Today has been a good day, great week actually!
Last week was our 10 year anniversary, it was spent it caring for our two year old who had a tummy bug, needless to say, the night lacked romance.
Yesterday we settled on our first home (something I never thought would happen as we are both creatives who love to travel, buy art and drink coffee instead of saving for a mortgage). But it did happen, the house is going to take a lot of hard work over the next two weeks but dedication and elbow grease is something we don't lack of. We also have an amazing friend (we actually met him when we first got together, so it's our 10 year friendaversarry with him too) that is coming to help us for a solid week, he's a house painter/builder so literally couldn't do it with out him.
And, it's my birthday. The big 31. I got a pile of hand made birthday cards from my two children, a new diary (actually the best present I could ask for) and keys to our house. Possibly the best birthday yet!
So I thought i'd share the love and share a recipe. I've had a love for brioche for years now, obviously I love cake but bread is probably my most favourite food, brioche sits between the two. The dough is yeasted, and as it has an overnight rise that yeasty flavour really has time to develop, the high butter and egg content gives the brioche a light tender crumb and it's rich as hell.
My recipe differs from the traditional one in quite a few ways, I use Spelt flour over wheat, coconut sugar over refined white sugar and my process has been refined and made slightly easier. As you've probably guessed I'm no purest when it comes to food, recipes should be pushed.
Also, it is really versatile, I make this five days a week for a local cafe, I do a range of sweet and savoury fillings and they have gained quite the following.
The recipe might seem like a task but trust me it's really worth it. As the dough is prepared the day before it makes it the perfect weekend, or dare I say Christmas breakfast.
Ideally you would prepare the dough 24hours before you plan to make it, I have prepared the dough as little as 12 ahead of time with very little difference.
Then the morning it is needed you simply roll the dough out, fill it with a generous smear of Chocolate Butter, roll, rise and bake (I also did a Chocolate Butter , banana, pecan loaf and it was sensational).
Chocolate Swirl Brioche
4 organic eggs
½ cup coconut sugar
½ Tbsp salt
250g (1 block) of unsalted Lewis Road Creamery butter
500ml blue top Lewis Road Creamery milk
1 Tbsp (15ml) of active yeast
900g Organic white Spelt flour
1 pot of Lewis Road Creamery Chocolate Butter
1 extra egg and a splash of milk for the egg wash.
Cut the butter into squares and place in a medium saucepan, over a low-medium heat and allow it to melt.
Once the butter is melted add the milk and place on a low heat until the mixture is lukewarm or tepid.
Once the mixture reaches the correct temperature take it off the stove and sprinkle over the yeast, put to one side to allow the yeast to activate.
If you over heat the milk just allow it to cool before adding the yeast otherwise you will kill the yeast.
Meanwhile place the eggs, sugar and salt into the mixing bowl of your mixer, beat with the paddle attachment for 3 minutes.
Once the egg mixture is golden in color and slightly aerated remove the bowl from your mixture.
Remove the paddle attachment and replace with the dough hook.
Add the flour mixture to the egg, pour over the yeast mixture and using a spatula mix the dough, it will be lumpy and sloppy.
Return the bowl to your mixer and beat on a medium to high setting for 5 – 10 minutes. Once the dough is smooth, glossy and starts to come away from the bowl it is done. Resist the urge to add more flour.
Pour the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover for two hours or until the mixture has risen and almost doubled in size.
Using the spatula place pressure on the dough in the centre of the bowl and gently fold the dough onto itself, this is referred as ‘punching down’ the dough, it removes the gas bubbles created by the yeast and allows the yeast and sugars to be redistributed into the dough. You can do this by hand but I would recommend oiling your hands as this dough is quite sticky.
Place glad wrap or a tea towel over the bowl and place it in the refrigerator over night or for up to two days.
I often leave mine for two days as the yeast develops and gives a more interesting flavor profile.
When your dough is ready, remove the bowl from your refrigerator.
Turn your oven onto bake and heat to 180 degrees C.
Line your bread pan with baking paper. I have an adjustable pan and I highly recommend them.
Using clean kitchen scissors, cut the dough in half, it will be quite firm. Remove half the dough from the bowl and place it on your floured bench, return the remaining dough to the refrigerator.
Roll out the dough to form a rectangle 50cm x 25cm (you may need to change the dough proportions to fit your bread pan, just make sure the width of the dough is similar to the length of your pan).
Spread the pot of Chocolate Butter over the dough (you may need to soften this in a bowl of warm water).
Roll the dough from L-R. Using a dough scraper or a knife cut the dough roll in half long ways and twist the lengths over each other (see images).
Lift the dough into your pan (a dough scraper or a flipper comes in handy here).
If all of that is too fiddly, these can be baked in a large muffin pan, just oil the pan and cut the dough into 12 portions, follow the same rising time.
Place the loaf pan on top of your pre heating oven, cover it with a tea towel and allow it to rise, this will only take 20 minutes, the dough will look slightly puffy.
Whisk the extra egg and a splash of milk together, brush the egg wash over the dough and place it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.
If baking in muffin pan bake for 15-20 minutes
The brioche is ready when it is a dark brown in colour and it sounds hollow when tapped.
Remove from the oven and cover with a tea towel, leave it in the pan and allow to cool for 5 -10 minutes
Remove from the pan and serve hot or allow to cool.
Repeat the next day with the remaining dough.