Brioche, the King of dough.
I love brioche. In my mind it’s the king of bread.
Last summer, I spent a couple weeks in Paris eating. Literally. Two weeks of eating. Unreal.
Croissants, Pain Au Chocolate, Baguettes, Fromage, Coq au vin, Duck confit, etc etc HEAVEN etc.
One thing that I really had no appreciation for coming from small city Canada was brioche. And I was blown away. It’s so light but has an intensely rich depth of flavour. Perfect for pastries, bread, buns. Honestly, it’s amazing.
Brioche, as with all good things, takes time, patience…and a little practice. But man is it ever worth the wait. Seriously, give this one a go guys. Enjoy!
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
2 1/4 cups (340 grams) bread flour
1 1/2 packages (3 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (82 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt/sea salt
1/2 cup cold water
1 3/8 cups (2 3/4 sticks; 310 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 10 to 12 pieces
Using a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and 5 of the eggs. Beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all the ingredients are combined. Stop the mixer, as needed, to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the wet ingredients. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for another 3 to 4 minutes. The dough will be very stiff and seem quite dry.
With the mixer on low speed, add the butter, 1 piece at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough. Continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It is important for all the butter to be thoroughly mixed into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer occasionally and break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.
Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn up the speed to medium and beat until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny, another 15 minutes. It will take some time to come together. It will look shaggy and questionable at the start and then eventually it will turn smooth and silky. Turn the speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute. You should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Test the dough by pulling at it; it should stretch a bit and have a little give. If it seems wet and loose and more like a batter than a dough, add a few tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together. If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it develops more strength and stretches when you grab it. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in 1 piece.
Put the dough in a large bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Let the dough proof (that is, grow and develop flavor) in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. At this point you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 1 week. *NOTE* I typically freeze half of this recipe for later deliciousness.
Remove the dough from the fridge, and let it warm for a few minutes on the counter. Using a kitchen scale, weigh out dough pieces at 95g each, and roll to form into balls/buns. You should get about 8 buns, if using half of the above brioche recipe. Place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover loosely with cling film. Leave to double in size (about an hour).
Egg wash those babies and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops of the buns are a deep golden brown color.
Rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes if you can handle the wait.
*recipe adapted from Joanne Chang*