Saturday, August 18, 2007

Up for grabs: Brioche sweet and savoury

Butter and sugar leaden doughs give me a bit of a problem every now and then. It takes ages to complete their first proofing and after that shaping is a bit of a problem as well. That's not my shape I'm talking about although baking more sweet stuff nowadays this is bound to give me problems as well. In shaping sweet buttery doughs I find that it won't hold it's shape as well as the leaner bread doughs. In comes the mould!

In this case I baked mini -almost bite sized- brioches, in three flavours, part of them filled with jam (yeah that was tricky), part of them filled with a piece of bitter chocolate to offset the sweetness of the bread, and -my favourite- used some left over brie to fill! I used both tiny metal tins and silicon cupcake moulds. Both of them performed equally well, the red silicon is quite sturdy opposed to some of the brands you'll see in the shops and it holds shape even with a liquid cake like batter. I've never used or own any other silicon moulds myself but I hear from friends who do, that the bigger moulds tend to go all wobbly making your cakes uneven. Plus, silicon doesn't guide the heat as well as metal so the sides of your cakes will always be a little bleak. You could of course cheat and bake "colored" batters like chocolate to disguise.

On to the recipe
(makes approx. 18-24 depending on size)

1/3 cup of milk
2 eggs
2 cups bread flour
2 tbs sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1.1/2 tsp yeast
7 tbs unsalted butter cut into little chunks
(plus 1 egg to glaze)
Filling: brie cut into chunks, chocolate in squares

I used a stand mixer to make the dough and I would recommend to use a mixer or a bread maker to knead, the nature of the dough is so soft that it's somewhat harder (sticky!) to make it by hand.
So, mix dry ingredients in your mixing bowl, add all other ingredients except the butter and start mixing on slowest speed. When the dough is starting to catch after a minute or three, proceed by adding butter pieces, allowing the butter to be fully incorporated before adding more. Don't add more than two small pieces at the time. It'll take a couple of minutes to add all of the butter.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and proof for at least 1.1/2 hour. Don't expect this dough to double in size, it will ferment and change in feel but not exactly double.
Grease your brioche tins if using and divide the dough in equal pieces fitting the size of your tins. I think I got 22 out of this amount. Proceed to form nice smooth dough balls and cover with a tea towel while you're working to fill.

Filling the dough balls with brie/chocolate, the latter being the easiest. Simply dent the ball, push a small piece of chocolate in and fold dough over and pinch tight. Shape into a ball again and place seam side down on a baking sheet or mould. Same works for the brie.
[Filling with jam is the other possibility however this calls for nimbly working the dough, trying to keep the jam from oozing out... It helps when you use a real thick jellied jam, the one that keeps tearing your bread if you try to spread it. Use that!Tricky but doable.]

Cover the brioches with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 to 45 minutes. I found that this time they did rise beautifully, doming their moulds. Glaze with another egg (beaten loose with a spoonful of tepid water).
Bake in a preheated oven (200C/400F) for 12-15 min, turning golden brown, having smooth well risen domes. Cool on a wire rack. I love to eat this still warm and of course my preference went with the brie-filled ones, kids adored the soft melted chocolate inside.

I baked these the week before we left for our vacation and froze the remaining. Friday I defrosted them and stuck them in a warm oven for 5 minutes. They were absolutely equally tasty, although a tiny bit dryer on the outsides.

Edit: Wait a minute.... I lied to you... I do own silicon moulds! I have a wire rimmed 8-piece mini bread/cake mould ánd two mini 9-piece madeleine moulds. The madeleine ones are as wobbly as you can get, but since they are so shallow it is not much of a problem. The mini bread moulds are, as I said, wire rimmed so it will transfer from work surface to oven quite nicely, however the sides will stay quite light.


  1. Ah, my friend, Yes I'll have a brie please!
    Very nice!

  2. Such cute little bread!! I have yet to try making brioche, but I need to try one of these days...

  3. Save a chocolate one for me! Those are darling little bits of heaven!

  4. Mmmm, I love these little brioches. I like those siliconforms too, Are they muffinsize? Handy when your muffintray is filled and you have some left overdough. Brioche is in the air I guess, I'll have some in a posting I'm preparing (I used the tiny metal tin ones, because I don't own any silicon moulds).

  5. Jam-filled for me please! When can I drop by and pick them up?

  6. Ok guys I'm confused! Is it "mold" or "mould" or are they both funghi?

    Tanna, we'll leave the jam and chocolate for Sue and Mrs Cupcake!

    Lien, they are indeed muffin sized, ideal for left over batter. Real sturdy, easy to unmold. Bought them in Germany, they come with 12 in a plastic container.

  7. "Mold" is the American spelling, "Mould" is the British spelling. Which makes you happy? ;)

  8. Fabulous brioche, by the way. And a wonderful post, which shows up in Google Reader, too!

  9. Hmm, the "u" again then. Either way, as long as I don't misspell and posts show up in readers as they should I'm happy! :-D

  10. I didn't know that, I saw that I wrote it with 'ou'... I didn't even notice it was different from yours! BTW I was wrong when I said I didn't have siliconmoulds or molds ... I found 5 or 6 colourfull ones -sort of mega size muffin shapes- in a little box in a drawer. A forgotten buy. Too much stuff.

  11. They look wonderful. I bet the smell when they came out of the oven was incredible!


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