The Bourke Street Bakery cookbook (my current favourite) advises that “this brioche recipe is one that you have to bake at least once”. And they are so right, you really do have to make it…once, or more likely once a month! It is the most amazing brioche I have eaten. Buttery, light, flaky…”almost like a croissant” according to Sam (but with a different texture, not flaky like a croissant it did feel and taste like a croissant in the mouth). A gorgeous crust that was crisp and crumbly in all the right ways. I nearly didn’t make it when I saw that there was slightly more butter than flour in the recipe (scary)…but I am so glad I did. I mainly made it for Tara since brioche is one of her latest favourite treats from the patisserie. Unfortunately she is no longer terribly enamoured of the patisserie brioche after eating this one…and I now get asked to make it rather than buy it. Hmm…perhaps making it was a mistake afterall! I felt guilty eating it…but then rationalised it by remembering that a lot of cakes have the same quantity of butter and I don’t feel terribly bad about eating them, even for breakfast! So armed with that thought I had a second… and then a third slice….
So go on…try it and see how fantastic it is!
Bourke Street Bakery Brioche
(retold in my slap dash way, with the shortcuts I took!)
190g plain flour (chilled according to the book but I didn’t bother)
4g fresh yeast (I used powdered instant)
15g caster sugar (also supposed to be chilled but again I didn’t bother)
3 eggs (chilled)
125g butter at room temperature
egg wash for brushing (I didn’t bother with this either)
Put flour, milk, eggs and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 3 minutes then increase speed and mix for a further 3 minutes. Reduce the speed and with the motor running add in little scoops of the soft butter a little at a time making sure it is well incorporated into the dough. When finished the dough should be smooth, soft, shiny and quite sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with a tea towel. Put into the fridge to prove for an hour.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a rectangle and fold into thirds a couple of times. Put the dough back into the bowl and then back again into the fridge for another hour. Turn it out onto a floured surface and fold it into a rectangle again. This time fold or form the dough into the shape of the baking tin you are planning to use. I used a bundt tin as you can see from the picture above. Make sure your tin is nicely greased with butter before you put the dough in (seam side down).
(When I made this, at this stage it was quite late in the evening and the kids were about to go to bed so I decided to just leave it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next morning. I think in future I would do this again as it made it so quick and easy to bake the brioche for breakfast the next morning. You just need to allow for a bit of time for it to come back to room temperature and soften up as the dough gets quite hard in the fridge overnight).
If you don’t want to wait overnight, then warm your oven to 220 C while the dough is doing its second prove in the fridge. After you place the dough into the baking tin you can brush with eggwash if you want (as I mentioned, I didn’t bother with this since I knew I would be turning the brioche over out of the bundt tin). Reduce the oven temperature to 180C and bake the brioche for 40 minutes or until it looks like it might be done. To check if it is cooked turn it out of tin and tap it on the bottom so see if you get the hollow sound, just as you would for bread.
The brioche was sensational when it was just cooked and still warm. I made Andrew wait and have some before leaving for work as I thought it would not be as nice in the evening (as yeasted breads often are). But I am pleased to report that it was still great for the next day as well. After that there was none left so I cannot tell you how it would have been on day 3…probably still pretty good I would say. And you could always toast it and eat it with fruit or ice cream.