Bon Appetite with Brioche

Brioche

THE SPONGE

  • 1⁄3 cup warm whole milk (100- 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1⁄4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

THE DOUGH

  • 1⁄3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temp
  • 1 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 6 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature

 

  • Put the milk, yeast, egg and 1 cup of the flour in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer.
  • Mix the ingredients together with a rubber spatula, mixing just until everything is blended.
  • Sprinkle over the remaining cup of flour to cover the sponge.
  • Set the sponge aside to rest uncovered for 30-40 minutes.

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  • After this resting time, the flour coating will crack, your indication that everything is moving along properly.
  • Add the sugar, salt, eggs, and 1 cup of the flour to the sponge.
  • Set in the mixer, attach the dough hook, and mix on low speed for a minute or two, just until the ingredients look as if they are about to come together.
  • Still mixing, sprinkle in 1/2 cup more flour.
  • When the flour is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 15 minutes, stopping to scrape down the hook and bowl as needed.
  • During this mixing period, the dough should come together, wrap itself around the hook and slap the sides of the bowl.

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  • In order to incorporate the butter into the dough, you must work the butter until it is the same consistency as the dough. You can bash/roll the butter into submission with a rolling pin, which is what I chose. I placed the butter in between two sheets of parchment paper and rolled it out. You can also use a dough scraper to smear it bit by bit across a smooth work surface.
    • When it is ready, the butter will be smooth, soft, and still cool- not warm, oily or greasy.

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  • With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time.
  • When all of the butter has been added, raise the mixer speed to medium-high for a minute, then reduce the speed to medium and beat the dough for about 5 minutes, or until you once again hear the dough slapping against the sides of the bowl.
  • Clean the sides of the bowl frequently as you work; if it looks as though the dough is not coming together after 2-3 minutes, add up to 1 tablespoon more flour.
    • When you’re finished, the dough should feel somewhat cool. It will be soft and sill sticky and may cling slightly to the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • FIRST RISE: Transfer the dough to a very large buttered bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2- 2 1/2 hours.
  • SECOND RISE AND CHILL: Deflate the dough by placing your fingers under it, lifting a section of dough, and then letting it fall back into the bowl.
  • Work your way around the circumference of the dough, lifting and releasing.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough overnight, or for at least 4-6 hours, during which time it will continue to rise and may double in size again.
  • After this long rise and chill, the dough is ready to be used or can are frozen up to a month.
    • If you are not going to use or bake the dough after it’s second rise, deflate it, wrap it airtight, and store it in the freezer. When ready to use, thaw the dough, still wrapped, in the refrigerator overnight and use it directly from the refrigerator.

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  • Divide the dough in half. Divide each section into 4 equal pieces, and shape each piece into a ball on a lightly floured work-surface.
  • Place the balls side-by-side in a greased loaf pan and repeat for the other section of dough.
  • Cover the pans with plastic and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

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  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Lightly brush each loaf with egg wash, taking care not to let the glaze dribble into the pan (it will impair the dough’s rise in the oven).

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  • Use the ends of a pair of very sharp scissors to snip a cross in each ball of dough.
  • Bake the loaves for about 30 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer reads 200°F. Cool to room temperature on a rack.

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Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole 

  • 10 cups day-old Brioche, cut into cubes
  • 8 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature, cut into cubes
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Maple syrup, for serving

 

  • Preheat oven to 350º F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

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  • In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, cream, maple syrup, dark sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and salt.
  • Beat in melted butter and whisk for another 2 minutes.
  • Drop bread cubes into the egg mixture, pressing them down so they’re completely coated and absorb all liquid.
  • Spread 1/2 bread chunks in an even layer across the baking dish and sprinkle cubed cream cheese evenly across the bread.

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  • Top with remaining bread and cubed cream cheese.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and transfer baking dish to oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until cooked through and golden. Remove from oven, garnish with more maple syrup and serve immediately.

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Brioche Breakfast Sandwich

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  • 2 slices turkey bacon
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 T unsalted butter or coconut spread, divided
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 slices Cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices brioche bread

 

  1. Grease a skillet with butter or coconut spread. Lay the bacon slices in the skillet and allow to cook, about 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove to a plate.
  2. Re-grease the skillet if needed. Crack two eggs into the skillet and all t cook until thoroughly set, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip over and place cheese slices on top. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Use the remainder of the butter/coconut spread and place one slide of bread in the pan. Top with eggs, cheese, and bacon slices.
  4. Spread the maple syrup on the remaining slice of bread and place it (syrup-side down) onto the bacon. Brown sandwich about 2 minutes on each side.
  5. Remove sandwich to plate and serve with fresh fruit or alone!

 

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