Friday, 3 October 2014

Pear and chocolate brioche

I am fascinated by brioche. Not quite bread, not quite cake, and it is eaten either at breakfast or for dessert. The French have once again got their food right!

My first attempt at baking brioche was under the careful supervision of a live-in French pâtissier. As I no longer have this luxury, I needed to find a recipe I could make by myself. Once again, The New Zealand Bread Book by Simon and Alison Holst had an excellent recipe that could be made either in a breadmaker (then cooked in the oven) or by hand. I used my breadmaker to mix the dough, then shaped the brioche by hand before proofing and baking it in the oven.

The shaping part of the recipe can be fiddly but is getting easier with practice. The pear and chocolate combination is my favourite (and most successful) flavour so far. I have tried making bobble-top brioche a couple of times but prefer the consistency of the three ball method outlined below. It produces a lighter, fluffier finish that you can pull apart while eating. The recipe makes approximately 10 x 90 gram pieces with a bit left over to make a smaller sample one.

Pear and chocolate brioche

  • 3 t Surebake yeast
  • 420 g standard plain flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 75 g butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 70 g pear pieces, finely diced
Egg glaze
  • 1 egg
  • 1 T water
  • 1/2 t sugar
  1. Place first seven ingredients into bread maker in the order listed. Put chocolate chips in the fruit dispenser. Set on the DOUGH RAISIN cycle (2 hours 20 minutes). Check the dough after about 3 minutes of mixing. It should be soft, but if it looks too wet and sticky add 2 T of extra flour.
  2. When the dough cycle is complete, remove dough from the machine and transfer to a well-oiled bow. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into four or five even pieces, Break off pieces and roll into small balls weighing approximately 30 grams each. This video demonstrates the technique really well.
  4. Place three balls together in a well-oiled muffin pan. Lightly press the diced pear pieces around the edges and in between the dough balls.
    Dough balls with pear pieces - before proofing
  5. Cover loosely with cling film and leave to rise in a warm draught-free place for about 1 hour or until the dough is approximately double in size. (I use the proof dough setting on my oven.)
  6. Preheat oven to 180°C. Make the egg glaze by shaking an egg, water and sugar together in a tightly closed jar or whisking with a fork. Brush over the dough using a pastry brush.
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown on all surfaces. Makes 10-11 brioche.
Pear and chocolate brioche

1 comment:

Ness said...

I love brioche! mmmmmmmm now I want one/some.