Brioche Bread

Time for another foray back into the world of bread-baking!

Brioche is a classic French bread. Its main components are eggs and butter, and boy, is it rich. This baby has a whopping total of 9 eggs (including the egg wash egg), and a full cup of butter in the batter. It is not for the faint of heart.

I’ve been looking up recipes for Brioche for years. I’ve dabbled in the “Easy” the “Beginner’s” and “So-Good-It’s-Almost-Brioche” recipes. They’ve never been the winner for me.

This recipe has it all – I loved how easy it was to follow along. A lot of brioche recipes sounded quite confusing, or needed a ton of time, or just seemed too finicky. I mean, this recipe does take quite a bit of time. All of the prep time, the rising time, and the baking and cooling time adds up to quite a chunk of your day. I was always turned off by the amount of eggs that the dough uses.

But, I don’t know what happened. I was surfing around Pinterest last night, looking for a recipe, and BANG. This brioche recipe dropped into my lap. The picture pulled me in, and I read through Marta Antonia Rivera’s blog Sense and Edibility to find this recipe. 

Suddenly, brioche didn’t seem so daunting. And I had a sudden urge that YES, I want to make brioche.

So here we are.

Not going to lie, the recipe calls for bread flour, and I only have all purpose. I know, I know, bad baker, but we buy HUGE bags of all-purpose flour from Costco, so I can never quite justify going out and buying more flour than we already have. I bake a lot, okay?

Either way, I do not have the beautiful step-by-step pictures as the original recipe did, so if you want, head over to the site linked above and check out the step-by-step, and hopefully, brioche becomes easier to tackle because of today’s recipe!

I wish you could smell this bread through your computer screen. It is absolutely divine, and so soft! Trust me, go make this. It is completely worth the effort!

Ingredients

Yield: 2 loaves of bread

For the sponge:

¼ c. honey
2 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. milk, warmed to 110°F
1 c. flour

For the dough:

½ c. sugar
4 tsp. salt
8 eggs (large)
5¾ c. flour
1 c. butter, cut into tablespoons

For the egg wash:

1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp. water

To make the sponge, pour the milk into a large mixing bowl. Add the honey and yeast to the milk and allow the yeast to bloom for 5 minutes. If the yeast does not get bubbly and foamy, it is dead. Open a fresh pack of yeast, and try everything again.

Whisk the flour into the yeast mixture. The sponge should look like a thick cake batter.

Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Leave in a warm, draft-free spot (like the oven with the light turned on) to rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

To continue making the dough, transfer the sponge to the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix in the eggs, sugar, and salt. After incorporating, the mixture should look like a smooth, thick batter.

Slowly add the remaining flour into the dough. If it gets too hard to incorporate with the paddle attachment, switch to the dough hook.

Once the flour is incorporated, add in the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Add the next 2 tablespoons only when the previous 2 are completely incorporated into the batter, and save the wrapper from your butter.

Once all of the butter has been incorporated into the dough, it should be soft, smooth, and pliable. Remove the dough from the bowl, and grease the bowl with the leftover butter on the wrappers. Discard the wrappers.

Return the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in the butter lining the bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and allow to rise again in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Once the dough has finished rising, punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured countertop. Divide in half.

Preheat oven to 375°F, and lightly grease two loaf pans.

Form the two halves of dough into logs roughly the same length as your loaf pans, and place them in the greased pans. Whisk together the egg and water of the egg wash and brush the loaves with the egg wash to prevent drying.

Place the pans in a warm, draft-free spot and allow to rise until the dough is about 1 inch away from the top of the pan. This should take 30 minutes to an hour.

Brush loaves again with egg wash, and if desired, cut the tops of the loaves into a decorative pattern.

Bake loaves in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove pans from the oven, and allow bread to cool in pans for 10 minutes.

Remove bread from pans, and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

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Pumpkin Biscotti

Yay! Back to biscotti! As the weather starts to turn cold, that means hot drinks are coming back into regular rotation! (I mean, I’m a tea-at-all-times-of-the-year kind of girl, but that’s another conversation!)

With hot drinks come biscotti! Those beautiful, double-baked crispy cookies that you dunk into your hot chocolate and then eat. So good!

