This, Reader, is an upside down brioche. It’s everything I want in a brioche. Light, tender crumb. Raisins. Buttery, yeasty, just-sweet-enough flavor. I was looking for a good breakfast bread to serve in the succah, and this is going to be it.
So why am I showing it to you upside down?
Because I let my attention wander for a minute or two, so the tops burned. I do use a timer, and an oven thermometer. It just…takes experience to figure out how long to bake different sized batches each time.
Still light and tender, in spite of the over-baked top.
This is the quickest brioche recipe I’ve come across; two hours max from start to finish. Using a food processor, that is. Julia Child’s recipe is much more elaborate (12 hours), and The Joy of Cooking’s, which intrigues me because it requires a starter that soaks in water first,takes 6. Both are much richer in eggs and butter and are no doubt closer to the authentic French brioche. But this Jerusalem version, which Chef Moti Butbuch gave me, is worth starting with because it’s so easy to make, and everybody loves it. In fact, this is the best excuse for jam and butter that I’ve come up with in a long time.
Timing is important, every step of the way. If you let the dough over-rise in the mold,
the high proportion of yeast will result in a brioche that overflows, like this:
I’ve been experimenting with different brioche shapes.
What I’ve learned is to fill the mold no more than 2/3; to keep an eye on the batter as it rises (it can over-rise in seconds), and to start testing for done-ness 15 minutes into the baking time. I use the time-honored toothpick method – if no crumbs cling, it’s baked.
Now you have the benefit of my experience. I wish I could just stick my hand through the monitor and hand you a slice of this brioche. It’s that good.
Simple Brioche With Raisins
500 grams all-purpose flour, sifted
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1 fifty-gram (2 oz) cube fresh yeast
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1- 1/2 cups warm milk
50 grams (2 oz. – 3.5 tablespoons) cold butter, chopped into dice
80 grams (1/2 cup) raisins
Extra butter and sugar for preparing molds
In food processor fitted with a steel knife, blend flour and yeast. Add eggs and blend again. Add salt and sugar; blend.
Add milk gradually. The dough will be batter-like. Don’t be discouraged.
Add butter, a little at a time. Blend until all is incorporated. Allow the dough to rise until doubled, 40 minutes to an hour depending on how warm your kitchen is.
Whirl the dough a few minutes. It will become less sticky and leave the sides of the bowl. Now you may transfer it to a bowl, or leave it in the food processor, but the next step will be done by hand. That is, beat the raisins in.
You’ll notice that the more you beat, the more body the dough will take on. But stop beating once the raisins are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Butter molds generously, then cover sides and bottom of molds with sugar. Tap out any excess sugar. Fill molds 2/3ds.
Allow dough to rise almost to the top of the mold, leaving at least 1/4″ margin for it to rise while baking. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180° C, 350° F.
Dust the tops of the brioches with sugar. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of one emerges clean. This will take from 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of your mold.