Sunday, March 6, 2011

Easy Brioche

Took the kids to the local library recently and found myself a baking book called Artisan Bread In Five Minutes A Day. This book is great for beginner bakers like me since it simplifies the process of making bread from scratch and no kneading necessary. No mixer is needed since the flour mixture can be mixed by hand. Along the way, I learned that adding sugar helps the yeast to grow while adding salt directly to the yeast kills it. I halve the recipe amount and used parchment paper lined baking sheet instead of baking stone to bake since I don't have one. The brioche turned out tasting better than the last attempt.

Ingredients (yields about two 1 pound loves) :-
3/4 cup of lukewarm water
3/4 tablespoons of granulated yeast
3/4 tablespoons of kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup of honey
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted
3 1/4 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
Egg wash ( 1egg beaten with 1 tbsp of water)

1. Dissolve yeast in the water. Set aside. Add salt, eggs, honey and melted butter to a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.
2. Mix in the flour and yeast, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.
3. Cover (not airtight) with lid, and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours before refrigerating the dough overnight, again covered but not airtight.
4. When you are ready to bake, divide the dough in half and sprinkle flour on the surface of dough. Shape the dough into a ball or oval loaf ( I braided mine), sprinkling just enough flour to make it more workable. Place shaped dough onto floured parchment paper and let sit for 1 1/2 hrs, uncovered.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Heat the empty baking sheet in the preheated oven. In the meantime, brush the dough with egg wash before placing it on the hot baking sheet. Bake on the centre rack for 35 to 40 minutes or until medium golden brown. Let cool before serving.

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