Brioche is a bread which always makes me feel that I am doing something different. or rather a different cuisine. Ofcourse its French. Its just that I get the French feeling more than the bread baking feeling. Also this time around it was Moroccanish as we all baked a Orange scented brioche for Baking Partners chosen by Swathi. The recipe is adapted from Dominic Ansel's : The Secret Recipes cookbook.
What surprised me was the texture of brioche. It was light and airy. Whereas the ones I had tried earlier were definitely airy but slightly tighter or not as airy as this one.It was more commercial brioche like from the brioches I had tried. As usual I halved the recipe and mine is as follows. But definitely the orange extract I added also doubled up as the colour as it gave my dough a bright orange colour. I baked these in floral muffin tins and they retained the colour and shape.
Bread Flour: 1 cup (1 cup All Purpose Flour + 1 tsp of Vital wheat gluten)
Salt: 1/4 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp
Instant Yeast: 1 & 1/8 tsp
Eggs: 2 (Ener G Egg: 1 tbsp Pkd Powder + 4-5 tbsp water)
Milk: 1.5 tsp
Cold Unsalted Butter: 5 tbsp diced small
Orange extract: 1/8tsp (optional) (I added and it coloured the dough)
Grated orange zest: of 1 orange
Orange Blossom water: 1/2 tsp
Combine flour, salt,sugar, yeast,milk and eggs and mix well using hand or processor.
Mix well until combined kneading for around 10-15 minutes so that gluten is developed and it leaves the sides of the bowl and it passes the window pane test. (You stretch the dough and it lets you see through without breaking it)
Add cold butter and incorporate well.
Add the orange extract,zest and blossom water and mix well so that the dough is flavoured and we get a smooth sticky and shiny mass of dough,.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a wrap pressed directly on top of the dough (to prevent a skin forming) . Let it sit at room/warm temperature until doubled in size about 1.5 hours.
Remove the wrap and punch down by folding. Cover again with the wrap pressed directly on the dough surface and refrigerate overnight to relax the gluten.
When you are ready to bake the next day, transfer it to a floured counter and divide into small pieces shaping it the way you want and placing it in appropriate pan/sheet which is greased and lined. I went for floral shaped muffin pan.Let these puff well for an hour.
Brush with an egg wash (I forgot!!!) and bake them for 10 minutes until golden brown in a preheated oven at 400F/200C.
Let these sit in the muffin pan for another 5 minutes after which remove these onto a wirerack and enjoy as such.
What came out of the oven was airy and light brioche. It was like a feather in hands and was spongy when cut open. I loved it with nutella whereas my husband liked it as such.
A little research and found that there are two ways of making brioche. Its the addition of butter that makes all difference. When butter is added after the gluten is developed as in here it gives rise to airy and light ones as in here. Whereas when butter is added along with other ingredients then it become more cakey or soft bread like and tighter as in the previous cloverleaf rolls.
With all this gyan hop over to Swathi's and see who all baked the brioche.