4.19.2012

Brioche Dough & Challah Bread (tastes like crescent rolls!!)


Ok I like brioche and I like Challah bread but what really blew me away was how this dough tasted like crescent roll dough (straight out of the can!). It smelled like crescent rolls while baking and - gasp!- tasted like crescent rolls only better. yes BETTER than crescent rolls.

Of course crescent rolls are not the kind of thing I eat- preservatives and yuck in a can. But I loved them as a kid, particularly rolling the dough around a foil tipped stick and baking over a camp fire. Yum.

So I'm pleased to have an alternative that's home made! And the huge amounts of butter and eggs is correct (I did a double take when first making it!!)

This makes a beautiful bread which is quite special, perfect for a neighbor gift, tea or brunch. It wraps up nicely to give out as presents.


Ways to use brioche dough:
  • Braid 3 ropes of the dough (start from the center out and repeat on the other end). Brush with egg wash (1 very beaten egg + 1 TB water) and sprinkle poppy seeds or sesame seeds (See below for full directions on challah)
  • Roll dough out, fill with cinnamons and raisins (or make a paste of medjool dates cinnamon and raisins!). Then roll up jelly-roll style, then put in a loaf pan or twirl into a turban. Or roll up jelly roll style with chocolate filling.
  • Use for pastry recipes
  • Fill with sweet almond paste or pastry cream or chocolate chunks
  • Fold in chopped prunes and bitterweet chocolate

Brioche Dough Recipe
From this book on Artisan Breads. The recipe is enough to make 4 one-pound loaves. The dough freezes easily, so you don't have to bake it up all at once.  It is easiest to make up the dough and plan on baking with it the next day.

Mix yeast, salt, eggs, honey melted butter and water in a 5 quart bowl:
1.5 C lukewarm water
1.5 TB instant granulated yeast
1.5 TB salt

8 eggs (lightly beaten)
1/2 C honey
1.5 C butter (melted)

Spoon in the flour and mix until combined:
7.5 C flour (this is 2 lb and 1 oz of flour)- mine came out delicious even with whole wheat flour.  I like Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour.

It's ok for it to be loose and lumpy.  Lightly cover and rest at room temp until it rises and collapses; about 2 hours.

Refrigerate to chill.  You can keep in the fridge for 5 days, or split into 4 portions and freeze.


Baking Up Refrigerated dough: divide dough into 4 portions and put aside the other 3 portions for other uses/loaves.

From your 1 lb ball, cut into 3 portions and stretch/roll each into long thin rope.  Braid the ropes starting from the center, working out to one end, then braid from the center out to the other end.

Allow the shaped challah bread to rise/rest for 40 minutes.

20 minutes prior to baking time: Place baking stone in center of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 F for 20 minutes to warm up the stone.

Beat 1 egg with 1 TB water thoroughly to make the egg wash.  Brush egg wash over the challah loaf in two coats. Sprinkle poppy seeds (or sesame seeds or coarse sugar) over the egg-washed bread.

Using a large spatula, gently push the bread onto the hot baking stone inside the oven.  Bake for approx 25 minutes at 350F (plus or minus depending on the size of the loaf; wnat it to be golden brown).

Let cool. Then slice. 

Baking up Frozen dough: thaw one of your 1 lb dough balls for overnight to 24 hours in fridge. 
From your 1 lb ball, cut into 3 portions and stretch/roll each into long thin rope.  Braid the ropes starting from the center, working out to one end, then braid from the center out to the other end.


Allow the shaped challah bread to rise/rest for 1 hour 20 minutes.


20 minutes prior to baking time: Place baking stone in center of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 F for 20 minutes to warm up the stone.



Beat 1 egg with 1 TB water thoroughly to make the egg wash. Brush egg wash over the challah loaf in two coats. Sprinkle poppy seeds (or sesame seeds or coarse sugar) over the egg-washed bread.


Using a large spatula, gently push the bread onto the hot baking stone inside the oven.  Bake for approx 25 minutes at 350F (plus or minus depending on the size of the loaf; wnat it to be golden brown).

Let cool. Then slice.

No comments: