How To Cook Brioche

2 Sep

Brioche

1/2 cup (120 ml) water

1 tablespoon (8 g) cornstarch

1/2 cup (120 ml) full-fat coconut milk at room temperature

3 tablespoons (36 g) granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

250 g (2 cups) all-purpose flour (pretty please, weigh the flour instead of measuring)

1 tablespoon (12 g) instant yeast

4 tablespoons (56 g) cold nondairy butter

Non-stick cooking spray


Place the cornstarch in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water to it and stir to dissolve the cornstarch completely. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons (90 ml) water, and bring to a boil either in the microwave (be sure to use a deep microwave-safe bowl, as the mixture will have a tendency to bubble up) for 1 minute, or in a small saucepan until it is slightly gelatinous and cloudy, about 1 minute. Set aside and let cool completely before using, preferably in the fridge. It will become a bit thicker as it cools.

Thoroughly combine cooled cornstarch mixture, milk, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
Add flour and yeast on top. Mix on medium speed for 2 whole minutes, starting the countdown once the ingredients are starting to combine.
Add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 g) at a time, as it mixes. Once the full 1/4 cup (56 g) of butter has been slowly added and you’ve taken the time to place the tub of butter back into the fridge, let the mixer work the dough on medium-high speed for a total of 4 minutes, making sure to push the straying butter down with a spatula if it sticks to the higher sides of the bowl. Do not worry if the dough looks a greasy, wet mess when you add the butter, it will come together as it gets mixed.

Keep in mind the dough will look like batter, be sticky and not form a ball even when it is done mixing. Gather it in the center of the bowl with a rubber spatula, tightly cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let stand 45 minutes in a not-too-hot, not-too-cold and not-too-drafty room. Don’t worry about it having doubled or not after those 45 minutes, as they mostly serve to ensure the dough is moist and well.

Use a rubber spatula to gently deflate the dough, and gather it in the center of the bowl again.

Tightly cover with plastic wrap again and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, up to 18 hours is best. The dough should be really cold and stiff.

Use a rubber spatula to gently deflate the stiff dough again.

To make a standard loaf: Place the dough in an 8 x 4-inches (20 x 10-cm) (no larger than that, slightly smaller is even better!) greased loaf pan. Slightly moisten your hands, and gently smooth out the top if needed. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours (this will depend on how cold the dough is and on the room temperature), until about doubled.

Be careful to slowly remove the plastic wrap from the dough as it might stick a little. Do not rip it like a Band-Aid!
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Bake the brioche for 10 minutes and lower the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), baking the brioche for another 15 to 20 minutes, until it reaches a deep golden brown color on top.

Carefully remove from the pan, transfer onto a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing.

To make 2 mini loaves: Lightly coat two mini (5 3/4 x 3 inches [14 x 8 cm]) loaf pans with spray. Divide the dough into 8 (71-g) portions, shape them into rounds and place 4 in each mini loaf: they will be snug but that’s just fine. Slightly moisten your hands, and gently smooth out the top if needed. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours (this will depend on how cold the dough is and on the room temperature), until about doubled.

Be careful to slowly remove the plastic wrap from the dough as it might stick a little. Do not rip it like a Band-Aid!
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Bake for 10 minutes and lower the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), baking for another 15 minutes, or until the tops reach a deep golden brown color. Loosely cover with foil if the tops brown up too quickly.

Carefully remove from the pans, transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

To make mini brioches: Divide the dough into 8 (about the size of a large golf ball, 71 g each), shape it into a round and place in eight 3-1/2-inch (9-cm) lightly greased brioche pans. Slightly moisten your hands, and gently smooth out the top if needed. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for approximately 1 to 1 1/2 hours (this will depend on how cold the dough is and on the room temperature), until doubled. Let stand 1 hour.

Be careful to slowly remove the plastic wrap from the dough as it might stick a little. Do not rip it like a Band-Aid!
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Bake the mini brioches for 10 minutes and lower the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), baking the brioches for another 6 minutes, or until their tops reach a deep golden brown color. Loosely cover with foil if the tops brown up too quickly.

Carefully remove from the pans, transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

To make waffles: This one is a bit trickier because everyone’s waffle irons are different. I use 1/2 cup of batter per 2 large rectangles on mine, and it works just fine. Most manufacturers say the batter should not cover more than 2/3 of the surface, but this one swells up a bit because of the yeast and you won’t be able to spread it when you add it on the iron, since it’s the pressing down of the machine that will take care of the spreading. So play around with the first waffle, then you’ll figure out what size works best for your own iron.

Divide the dough into 4 (if you have a big waffle iron), 6 or 8 (if you have a small, standard waffle iron) portions. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and bring the dough back to room temperature for approximately 1 hour.

Follow the waffle iron manufacturer’s instructions, coating with cooking spray in between each waffle, once the machine has been sufficiently preheated. Add a portion of dough onto the iron. Don’t try to flatten the dough, it won’t work. Just place the ball of dough in the center of the iron, press the iron closed for a few beats, and let it bake for about 4 to 6 minutes until golden brown and the dough on the side is cooked through. For extra crispness, toast the waffles again before eating.

To make sandwich/burger rolls: Divide the dough into 4 equal portions. Shape them into balls. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

Be careful to slowly remove the plastic wrap from the dough as it might stick a little. Do not rip it like a Band-Aid!
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C, or gas mark 6). Bake the rolls for 10 minutes and lower the oven to 350°F (180°C, or gas mark 4), baking the rolls for another 6 minutes, or until their tops reach a deep golden brown color.

Transfer onto a wire rack to cool.

Yield: 10 slices or 8 mini brioches or 2 mini loaves or about 6 to 8 waffles or 4 large sandwich/burger rolls

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