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27 February 2012

{Recipe} Easy Brioche

We love Brioche ! And it's not just for a special breakfast such as Easter, no, in France Brioche is an everyday breakfast !

There are main 2 reasons for taking the time to make your own.
First, although we now find it pretty easily here in the UK, it is still imported from France so you do pay a premium and a simple Brioche can become quite expensive.
Then of course, there is the fact that when you make your own you know exactly what's inside ! When we started weaning our first child about 5 years ago, I became obsessed with labels. At first I was just checking to make sure there was no salt added, but I soon realized that salt was the least of my worries ! I cannot believe the amount of rubbish they add to everyday produces. Brioches and breakfast rolls in general are full of E number and this is not what I want to give my children everyday at breakfast.

Like everything homemade, Brioche can be a little time consuming to make so we found a way to cut down the time dramatically: we don't actually make the dough ourselves... our bread maker does !
Bread makers are a brilliant invention. Put everything in, close the lid, come back later (ok, a few HOURS later) and it's ready !! How fantastic is this ?

You cannot actually use the machine to bake a brioche since this type of dough requires to prove (rise) twice. But still, what you have left to do is quick and easy. And this is a reliable way of baking, the result is the same every time !

So here is our recipe, hope you will try it. Let me know what you think if you do !
By the way, there is now a flickr gallery where you can post things you made or baked that were inspired by this blog... see you on That Cute Little gallery on Flickr

Sweet Brioche Dough

1 teaspoon Easy Bake Yeast (dehydrated bread yeast)
250g(9oz) Strong white flour (for bread making)
3 tablespoon Sugar
75g (3oz) Butter
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 medium Eggs
2 tablespoon Milk

Optional Flavouring: 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or orange blossom flower water.

Place all ingredients in the breadmaker (use the order above so the yeast is under the flour and not initially in contact with any wet ingredient) and start the basic dough program.
We have a Panasonic and this program lasts 2h20.

When dough is ready, tip out of the bread pan onto a floured work surface. Knead lightly and shape.
We like our Brioche in a plait and it is really simple and quick to do. Start by making a sausage and cut in 3. Shape each third as a long sausage and place all 3 next to each other. Join all 3 at one end and press with you fingers to hold in place. Make a plait. Press at the other end to hold.

Leave in a warm place to rise for about 45 minutes. If you don't have a warm place such as an airing cupboard, place in the oven on a very low setting (40 to 50 degrees C).
This step is really important if you want the brioche to have a light texture. The dough should nearly double in size.

When risen, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar if you so wish. Bake in the oven at 170 degrees C for 17 minutes (you might have to play with your oven a little bit to adjust the baking time. We like our brioche just baked so it stays moist).

Leave to cool on a rack.
Enjoy your brioche still warm for a tasty snack or make it in the evening for breakfast the next day.

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