So bread making has finally entered the realm of recipes I can make from memory. I love that!
I was upstate without my handy Bread Alone Cookbook and was able to duplicate the baguette recipe all the way through.
This brioche is a bit different but all the essential parts are the same. You've got your poolish (or starter), which is a very wet version of the final product and can be made the day before and left to rise and fall to its heart's content.
Then you add the same elements, only more of them, to make the dough. This gets kneaded and left in a bowl for hours. Then the dough is divided and left to ride for a couple of more hours. Then the divided dough is placed in its final state (in this case in the loaf pans) to rise another couple of hours.
Then you bake.
Couldn't be simpler.
Honey Brioche Loaf
Makes two 8 inch loaves, adapted from Bread Alone Cookbook
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 2-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
- Combine polish ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes until smooth and stretchy/sticky. Leave in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place in a warm, draft-free area of kitchen. Leave to rise for 2-24 hours.
- Add all bread ingredients but the butter to the poolish. Mix in butter chunks until smooth and stretchy. Round into a ball. Clean out bowl and coat with butter. Replace bread into bowl and leave to rise for 4-8 hours.
- Collapse bread by flouring generously on top and pushing the center in while pulling the outer edges up. Generously flour a surface and knead the bread on it, adding flour as needed. Ending with a slightly sticky, smooth dough. Half the dough and make each piece into an 8-inch rope. Place each rope in an 8-inch buttered loaf pan with smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap and a towel for 2 hours, or until dough rises above the lip of the pan.
- One hour prior to baking, place oven shelf in the middle of oven and pre-heat oven to 400F. Bake loaves for 20-30 minutes, or until evenly browned. Remove and let cool on rack.