Category Archives: Bread

Brioche Nanterre

Yet another brioche recipe (you have one here, here, there and again there). But this one is THE brioche I will make again and again because it has the texture I have always been looking for!  This brioche is as light as a feather with a soft airy and stringy inside and a crisp thin crust outside. Just like at the bakery! I owe this recipe to Puce bleue from J’en reprendrai bien un bout and the secret of this fabulous texture is the flour type: instead of using strong white flour (or bread flour) as I usually do for breads, this recipe states to use Type 45 flour (French category of flour), which is known here as the Type 00 or Pizza/pasta flour. The reason behind it is because this flour is made with soft wheat grain and is the finest flour of all. Its gluten content is not as high as bread flour but the texture of breads made with it is softer with a crispier crust. The other secret behind this brioche is the long rise in the fridge (12 hours), which allows the yeast to develop slowly, enhancing again the texture of the brioche. Use good quality butter for making this as margarine or butter substitute will never render the same richness and taste to the brioche as real butter does.

BriocheNanterreColl

Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout

Ingredients
For 6 people

280g pasta flour (type 00 or pizza flour) – if substituting with bread flour, only use 250g as it absorbs more water than type 00.
1tsp sea salt
35g caster sugar
10g fresh yeast or 5g dried fast action yeast
1tbsp milk
150g eggs (about 3 eggs)
125g unsalted butter, diced
Eggwash (1 egg  beaten with 1tbsp milk)

Method

  1. Thermomix: place in that order: the milk, yeast, flour, salt & sugar and eggs in the TM bowl making sure the yeast doesn’t come in contact directly with the salt or sugar. Mix 3 min/37C/speed 3.
  2. Add the butter, program 5 min, turn the dial to locked lid position and press the kneading button. Go to step 6.
  3. Non Thermomix: warm the milk until luke warm (make sure it is tepid as too hot milk would kill the yeast) and mix in the yeast.
  4. Place the flour, sugar, salt in a bowl, mix and make a well. Crack the eggs inside the well, add the yeast mixture and knead in the bowl for 5 minutes (or use a stand mixer with the flat beater). The dough will be quite soft and sticky, which is normal.
  5. Add the butter and knead again for 15 minutes (stand mixer: use the dough hook) until the dough comes out of the sides of the bowl and is soft and as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
  6. Tip out the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for 2 hours (I use the oven heated for 1min to 50C then turned off to rise my dough).
  7. Punch down the dough and knead for a few seconds to give it back its initial volume.
  8. Cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 12 hours.
  9. Take out the dough and leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before punching it down and kneading it again. Fold the dough a few times over itself, lift it and let it fall sharply on the worktop. Repeat 2 or 3 times. This step is important to get the gluten  working and the dough will become more elastic.
  10. Weigh your dough (mine was 630g) and divide in 6 equal balls (I had 6 balls of about 105g each).
  11. Arrange side by side in a rectangular dish (I used a heart shaped silicone dish) and leave to rise, covered for 2 hours.
  12. Preheat the oven to 180C (if the dough was rising in the oven, take it out first!).
  13. Brush the dough with the eggwash and bake for 30 min. Eat soon after baking as it is when it’s at its best!

Orchidee_001Spring is still shy but at last we have had a few flowers growing and amazingly these Orchids blossomed again after a long winter!

 

 

Sunflower bread

I love to try different presentations for bread and I also like going out of the beaten track so when I saw this bread on a French blog a few weeks ago, I went “wow!”. This bread is a show bread, it’s a kind of bread you want to make when you invite people over for a nice meal and wait for the amazed look on their face when they see it. And it’s not that hard to make either. It needs a little bit of patience but with this step-by-step, you will be able to reproduce this beauty with ease and it’s fun! Oh and it doesn’t just look good, it’s gorgeous too! I love peeling each petal as a slice of bread and I even used it to make fancy sandwiches for tea!

