5 March 2009
BRIOCHE BREAD RECIPE : My mother-in-law has a black-belt in bread making, especially when it comes to her famous Swiss tresse (braided pain brioché). But I am getting ahead of myself and if I am going to tell a story it’s best told from the beginning.
Before I met Olivier’s family, breakfast for me was a non event. It was generally eaten quickly, on the run, out the door to work. So it will come as no surprise to you that a quick fruit, piece of toast or cereal, was all that was on the menu.
My sad petit déjeuner habits were interrupted one Sunday, when I was invited to Olivier’s parents for breakfast. Sweet idea I thought – though someone really should have warned me not to eat for several days before, entering what I can only describe as, a Roman feast…..
There were four of us for breakfast and surly enough food for at least twice that. The table was laden with fruit salad, muesli, cereal, a platter of cheese, croissants, boiled eggs, luncheon meats, whole wheat toast with butter (salted & unsalted) and at least 5 types of homemade jam. Of this delicious banquet, what really caught my eye and later taste-buds was the golden braided bread in the corner. This was Josiane’s famous tresse – a braided brioche bread made with egg and butter, giving it a smooth golden crust and rich, tender crumb.
After only one slice I was hooked – it was like a Ratatouille portal back to my childhood, of my mother’s baking & comforts of home. I quickly understood how breakfast could turn into a religion, that pleasantly lasted most of the morning, over several coups of tea and good conversation.
Josiane kindly gave me her family recipe, that has become a breakfast staple in our house. I make it with or without an egg-wash, saffron milk, dried fruits, bits of chocolate, cinnamon & sugar, or plain as nature intended. She traditionally splits her dough into 3 long lines and braids them. However, I have come up with this easier method using a loaf tin!
RECIPE : SWEET PEA Blog
- 500 gr white all-purpose flour
- 250 mL milk
- 1/2 cube fresh yeast (12g)
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 100 grams unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- extra egg for egg wash
- Cut the butter into small cubes and let come to room temperature.
- Take 2 tablespoons of the cold milk and mix with the fresh yeast until completely dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining milk until just warm to the touch (not hot!). Remove from the heat & add the sugar, salt & yeast mix.
- In a mixer with the bread paddle, add the flour & butter. Start mixing & slowly add the milk mixture.
- Finally add the egg & continue kneading the dough for 5 minutes until a nice dough forms.
- Place a damp cloth over the bowl and let rise in a warm area of 1 hour
- Line a loaf tin with baking paper
- Split the dough into 4 even pieces. One by one form into an oval ball and place in the lined loaf tin
- Place in the uncooked loaf in the fridge for 15 minutes
- Optional : using a pair of scissors, horizontally cut the top of each of the 4 oval balls
- Beat the extra egg well & using a pastry brush (or your fingers) evenly paint the top of the bread
- Place the uncooked loaf in a COLD oven. Put the oven at 200°C / 400°F and time the bread for 45 mintues.
- Remove & let cool before eating.