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Author Notes: This recipe comes from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan. Of the brioche, Nathan writes: "This bread is sweet enough that you know you’re having a pastry but not so sweet that you can’t eat an entire loaf without noticing. This would be soooo good in the Monte Cristo. It would take that salty sweet sandwich to the next level and it makes an amazing French toast. You can also fold toasted sliced almonds in with the blueberries.
One of my happiest moments while writing this book was taking this bread out of the oven on a Sunday afternoon and sitting around our dining room table with a few friends ripping it apart while it was piping hot. Everyone enjoyed it so much that by the time I thought of getting a knife it was all gone -- and that is, hands down, the best way to serve it. Don’t slice it, just drop it in the middle of your table and have people rip it apart right from the oven. That’s love." —Food52
Makes 1 loaf
For the brioche:
- 1 1/2 cups (225 g) fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 g) bread flour
- 6 1/2 tablespoons (80 g) sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (140 g) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 batch egg wash (below)
- Place the fresh blueberries on a plate and freeze in a single layer. Do not use frozen blueberries, as they are too watery.
- Slightly warm the milk and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the yeast and whisk by hand to combine. Add the all-purpose flour, bread flour, 2 1/2 tablespoons of the sugar, the salt, eggs, and egg yolk to the bowl. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Increase the mixer speed to medium-low and work the dough for 6 minutes. Pause every minute to push the dough back down into the bowl and off the hook until it pulls off the sides and looks like a strong bread dough.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add the butter, a little at a time, over the course of 2 minutes. After 1 minute, pause to scrape down the bowl and hook. When the butter begins to blend in, increase the mixer speed to medium-high to fully incorporate the butter and bring the dough back together, 5 to 6 minutes longer.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and press into a 16-by-10-in/40-by-25-cm rectangle. It does not need to be exact. Position the dough vertically, with a short side nearest you; distribute the blueberries and 2 tbsp of the sugar along the top edge and gently roll down, toward you, into a log.
- Place the log on a greased sheet pan, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.
- Grease a 9-by-5-in/23-by-12-cm loaf pan. Reshape the dough one last time by pressing it into an approximate 12-by-6-in/30.5-by-15-cm rectangle and cover with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. With the dough positioned vertically, roll down toward you, tightly this time.
- Place into the greased loaf pan, loosely wrap in plastic, and allow to rise in a warm place until more than doubled in size, about 3 hours.
- As the brioche nears readiness, preheat your oven to 350° F/180° C. Carefully brush the dough with the egg wash, making sure the egg doesn’t pool around the edges. Liberally sprinkle with sugar. Bake until golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan. Then transfer to a cooling rack.
- This keeps, wrapped well, at room temperature, for up to 3 days, but who are we kidding, it will be lucky to survive 3 minutes out of the oven.
For the egg wash:
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 pinch kosher salt
- Combine the egg yolks, heavy cream, and salt and whisk until homogeneous. Refrigerate until needed. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.