Source: Chic chic choc…olat! and La popotte de Manue

Ingredients

250g milk
125g water
15g fresh yeast or 7 g of dried fast action yeast
100ml of oil (I used mild olive oil but sunflower oil seems appropriate 🙂 )
700g strong white bread flour
2 tsp sea salt
30g melted butter
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk for the eggwash
Sunflower, sesame, poppy seeds for the decoration

Method

  1. Non Thermomix: mix the water, milk and oil and warm in the microwave for a few seconds until luke warm (do not heat it too much or it will kill the yeast). Thermomix version: place in the bowl along with the yeast and mix 3 min/37C/speed 3. Skip step 2.
  2. Mix in the yeast until dissolved.
  3. Add the flour, salt and knead (use a stand mixer with the dough hook, a bread machine or by hand) until the dough is soft and non stick. Thermomix version: mix 20 sec/speed 3 then knead 1min30.
  4. Cover with a wet tea towel and leave in your oven slightly heated at the lowest temperature so it reaches about 40C, then turned off. Leave for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  5. Take out of the bowl and cut the dough in half. Reserve one half and cut the other in 5 equal portions of dough.
  6. Roll each one to a 20cm circle. Brush 4 with melted butter (pic 1 below) and stack them on top of each other. Do not brush the 5th one with butter and roll it slightly bigger so it covers the stack.
  7. Place on the stack as shown in the picture 2 below (at this stage, I moved the stack on the baking tray covered with my silicone mat or use greaseproof paper).
  8. Using the flat end of a dough scraper (or the back of the blade of a knife), cut the stack in 8 triangles but don’t go all the way to the edge, keep a good inch uncut (pic 3).
  9. Now fold each triangle outward (pic 4).
  10. Now, take the reserved dough half. Cut in 4 equal pieces and reserve one (this will be the center of the flower) (pic 5). Reform a ball with the 3 remaining pieces and cut in 5 (pic 6).
  11. Roll in 15cm circles. Stack them as previously, only brushing 4 with butter and the last one being sligtly bigger than the others.
  12. Place that stack in the hole of the first stack (it should fit quite neatly but don’t worry if there’s a little gap: pic 7).
  13. Cut in 8 triangles as previously, making sure each cut is bang in the center of the petals in the first stack (pic 8). Fold outward: the new petals should sit between 2 of the first stack’s petals.
  14. Roll the last bit of dough between your palms to form a ball and place in the center. Cover with the wet tea towel and return to the warm oven for a second proving (about 1 hour).
  15. Brush the dough with some eggwash and sprinkle with seeds (pic 9).
  16. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, then reduce to 180C and bake for a further 20 minutes.

Kouglof

The Kouglof (or Kougelhof/Kugelhof/Kugelhopf) is a brioche speciality from Alsace, Austria, Czech Republic and south Germany. It would have been brought into fashion in France by Marie-Antoinette, who famously said about the hungry French peasants asking for bread: “let them eat brioche!”. Kouglofs have a very distinctive shape and special moulds made of ceramic are traditionally used to make them. The shape is apparently modelled from the hats worn by the parliament dignitaries in Strasbourg in the middle age. Nowadays, we can use silicone or tin Bundt cake moulds.

I’ve only started to make Kouglofs recently, after a recipe from my friend Christalie took my fellow French Thermomixers into a Kouglof frenzy! Everyone raved about the light, moist and airy texture of this brioche so after a trip to my favourite cookery shop, I got cracking. It takes a bit of time to make because you need 3 provings but boy is it worth it!

Source: Les folies de Christalie

Ingredients

90g raisins
10g fresh yeast or 5g dry fast action yeast
100g milk
300g plain flour
3/4 tsp salt
30g sugar (add more if not using raisins)
4 eggs
150g butter
50g flaked almonds (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the milk and yeast 2 min/37C/speed 2.
  2. Add flour, salt, sugar and eggs, lock the bowl and knead 2min30 using the kneading button.
  3. Add the butter and raisins and lock the bowl. Knead another 2min30. The dough will look more like a thick cake batter than a brioche dough but this is normal.
  4. Tip out into a bowl, cover with cling film and place for 1 hour in an oven briefly heated at the lowest setting for 30 sec, then turned OFF.
  5. Stir the dough to deflate it and cover again with cling film and leave in the fridge for 2 hours.
  6. Take out of the bowl with a spatula and place in the mould (if it’s not a silicone mould, butter it well). If using flaked almonds, place them at the bottom of the mould first.
  7. Let the dough rise again for 1 hour (or until doubled in size) in the oven then take out, preheat the oven at 180C and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
  8. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the mould/tin.
  9. Dust with icing sugar and enjoy with a cup of tea or coffee. Divine!

