I studied French all through high school, then majored in French Language and Literature in college. Sadly, I don’t get to use it nearly as much as I would like. I do, however, enjoy cooking from my French Farmhouse Cookbook. The author, Susan Hermann Loomis, truly captures the authenticity of farmhouse cooking that is the basis of French cuisine.
Quick Brioche from the French Farmhouse Cookbook
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
4 large eggs, beaten
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the egg wash:
2 teaspoons water
Stir the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center, and pour the warm water into the well. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and stir it in.
Gradually stir the dry ingredients into the wet to form a firm dough. Continue beating by hand for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic. It will be somewhat sticky, but it shouldn’t stick to your hands.
Add the melted butter and mix just until it is incorporated. Now the dough will be more like a batter – sticky (it may stick to your fingers), but not wet.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it in a warm spot until the dough has risen slightly (almost imperceptibly), about 1 hour.
Generously butter a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 – inch loaf pan.
Punch down the dough and place it in the prepared loaf pan, spreading it as evenly as possible so it fills the pan.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the egg wash: Whisk the egg and water together in a small bowl, and paint the loaf with the mixture. To help it rise evenly, slash the top of the loaf in several places. Bake in the center of the oven until the brioche is puffed and golden, 35 to 40 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and turn the brioche out onto a wire rack to cool.
This was my first time making brioche. It was relatively easy, although I do think my dough could have risen more. The next time I make it I believe I will do the brioche rolls – like the kind you always see in a French boulangerie!
Stay tuned for Brioche French Toast with Caramelized Apples tomorrow!