamins, minerals and protein, actually more nutritious than refined white flour.
Step 1 Preparation for the ingredients
- Bread flour 350 gr.
- Whole wheat pastry flour 150 gr.
- Sugar 100-125 gr. up to your sweet taste
- Dry yeast 5 gr. (dehydrated with 2 tbsp of warm water before adding)
- Butter 125 gr. (cut into cubes and keep cold)
- Fermented dough 150 gr. (ideally prepared a day before and kept in the fridge) (*)
- Condensed milk 60 gr.
- Water 60 ml.
- Salt 10 gr.
- Eggs 3 eggs (approx. 165 gr.)
- Orange zest. 1/2 orange (optional)
- Fleur d’oranger 3-4 gr.
- Rum 20-25 gr. up to your taste
- Egg for bassinage 1 egg
(*) Fermented dough: mix 250 gr. of bread flour, 5 gr. salt, 2 gr. of dry yeast (dry yeast should be dehydrated with two soup spoons of warm water before adding), 150 ml of water. Let it rest for at least 3-4 hours at room temperature before keep it in the fridge for the next day use.
Step 2 Kneading
Kneading all together, except the last three added at the end, it would take 20′-25′ or even more, depends on the mixer. The first 6′-7′ at the first speed, the rest of time at the second speed, until the dough stops sticking to the mixer’s bowl. The dough should be super smooth, shining, elastic like the chewing gum being stretched. The ideal temperature of the dough between 25oC or 30oC as max. In order to get that, better use some ingredients right from the fridge like butter, eggs, condensed milk, cold water, even flour!
Step 3 Shaping
Leave the dough in the room for at least 30′-40′, the ideal room temperature is around 20-25oC . Then put the dough in the container, cover with the plastic and keep in the fridge until the next day.
How to form the brioche dough? I don’t want to follow the French shape, a ball with little head on the top, many of us hated that little head (as the head looks not like head any more after baking!) For this recipe I shaped the dough into small balls and braids with three strands. The dough is soft and sticky due to the butter, so better handle it when the dough still cold, right from the fridge, we need some dusting flour but I always try to use it less.
If we want to bake brioche in the same day, we could let the dough to rest for 40′-60′ at room temperature then keep it in the fridge at least 5-6 hours. It will help us to handle the dough easily.
Step 4 Baking
After you form the dough into small balls, put the in the buttery mold, and do the egg wash. Now time to let the dough to rise for the second time. It would take minimum 2 hrs up to 3 hrs at 25oC, then preheat the oven at 190oC and bake it for around 20′-30′.
Take out from the oven, let it cool down. The brioche should be soft, light, moisture. I love the butter smell, the fragrance that you can get not everywhere in Paris. And I love to have a slice of brioche, right after the oven. It’s superb!