I have always wanted to make Brioche, especially the one from Dorie Greenspan's book, "Baking From My Home To Yours". So when Hanaa chose Brioche from "The Weekend Baker" by Abby Dodge for our monthly Avid Baker's Challenge (ABC), I was really looking forward to it. Abby's method is simpler than Dorie's, though I would definitely give Dorie's recipe a try one of these days.
Abby's recipe is very flexible, meaning that you may prepare the dough right up to the first or even second stage of rising, refrigerate the dough overnight and bake the next day, really convenient for busy bakers on the go!
I did not follow the overnight method, made this in the afternoon, enjoyed it on the same day! The dough is wonderful to work with, but at the beginning it is really soft and sticky, after the first 12 minutes of mixing, it does not look like it is leaving the sides of the bowl, as it should after 6 minutes of mixing! So I added in about 1/4 cup of bread flour. I use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour as called for in the original recipe. After the addition of flour, the dough gets a little better but was still sticky, butter was then added in, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and satiny. Leave to rise in an oiled bowl for about 45 minutes.
Abby's Brioche is done plaited style, but I wanted a loaf, after I divided the dough into three equal portions, I placed them side by side in a greased 9"x5" loaf pan. The dough is very easy to work with, it is soft but no longer sticky. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes, they rose beautifully. Brush the top with some egg wash and bake in a preheated oven at 200C.
Goodness, the loaf really rises more during baking! I could not see as the light bulb in my oven is no longer in working condition. At 20 minutes into baking time, I checked the loaf and found the top is getting brown too fast as it really rises very high, almost touching the heat element at the top of my oven! I tent the loaf with a piece of aluminium foil, lower it to a rack below and continue baking for another 5 minutes of so. The Brioche loaf took only about 25 minutes to bake. I took it out and when I tried to remove it from the baking pan, it got stuck! See the tears at the side of the loaf! The next time when I make this again, either I'll use a bigger baking pan or simply plait it, just as Abby suggested.
This Brioche Loaf is so fluffy and soft!
It has a lovely light yellow buttery colour, though you can't see from the picture.
Can you see the fluffy, cottony soft texture? It even stays soft and fluffy the next day! Good eaten on its own, with a cup of black coffee!
My hubby had a piece of this soft and lovely Brioche, fold it in half, sandwiched in the centre, is a scoop of homemade creamy chocolate ice cream! It takes me back to the days when I was a little girl, we used to buy soft bread sandwiched with scoops of ice cream from the ice cream seller, who went round selling ice cream using his bicycle with a freezer box at the back, holding a bell in his hands, and you can hear him coming! Attached to his freezer box in plastic bags, hung the ice cream cones and soft square buns, he would slit the buns halfway through and place a scoop of ice cream in the centre! Have you eaten ice cream this way before? This Brioche is perfect for that! Yum!!!