Brioche: Place the
flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of your
mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until combined. Add the eggs and
milk and beat until combined. Replace the
paddle attachment with the dough hook, and knead the dough on 1st speed for four minutes. Increase your mixer speed to
2nd speed, and continue to
knead the dough for another three minutes. Next, with the mixer on 2nd speed, gradually add the sugar
over five minutes.
Next, place the cold butter between
two sheets of parchment or wax paper. With a rolling pin, pound the
butter until it's pliable but still cold. Cut the butter into pieces and add it to the
dough. Knead the dough, on 2nd speed, for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the
dough cleans the bowl and is smooth (not sticky) and elastic. To check to see if the dough is
fully kneaded, use the 'windowpane' test.
for demonstration.) To do this, start with a small fistful
of dough. Gently stretch it. For a fully kneaded dough you should be able to
stretch the dough quite thin, without it tearing, so that you can almost see
Place your dough in a large,
cover with plastic wrap, and let sit at room temperature
73 - 76 degree F) (23 - 24 degree C)
for one hour. Then you need to
stretch the dough to equalize its temperature and it also helps to strengthen
To stretch the dough, gently take
one edge of the dough and stretch it and then fold it onto the top of the dough.
Turn your bowl 180 degrees and stretch the dough in the same way. Then turn your
bowl a quarter turn (90 degrees) and stretch the dough in the same way. Then
turn your bowl 180 degrees and repeat the process. After that flip your dough so
the bottom is now the top. Cover with plastic wrap and place the covered dough
in the refrigerator to chill overnight. (This makes the dough much easier to
shape and also improves the flavor of the Brioche.)
Next morning, line
baking sheets with
Then remove the dough from the
divide into 12 equal-sized pieces
(about 82 grams each).
with one piece of dough at a time, flatten into a round. (You may want to lightly
flour your hands.) Take the edges of the dough
and fold them into the center and gently seal. Then flip your dough over so the
smooth side is facing up. With the palm of your hand rotate the ball of dough on
your counter to create surface tension and to seal the edges of the dough
Place 6 rounds of the dough
onto each baking sheet, spacing them several inches apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap
that has been sprayed with a non stick spray or lightly oiled (this will prevent the buns from
sticking to the plastic wrap) and let proof
at room temperature (about 73 - 76 degree F) (23 - 24 degree C) until nice and
puffy and almost
doubled in size (because the dough is very cold, this
could take 1 1/2 to 2 hours).
a medium-sized heatproof bowl, mix half the sugar (about 30
grams) and egg yolks together. Whisk in the cornstarch until you get a smooth
Meanwhile, in a saucepan
the milk and rest of the sugar just to boiling (until milk just starts to foam up). Remove from heat and
slowly add to egg mixture, whisking constantly to prevent curdling. (If you get
a few pieces of egg (curdling) in the mixture, pour through a strainer.) Pour the egg mixture into
a saucepan and cook, over medium low heat, until boiling, whisking constantly. When it boils, whisk mixture constantly for
about two minutes or until it
becomes thick. Remove from heat and
stir in the vanilla extract. Pour into a clean bowl and
immediately cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust (skin) from forming. Cool
to room temperature. If not using right away, the pastry cream can be refrigerated
for up to three days. Whisk
before using to get rid of any lumps that may have formed.
Next, preheat your oven to 350
degree F (180 degree C)
with the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of your oven.
When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap
and, with a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops and sides of the Brioche with the beaten
egg. (This will help with browning and gives the Brioche a nice shine.) Gently press down the
centers of the Brioche to make an indentation.
for demonstration.) Fill with about one tablespoon of
pastry cream. Top with berries or thin slices of peaches, nectarines, etc.
Sprinkle the sides of the Brioche with pearl sugar. Place the two baking sheets
of Brioche in the preheated oven and bake
minutes or until golden brown. Rotate your
baking sheet top to bottom and front to back about halfway through baking.
Remove from oven and place on a wire
rack to cool for about five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish
cooling. Can be covered and stored for two to three days or they can be frozen for
about one month.
Makes 12 Fruit & Cream Brioche.