What is brioche, you ask?
It is a light, French, airy, eggy yeast bread, best used for bread puddings, French toast or just plain eating (think challah bread).
I was attracted to this recipe on a French website, and could not resist trying it for a Sunday breakfast.
I love baking bread, but sometimes don't have the hours to plan the process.
This is not a traditional French brioche recipe, so go in knowing that.
The recipe only calls for an hour rise under a towel, so I couldn't resist. I am an impatient baker and hate waiting for yeast breads to rise on the counter for 8 hours plus.
This was so simple to put together. I used bread flour because I have a huge sack of it and wanted to use it before expiration date, but I recommend that you use all purpose flour.
I converted the metric measurements to the best of my abilities, and was rewarded with a winning loaf.
Chocolate Orange Brioche: (adapted from this French recipe)
3 cups of all purpose flour
1 package (7 grams) dry yeast
1 1/4 cup of warm milk
1/4 cup of confectioner's (powdered) sugar
4 tbsp melted butter
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup of chopped chocolate
zest of an orange
handful of sliced almonds for the top (optional)
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
Preheat oven to 175F.
Dissolve yeast in the warm milk and add to the flour in a large bowl.
Mix in the rest of the ingredients to form a nice sticky dough.
Knead a few times with your hands until the dough is elastic, and transfer to a buttered form or round buttered casserole dish.
Sprinkle with the sliced almonds, if using.
Place a tea towel to cover and let rest in a warm spot for an hour or so. The warm butter and warm milk will help in the quick rise of this dough (and the low oven temp in the beginning). Science is cool.
After an hour (you are welcome to leave it there longer if you have the patience, 2 hours would be ideal), place the pot in the low temperature oven for 20 minutes............not much will happen at this point.
After 20 minutes of baking, raise the oven temp to 350F and bake for 40-45 minutes.
Let the bread rest in the pot until you can easily lift it out to a cooling rack.
Mix up icing ingdedients with a fork and decorate as you like.
My loaf was not as light and airy as I would've liked it to be, maybe because I used the bread flour instead of the AP flour?
or maybe I kneaded it too much, I like to play with the dough, which is a no no.
However, it was delicious, more like a babka or a good loaf of chocolate bread! We loved it.
Best enjoyed warm, the same day of baking, however, I will never say no to a slice the next day, slathered with butter.
This is one gorgeous loaf!