Brioche Suisses (savory version)

If you are in France, you will know how popular is brioche – a kind of buttery bread, almost in every “boulangerie”, bakery store, in different forms, with different names..When I studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, I do brioche right from the beginning in both courses – pastry and bread baking. To be honest, I don’t like brioche that we made at school, I found it a bit dry and many friends agreed with me. It reminds me a funny story – one of my Parisien friends living near to the famous Jardin du Luxembourg, whenever I go there to visit, she keeps saying “never ever take the free tasting sample of the brioche from the shop next to my entrance door. It’s not good!”

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But if you know the right place to buy, brioche is very tasty, especially when it made with the good butter. One of the good places is Le Bon Marché (La Grande Épicerie) Today I’m sharing with you how to make a brioche – filled with ham and cream cheese. Brioche Suisses. The original Brioche Suisses is filled with egg custard (crème pâtissière) and chocolate chips. We’ll do it one day but today savory version!

Step 1  Preparation for brioche dough 

  • Fine wheat flour  580 gr.  (or bread flour)
  • Sugar 60 gr
  • Dry yeast  7gr. (dehydrated with a big warm water before adding)
  • Egg  6 pcs
  • Milk 100 ml  (it should be cold – 8-10ºC )
  • Fermented dough 120 gr
  • Salt  10 gr
  • Butter  300 gr (cold and cut into small cubes)

Knead all together, except the butter as it will be added gradually during kneading. Kneading time is about 15 minutes until the dough is no longer sticking to the side of the bowl. Keep the dough in the fridge until next day. You surely need the KitchenAid to do the job for you, as the brioche dough is very sticky due to the large quantity of butter.

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Fermented dough mades bread tastier
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Knead until the dough releases from the side of the bowl.

Next day, after a night in the fridge, the dough is cold enough to handle, with rolling pin simple roll it out in a large rectangle (30 cm x 40 cm). You may need dusting flour but don’t add too much! If you feel not easy to handle the dough, especially when in the hot kitchen, just put it back into the fridge for 20-30 minutes, then continue rolling.

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simple roll it out in a large rectangle , size of 30 cm x 40 cm
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spread a layer of cream cheese on one half, I used spreadable Philadelphia
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Put the ham on cream cheese
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and fold the other half on top
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Put it back to the fridge before cutting as the cold and hard dough make the cut easier.
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Do the egg wash and let dough rest for at least 2 hours at room temperature

Bake the dough at 170ºC for about 30 minutes until the brioche got the golden brown on the top. By the way when do the egg wash, don’t do too much, do the first one, then send it back to fridge for about 20-30 minutes and continue with the second one egg wash. I remember our chef at Le Cordon Bleu keeps jokingly complaining “You are not Picasso, do egg wash quickly!” because some of us were very very careful when using pastry brush to apply egg wash on the dough.

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The texture of Brioche Suisses is light, pillowy, buttery flavorful and goes well with cream cheese and ham.

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The brioche Suisses is very fluffy, moisture and the taste of baked cream cheese with ham goes very well with the brioche texture, flavorful. But as I mentioned in the beginning the classic Brioche Suisses is sweet, filled with egg custard and chocolate chips and easy to find it in many bakery shops in France under different names but you won’t find the savory one, so give it a try and you will love it!

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