"Let them eat brioche." Those famous words were supposedly said by Marie Antoinette on her death. It is difficult to know if this is true or not. But the only true on this story is this rich buttered bread is a fantastic delight.
I bought the book “Crust and Crum” from Peter Reinhart to improve my bread recipes. I was determined to make croissant but, to my disappointment, there wasn’t a croissant recipe. Well, to comfort me, that was only one thing that I should cook: something with a lot of butter. In other words, BRIOCHE!
He explains very well how to make a good Brioche. The quality is in the amount of butter. In France they make two types: rich man’s and poor man’s brioche. The only difference is the proportion of butter. The poor man`s brioche has 33%, while the rich man`s has 75%. Of course I made the rich man`s…
The brioches can also be shaped in different forms. One of them is the petite brioche à tête, a small roll with a topknot, which is my favorite. Well, I didn’t have the appropriate mold, but my desire to brioche was so big that I decided to improvise with a cupcake pan. I got a golden color brioche and soft-as-satin feel that dissolved in the month. But if you are going to make petite brioche à tête, you can find the molds at most of gourmet kitchenware shops.
The question now is: what should I use for filling the brioches? I decided to make a cranberry jam. I have an attraction for these little red berries, not just for the jam but also for the juice, candies, cakes and drinks. The jam is very easy to do. You just need cranberry, sugar and orange juice.
(From Crust and Crumb, Peter Reinhart)
Makes 3 loaves, or 4 dozen small rolls, or Petites Brioches à Tête
1 cup unbleached bread flour
1 tsp instant yeast
½ cup lukewarm milk (90F)
3 ½ cups unbleached bread flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
5 large eggs, cold, plus 1 large egg for egg wash
1 ½ cups unsalted butter, softened
To make the sponge, stir the yeast into the milk in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the sponge to ferment at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours. It will become very bubbly.
In a mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, salt, 5 eggs, and sponge. If making the dough by machine, mix it on low speed for about 2 minutes, till smooth dough is formed. Cut the butter into 3 pieces and beat in 1 piece at time at medium-low speed till each is absorbed. Continue beating at the same speed till the dough is smooth, about 6 minutes, it will be very soft and sticky.
To make the dough by hand, gradually combine all the ingredients and beat vigorously with a wooden or metal spoon for about 10 minutes, to make a smooth, wet dough.
Mist the top of the dough with spray oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and place the bowl in refrigerator overnight ( or for a minimum of 5 hours). The dough will firm up considerably as it retards.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape it, while it is still cold, into loaves, rolls, or molded petites brioches à tete. If making petites brioches à tete, grease the molds well with cooking spray or with melted butter and flour.
Mist the top of the shaped dough with cooking spray, cover it with plastic wrap or enclose it in a plastic bag, and let rise at room temperature for about 2 hours, or till nearly doubled in size.
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°F for a large, full-size brioche, 400°F for smaller loaves. Beat the remaining egg till smooth and brush it on the tops of the brioche, taking care not to let it drip down the sides of the molds. Bake 35 to 45 minutes for loaves, 20 to 25 minutes for small rolls or petites brioches à tetê, until a rich, deep gold.
If using molds, remove the rolls 1 or 2 minutes after the come out of the oven, taking care not to tear them (use a small knife to loosen them from the side walls).
Cool the brioche on a rack for 20 to 40 minutes, depending on size, before eating.
yield: Makes about 2 cups
active time: 15 min
total time: 1 hr
1 (12-oz) bag fresh cramberries (not thawed; 3 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 cup water
Bring all ingredients to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 20 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools).
Force jam through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, discarding skins and seeds. Cool, stirring occasionally.