Brioche tressée (6 strands plaited brioche)

I’ve seen this recipe on the French blog Paprikas, which featured it as a Challah bread. Since the original challah recipe was altered to add butter and milk, I think it is more appropriate to call it a brioche. It takes a while to make it because you do 3 rises instead of 2 normally but the result is fantastic! The texture is well aerated and soft. I posted a while back a recipe of brioche and explained how to plait it with 3 strands, which is the easy version. This time, I’ll show you how to plait a 6 strands brioche, which is quite a challenge the first time you try but after a bit of practice, it is actually not that complicated and it looks so beautiful that it is well worth it. I’ll even add a video that someone else made to show you how it’s done.

Source: Paprikas

Ingredients

For 2 loaves

500g strong white flour
80g butter ( you can use salted or unsalted), cut in chunks and softened
2 tbsp sugar
20g fresh yeast or 10g dried instant yeast
2 eggs + 1 yolk
200g milk
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tsp salt
1 egg for the eggwash and seeds of your choice for decoration (sesame, poppy…)

Method

  1.  Place the milk and yeast in the TM bowl and warm 3 min/37C/speed 2.
  2. Add 250g flour and mix 20 sec/speed 3 to mix.
  3. Leave to rise in the bowl, lid closed for 30 minutes (it should double in size).
  4. Add the eggs + yolk, the other 250g of flour, the butter, sugar, salt and orange blossom water. Mix 30 sec/speed 3, then lock the lid and knead 3 min.
  5. Lightly oil a big bowl and tip out the dough into it. Cover with cling film and heat briefly your oven at the lowest temperature to reach about 37/40C. Leave to rise in turned off oven for 2 hours (it should double in size).
  6. Divide the dough in 12 equal parts. Roll each part into a snake shape, make sure it is not too thick (it should be about 1 inch thick).
  7. Take 6 strands and join them at one end. Start plaiting the brioche (see pics below and this excellent video to see how).
  8. Repeat for the other 6 strands.
  9. Place the 2 loaves on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper, cover with a tea towel and return to the turned off warm oven (you might need to reheat it a little bit if it’s too cold).
  10. Leave to rise for 30 minutes and take out of the oven. Whisk an egg lightly (you can take out some of the white before whisking to obtain a stronger colour). Brush the brioche and sprinle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or anything you like.
  11. Preheat the oven at 170C and bake for 30 minutes (watch that the top doesn’t brown too quickly, if it does, cover with foil).
  12. You can freeze one loaf once it’s cooled down to keep it fresh for a later use.

Lazy Sourdough bread

I have long wanted to make sourdough bread. But the idea of having to “feed” the starter dough every now and then and leave it at a constant temperature of 20C to 25C in the initial stages was a big hurdle to me (everyone who lives in Ireland would tell you that temperatures are never that constant and particularly in winter, it’s a struggle to keep a room at en even temperature, never mind 20C).

So I have never attempted making sourdough bread. That is until recently when I found this great recipe for a bread that takes almost no attention (not even kneading)! Because you leave the dough to ferment for 3 days minimum, you will get a bread with a beautiful sourdough-like flavour and the cocotte cooking method will produce a nice thick crispy crust. It was the best bread I have ever made and I will certainly make it very often from now on since it’s such a breeze to make (you don’t even need a Thermomix)!

Source: J’en reprendrai bien un bout

Ingredients

1 & 1/2 sachet of dry instant yeast (or 20g fresh yeast)
700g warm water (or cold if using Thermomix)
1kg strong white flour
20g salt

Method (Thermomix)

  1. Weigh the water in the bowl and add the yeast. Warm 3 min/37C/speed 3.
  2. Add 750g flour and the salt and mix for 20 sec/speed 4.
  3. Add the remaining 250g flour and mix 20 sec/speed 4.
  4. Press the reverse blade button and mix another 20 sec/speed 4 or until the flour is all mixed in.
  5. Tip out the dough into a large bowl (turn the TM bowl upside-down onto the bowl and release the blades to easily empty it).
  6. Cover the bowl with cling film and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in volume (I always put my dough in a turned off oven, which I have previsouly warmed to about 40C).
  7. Place the bowl in the fridge or a cold place (~5C) for at least 3 days and maximum 15 days.
  8. Tip: to clean your hands and TM bowl, don’t use water straight away but add a little bit of flour to dry the bits of dough and rub it off into the bin. When most of the dough is gone, then use water to finish cleaning. This will avoid clogging your drain pipes!
  9. After the resting time, take out a portion of bread dough (I took half the dough to form a 1 pound loaf) and form into a ball with your hands on a floured surface. Place it in a cast iron cocotte (also known as Dutch oven) lined with baking parchment. Score the top of the dough with a sharp blade, sprinkle with flour and close the lid. Let the dough rise for 1 hour (I again used the oven as a raising chamber). It should rise by a third.
  10. Place with the lid on in the oven and cook at 240C for 45 to 50 minutes (don’t preheat the oven).

