Brioche

For me, Brioche epitomizes french bakery at its finest. This quintessential french bread is rich in eggs, sugar and butter;
no wonder it is so good. In France, Brioche is very often served with Pâtés and most frequently with Foie Gras. Many people
prefer to serve foie gras with Pain d’épices, which originated in the monasteries of the Alsace region.
(See my recipe Pain aux épices / Spice Bread). It is a blend of honey and various spices. The reason why it appeals to many
people is because of its sweetness which contrasts well with the Umami taste of foie gras. I prefer Brioche which for me
is a luxurious bread and it goes so well with the richness of the foie gras. Slice the bread thinly and toast it, for when hot, the
bread exudes all of its flavors.
This recipe is rich, but not like many french ones which include over 7 eggs and 250 grams of butter. I prefer a hint of butter
and just a few eggs to make the bread rich enough and very smooth. The bread freezes very well and can be served with a multitude
of patés, creams and also make wonderful canapés.

INGREDIENTS
10 Gr. Active dry yeast
30 Gr. Sugar
60 Ml. Lukewarm milk (1/4 Cup) I place it in the microwave for 30 seconds at low temperature
3 Eggs at room temperature
320 Gr. All purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
113 Gr. Butter – Cool, not cold, not at room temperature, but cool, cut in pieces
1 beaten Egg + 1 tablespoon milk

PREPARATION
In a bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, stir in the yeast, sugar and lukewarm milk. Mix well and let the yeast activate for 5 minutes. You will see bubbles appearing which is a good thing !
Add the eggs and mix well, then stir in the flour a few scoops at a time. Mix for about 5 minutes and then stir in the salt. Mix and knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. At medium speed, start incorporating the butter, a few pieces at a time, until fully absorbed in the dough. Keep adding the butter into the dough, until it is fully used. The dough will be very soft and somewhat sticky. Keep kneading for another 5 minutes.
The dough will become glossy and elastic. Transfer the dough in a bowl, greased with a little vegetable oil. Cover with a cling film and let the dough rise on the counter for about an hour. Then place it in the refrigerator overnight, about 12 hours.
The following day, get the dough out of the fridge and let it come back to room temperature. It usually takes about an hour. Cut the dough ball in two to make two loaves, or if you are making small breads, cut the dough in 9 equal size pieces. Roll the dough pieces and let them rest for 30 minutes at room temperature, covered with a tea towel.
Using a little vegetable oil, brush the bread pans and then place 3 balls in each bread pan.
Cover them with a tea towel and let them rise again for an hour.
In the meantime, preheat your oven at 200 Celsius.
After an hour, brush the bread with the egg mixture and place in the oven for 20 minutes, until golden brown.
If you have cream in the fridge, simply brush the bread to cover them. It will give the similar results.
The smell in the house… makes it worthwhile to make these little jewels.
Let them rest for 20 minutes and cut them in fine slices. We like them toasted with a little piece of foie gras.

Tip du jour ; This bread is ideal for French toasts or bread pudding. The best way to enjoy the bread, is toasted.

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