Brioche. In certain parts of Italy, it's what you would call a croissant. Italian croissants are often filled with creme patisserie or nutella or jam. When I think brioche, I think of going to the cafe downstairs, ordering a robust cup of espresso and a rich creme patisserie-filled croissant for €1.20. Oh the simple joys of life that I used to take for granted. Now I can't even get a cup of coffee anywhere here in Scotland for less than £1.40, never mind a decent cup of coffee.
But this is about the actual brioche. The soft and spongy French pastry enriched with too much butter and eggs. My goodness there's so much butter and eggs. I've always known it contained butter and eggs, but for some reason it had never occurred to me that they'd be actually half the ingredients. Well, too much of both is a sure sign of deliciousness. But please, please, please eat this in moderation.
In terms of shaping the brioche, I made little top-knot ones. The video below teaches you how to shape them quite well. I also made one in a loaf tin - I packed 8 balls of dough in it.
Makes: around 20
500g strong white flour
10g sea salt
5g dried yeast
20g caster sugar
Zest from 1 orange
75ml cold water
2 medium eggs
4 medium egg yolks + 1 extra, beaten, for egg wash
300g unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes.
-Set the butter aside and mix all the other ingredients together. Mix and knead for about 15 minutes to form a dough.
-Put the dough on a work surface and knead the butter in, one cube at a time (yes, it takes awhile). Once all incorporated, put in a bowl and cover. Put it in the fridge and let it rise overnight.
-Divide the dough into 50g pieces. Form into desired shape. Place them in the buttered tins. Cover loosely with cling film and let it double in size in a warm place (about 1.5 hours).
-Have the oven heated to 210C. Brush the brioche with the egg wash and bake them for 5 minutes before turning the heat down to 160C for 20 more minutes (or more depending on the shape and size).