Method (non Thermomix)

  1. Use luke warm water and mix with the yeast in a large bowl. Leave to stand 10 minutes to make sure the yeast is well dissolved.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix with a spoon (or your hands) until the flour is mixed in.
  3. Proceed as above from step 6.

Left: sourdough bread, right: non fermented bread. The difference in texture and colour is quite obvious. The taste is quite different too. Try it, you’ll be conquered!

Brioche Bouclettes (Curly brioche)

This brioche is going around the French Culinary blogosphere at the moment. I love the look of this brioche, it’s so pretty and I also like the concept of basting your brioche in a dark sweet syrup, so yummy! I have made a mix of 2 recipes I saw in La popotte de Manue and A 2 mains Cape délice.

Ingredients

2 egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
80g butter, cut into chunks
140g milk
1 sachet instant yeast (or 12g fresh yeast)
350g flour

Syrup:
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp dark brown sugar (like muscovado)
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp demerera sugar
1 tsp ground allspice

Method

  1. Put the milk, 1 tbsp sugar and the yeast in the TM bowl and warm 3 min/37C/speed1
  2. Add the flour, salt and remaining sugar and knead 3 min
  3. Add the egg yolks and butter and knead again 5 min.
  4. Leave to rest 1 hour in a slightly oiled glass bowl covered with a tea towel in a warm non drafty place.

    Dough after 1 hour rise












  5. Roll down the dough to 5mm thick and cut out rounds with a 6cm wide pastry cutter.









  6. Take 3 rounds and place them side by side slightly overlapping.









  7. Cut them in the middle (I used a pizza cutter)









  8. Roll them together starting from the most underneath piece of dough.








  9. Place them cut side down in a baking tin (I used silicone) and leave some room around them so they can rise properly.

    Before the rise












  10. Leave to rise, covered with a tea towel for 1 hour in a warm place.

    After the rise.












  11. Make the syrup: bring to the boil all the ingredients 3 min/100C/speed 2. Brush the brioche with the syrup.
  12. Preheat the oven at 180C and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (check the brioche at 25 minutes, for me it was done!)

Pain Viennois (Vienna loaf)

This bread is just delicious for breakfast. The texture is so soft, even when the bread is a few days old.

Source : Flexipaninie

Ingredients

250g plain flour
250g strong white flour
3 tsp fast instant yeast (or 20g of fresh yeast)
10g salt
20g sugar
325g milk
40g butter, cut in chunks
50g chocolate chips (optional)
1 egg for the eggwash

Method

  1. Put the milk and yeast in the TM bowl. Mix 30 sec/37C/speed 1
  2. Add the flours, sugar and salt and mix 15sec/ speed 3
  3. Lock the lid, set timer to 2min and press the knead button.
  4. Add the butter and knead again for 2min.
  5. Tip out the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour (your oven, briefly heated to the lowest setting will do lovely).
  6. Punch down the dough and form into 2 medium loaves (or individual ones). Put on the baking tray and cover with the tea towel and leave to rise for 30 minutes in the warm oven.
  7. Take out the dough and preheat the oven to 220C (200C in fan oven). Brush the eggwash over the loaves, make slight cuts with a very sharp knife and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.


