When I was little, we only had the major holidays off from school. Columbus Day? Spent sitting in Mrs. Slusher’s class listening to her find sexual content in every book we read (seriously, she even made a case for what Huck Finn and Jim were doing all that time in the boat on the river…disturbing for a high school literature class). President’s Day? Of course school had to be in! That was a perfect opportunity to learn about our presidential history. So imagine my surprise to find out as a grown up, I get such unexpected holidays off! In fact, it didn’t even hit me that I had Tuesday November 11th off until a co-worker mentioned it the day after election day. Veteran’s Day off? Sweet! Speaking of sweet, have you met a brioche yet? No? Well, let me make a formal introduction…and show you how easy it is to make.
Now when I say it’s easy to make, it’s all because of my new favorite book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. You know, the book I waxed poetically about before? Well, it doesn’t just stop at savory breads…there are recipes for challah bread and brioche, both of which can be used for a number of sweet treats. Like the boule bread, the brioche dough can be made in less than 10 minutes and then used for up to 5 days (or even longer if you freeze it). Unlike the boule dough, however, the brioche and challah bread doughs use honey to sweeten it up and eggs and butter to create a flakier texture. The result is akin to a croissant or danish bread, only soooo much easier to make!
I hadn’t had a good brioche since I was a little girl in Germany, so I decided to use the first batch of dough to make myself a treat on my holiday morning. Did I mention it’s kick ass to have arbitrary days off in the middle of the week? Sometimes being a grown up is the cat’s meow…
Brioche (makes a dozen)
1 pound brioche dough
Egg wash (1 egg, 1 tablespoon of water whisked together)
Muffin tin or 12 individual mini tart pans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Tear off 1/3 of the dough and set it aside. Form 12 uniform shaped balls with the remaining 2/3 of the dough. Grease either the muffin tin or the mini tart pans (whichever one you decide to use). I used individual mini tart pans for 5 of the brioches (I used to have 12 mini tart pans but they’ve disappeared along with my loaf pan…what the hell is going on in my kitchen) and a muffin tin pan for the remaining 7 balls of dough. Place the balls of dough in the individual cups and then turn to the 1/3 dough set aside. Form 12 smaller balls of dough with this dough. Make small indentations in the larger dough balls and then rest a smaller ball of dough atop each bigger dough ball. Allow the dough to rise for one hour in a warm place in the kitchen.
Brush the tops of each brioche with the egg wash and place them in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes before digging in! These brioches were flaky, buttery and so good I ate two before I stepped away from the counter (and by two, I mean five…I have a carb addiction and I’m not ashamed to admit it).
Wait until you see what I have in store for some more of this fabulous dough…