This month's new bread to try was brioche, the Fresh from the Oven challenge. Brioche is so egg- and butter-rich that you can smell the deep yellow goodness as soon as they come out of the oven. Chele from Chocolate Teapot chose this delicious bread as our monthly challenge.
I decided to make the brioche dough into some little rolls and also a loaf. I was keen to try making Croque Monsieur, a fancy-pants grilled cheese sandwich. Croque Monsieur is made with brioche, cheese, and ham. Served with a nice fresh, simple herb salad, it made a delicious (and slightly indulgent) dinner for Ant and I. (Brioche is not the healthiest bread.... Usually I adapt bread by making it with whole wheat flour, but that seems very wrong this time. So don't eat it all at once!)
I still made a few adaptions to the recipe. I shortened the time in the fridge, from overnight, to an hour. And I accidentally left out the glaze, which is a bit of a shame. It's made by mixing 1 egg and 2 T milk and brushing over the brioche just before baking.
adapted from The River Cottage Bread Handbook
makes 12 small rolls and 1 small loaf
1 t (5 g) powdered dried yeast
1/3 c (90 ml) warm milk
2 T caster sugar
3 1/4 c (400 g) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
2 t (10 g) fine sea salt
1/2 c (100 g) butter, softened
4 medium free range eggs, beaten
Mix the warm yeast with the warm milk and sugar in a small bowl and allow to proof for 5 minutes, until bubbly.
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl and add the yeast mixture, along with the butter and eggs.
Fold together, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, until smooth and satiny. Add some extra flour if needed to keep it from sticking.
Cover and place in the fridge for an hour. Then shape into buns or loaves and leave to double in size. This could take several hours as the dough is cold to start with.
Bake at 390 F (200 C) for 10 minutes and then at 360 F (180 C) for 10 minutes (for buns) or 30 minutes (for loaves).
Cool on a wire rack.
Croque Monsieur sandwiches
8 slices of brioche
lots of butter
4 slices mature cheese
4 slices good quality ham
Butter both slices of the bread. Make four sandwiches with a slice of cheese and ham on each one.
Fry in a hot pan, turning once, until the cheese is oozing and the bread is golden brown.