Thermomix Brioche

This is a quick recipe for Brioche, a delicious sweet buttery bread , perfect for breakfast. I make these quite regularly and I love it! It’s very close to the ones you’d buy at a French boulangerie without the horrendous price tag…

(Source: Nathan of Supertoinette forum)

Ingredients

500g plain flour
70g icing sugar
90g butter
120g milk
3 eggs
1 pinch of salt
1 paquet of instant yeast (7g) 

  1. If you don’t have icing sugar, make it with Thermomix: put the sugar in the bowl and mix 20 sec speed 10.
  2. In the Thermomix bowl, put the milk, eggs and the icing sugar 2min 37° speed 2
  3. Add yeast and flour, set the time to 4 min and press the kneading button.
  4. Without removing the lid, add the butter and salt and knead for a further 5 min.
  5. Make sure the cup is in place and leave the dough to rest until it raises the cup away from the lid (takes about 2 hours and a half)
  6. Turn out the dough onto the worktop.
  7. Preheat the oven to 50°
  8. Oil your hands and form 9 balls (roughly 75g each) and one bigger one with the remaining dough.
  9. Place the big ball in the center of your cooking tin (can be a cake tin, a sillicone one or any round shaped oven resistant dish) and spread the nine small ones around it.
  10. To make the plaited version, separate the dough in 2 and divide each half by 3. Roll the 3 balls with your palms to make 3 “sausage” shapes. The sausage should be a bit longer than your loaf tin. Place each sausage side by side and cross them over as if making plaits. Turn in each extremity underneath and place in the loaf tin lined with parchment. Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  11. Put in the oven for 20 min at 50° (place a ramequin full of water on the sole of the oven for a better crust)
  12. Then turn up the heat to 180° for 20 to 25 min.

Pain Cocotte (bread cooked in a cast iron dish)

A cocotte is a cast iron dish with a lid on that we use to make slow-cooking dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon. It is a must have in any French kitchen. Most families in France have a few in their cupboard of different shapes and sizes to suit different uses. In this recipe, we are going to use the cocotte to cook our bread. The result is a a well risen bread with a beautiful crust.

(Source: Choupinette28 from Supertoinette forum)

Ingredients

300g water
1 sachet dried instant yeast (or 20 g of fresh yeast)
200g plain flour
300g bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp oil

  1. Put the water and yeast in the TM bowl and set 37C, 3 min at speed 1 to warm up the water
  2. Add the 2 flours, salt, sugar and oil
  3. Lock the lid and set timer to 4 min and press the Knead button
  4. Tip out the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour
  5. Line the cocotte with some baking parchment or silicone sheet
  6. Punch down the dough to get rid of the air and form into a ball and place inside the cocotte
  7. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour (try not to open the lid, have faith that it has risen enough!!)
  8. Put in a cold oven and set the oven temperature to 250C for 30 min
  9. Remove the lid and cook in the oven for a further 5 min at the same temperature to brown
  10. Tip out the bread onto a grid to cool down.

Mauricettes (soft bread)

Sunday was supposed to be picnic day so I prepared these lovely breads to make sandwiches. Unfortunately, the weather turned awful so we decided to eat our picnic… at home!  I love making Mauricettes as they are so soft and work really well with smoked salmon or paté or, why not, as burger buns. You could also eat them with sweet filling, so any leftovers would make for a perfect breakfast. Their beautiful brown coloration comes from briefly dipping the dough in a bath of boiling water mixed with salt and baking soda. They are very quick to make with the Thermomix and only need an hour rise so even if time is limited, you can produce wonderful homemade breads that the whole family will enjoy! Thanks Schipsili for this great recipe!

Ingredients

Dough:

225g water
500g bread flour
1 paquet of instant yeast
10g sugar
40g oil (use cooking olive or any bland oil)
1 egg
1 tsp salt

Water bath:

1L water
1 tsp salt
40g baking soda

Finish:

1 egg
Sesame seeds, poppy seeds…

  1. To make the dough, put the water in the Thermomic bowl and heat 37C for 2 min, speed 2
  2. Add the remaining dough ingredients, set the timer to 2min 30, lock the bowl and press the Kneading button
  3. Tip out the dough in a container and let to rest at room temperature for 35 min to an hour
  4. Preheat the oven to 190C (180C for fan ovens)
  5. Put the dough on a floured surface and flatten it with the palm of your hand down to 5cm thick
  6. Use a pastry cutter to cut out  into buns or divide the dough in any shape you like
  7. Prepare the water bath: boil the water with the salt and baking soda
  8. Using a slotted spoon, briefly dip each bun into the boiling water and out again. Set aside on a baking tray lined with baking parchment or silicone sheet
  9. Brush the beaten egg (or egg yolk for a darker finish) on each bun
  10. Sprinkle with the seeds of your choice, indent the top of the buns in 2 or 3 places with a sharp knife and put in the oven for 15 min (check often as it can brown quite quickly)