The great thing about biscotti is that it bakes up as a loaf, takes about five minutes to cut, and then bakes again. A lot of the prep time with biscotti is baking.

I found this recipe here, and the original used melted chocolate chips and chopped pumpkin seeds as a garnish. Honestly, I didn’t think that the biscotti needed it, so I didn’t include it.

Either way, take an hour, bake these, and thank me later!

Ingredients

Yield: 18-24 biscotti, depending on cut size

4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, softened
2/3 c. sugar
1¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
¾ tsp. cinnamon
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 egg
½ c. pumpkin puree
2 c. flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, baking powder and salt until combined.

Add in the egg and pumpkin puree, then beat until smooth. Add in the flour, and beat on low speed until just combined.

Roll dough out onto the parchment paper, and pat into a long, flat log.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and spray lightly with water. Wait five minutes for dough to cool, then slice on the diagonal into pieces.

Turn oven down to 325°F.

Place biscotti, cut side down, onto baking rack, and bake for 12 minutes. Flip biscotti, and bake on other side for 12 minutes.

Turn off oven, open oven door, and let biscotti cool in the oven. Once completely cool, remove from oven.

Serve with tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cinnamon Butter

This is Part Three of my unofficial Recipes Including Pumpkin series! Again, I’m on a pumpkin kick. To be fair, I didn’t make the last two posts, and this post, and the NEXT post over the course of a month. I had a really ingenious pumpkin craving, and over the course of two weekends, I made all of these Pumpkin recipes. I mean, why not welcome Fall in any way we can?

I love a good pumpkin loaf. When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it. It’s also pretty simple to make, and that’s always a win in my books! It hit the super-soft-and-moist-but-still-tastes-like-Fall-and-I-can-eat-it-for-breakfast-for-a-snack-or-for-dessert target right on the head!

I’m not going to bore you with loads of talking for this one. Just go make it, and your senses will thank you!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 loaf

For the bread:

1½ c. flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
1 tbsp. pumpkin pie spice
½ c. vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/3 c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
2 eggs
½ of a 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. water
1 tbsp. maple syrup

For the butter:

4 tbsp. (¼ c.) butter, softened
1 tbsp. maple syrup
¼-½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350°F, and grease and flour a loaf pan (or use Miracle Cake Release).

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the oil and sugars. Add in eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, mixing after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the pumpkin, water, and maple syrup. Mix again.

Add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool completely in the pan before removing.

To make the butter, whisk all butter ingredients together in a small bowl. Serve with slices of the bread.

Soft Pumpkin Cookies

Well, everyone, brace yourselves. I’m on a pumpkin kick. Last year, I barely did any baking with pumpkin, so I’m going to try and make up for it this year. It started with my birthday cake, and pumpkin buttercream. I mean, the cake tasted like Fall. I was pretty happy.

I had some leftover pumpkin from that buttercream, and I went wild! I began dreaming of all things pumpkin. I realized that I don’t have a pumpkin loaf recipe (as in JUST a pumpkin loaf – the one I have on here already is pumpkin chocolate chip), so I wanted a pumpkin loaf recipe. Spoiler alert! That one’s coming next week.

I also love cookies. They are just the perfect snack or dessert. Single-serve, and having a few doesn’t feel like the biggest crime. Enter these soft pumpkin cookies.

I knew I wanted to make them as soon as I saw the picture. They look amazing! They were also a snap to make, so it’s a win in the preparation department as well.

So, because I love Fall, and pumpkin is both overrated and underrated (figure that one out! Hah!), here are some pumpkin cookies: the inadvertent Part Two in a Recipes Including Pumpkin unofficial series on the blog!

Ingredients:

Yield: Approx. 3 dozen cookies

2½ c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg OR use 1½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and nutmeg
1½ c. sugar
½ c. butter, softened
1 c. pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. icing sugar

In a medium sized-bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until creamy. Add the pumpkin, egg, and vanilla, stirring to combine after each addition, until smooth.

Add in the dry ingredients in increments, combining after each addition.

Place the dough in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

When ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 375° F.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, silicone baking sheets, or spray with non-stick spray.

Scoop cookie dough into 1-inch balls, and roll in icing sugar. Place dough balls on prepared baking sheets, and bake for 11-13 minutes, until cookies start to crack on top.

Remove from baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!