Brioches, with a nod towards Christmas

By • November 16, 2014 4 Comments

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Author Notes: With the festive season approaching, why not combine breakfast brioches with the most appealing of all Christmas breads, Panettone? This recipe allows you to prepare the brioches the evening before, you only need to pop them in the oven in the morning for a delicious breakfast treat. Ginger


Makes 14 small brioches or one medium-sized loaf tin

For the basic brioche

  • 260 grams plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried yeast
  • 3 tablespoons lukewarm milk
  • 20 grams caster sugar
  • 3 medium-sized eggs
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 125 grams cold, unsalted butter, diced
  1. Sift the flour into a bowl, scoop out a hole in the middle where you dissolve the yeast in the milk. Leave for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast starts bubbling away.
  2. Once your yeast is active, mix in all the other ingredients except for the butter. Then add 1/3 of the butter and knead until it is incorporated, then proceed with the second and the third batch. Use a mixer if possible - to work in the butter is no mean feat and will take you 10 minutes! You dough is ready when the butter is fully incorporated into a smooth ball that comes off the sides of your bowl. Cover and leave to rest for around an hour or until it has doubled in size.

For the Panettone-style twist

  • 1 handful raisins, ideally soaked in a little rum
  • 1 handful Italian mixed peel
  • the zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  1. Carefully grease your individual brioche tins or a loaf tin.
  2. Once your dough has doubled in size, add the above ingredients and knead until they are evenly distributed. It shouldn't take longer than a minute or so.
  3. Divide the dough into three parts. Divide two of them into seven pieces each to form fourteen individual balls, which you place in the prepared tins. Make another 14 smaller balls out of the remaining dough, but make sure that their surface is smooth and there are no raisins sticking out of the surface as they invariably burn. Obviously, if you are using a loaf tin you simply plop it all into the tin. Remember the raisins, though!
  4. Cover the whole lot with clingfilm and leave to prove in the fridge overnight.
  5. The next morning, remove the brioches from the fridge and heat the oven to 180C. Once your oven has reached the required temperature, remove the cling film from the brioches. Mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the brioches with the mix before placing them in the oven. Reduce the heat to 160C and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. A loaf needs to bake for around 40-45 minutes - use a toothpick to check it is fully baked.

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