This week, I am back to school. It’s so nice to see my students after this long break and see how tall they got in only two months! Since the beginning of the week, I have been sleeping like a bear and I have been running from a corridor to another! Please vacation, arrive ASAP!
Anyway…to cheer me up, I decided to bake a brioche...You really need brioche in your life! Brioche is an enriched French bread with a light and slight puffy texture. In France, we eat this baking masterpiece for breakfast and it’s even better toasted, topped with jam for instance. Brioche can be found in different shapes; loaf, buns, braided…It’s common to eat brioche in France and I find it hard to find here in the UAE (when I do the prices are ridiculous!). Therefore, I learned to appreciate the homemade brioche even more!
As far as I am concerned, when I make the dough I use a mixer because soft butter is incorporated, which turns it into a soft, elastic dough (using the hand would be long and hard to handle). Orange or lemon zest can be added to the dough along with the butter, to give a fresh flavor.
For this braided version, I wanted to bring a North African touch by adding orange flower water, topped with decorative (and edible!) sugar grain (called ‘perles de sucre in French’) that my mom got me from France. Unlike some other recipes, the one I’ll be showing you today doesn’t require a huge amount of butter (only 60 g).
I like to prepare brioche the day before for the following morning breakfast. The recipe requires some resting time (please refer to the recipe below) so make sure to check this before starting the recipe.
Allez, découvrons la recette!
Braided Orange Flower Water Brioche
- 500 g flour
- 90 g of sugar
- 2 sachets of vanilla sugar
- 25 cl of warm milk
- 10 g dry baker’s yeast
- 60 g soft butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp orange flower water or the zest of a lemon or orange
- 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon of coffee powder
For the decoration
- Sugar grains, sesame seeds or chocolate chips
Steps (using electrical stand mixer and a dough hook)
- Dissolve the yeast in a little warm milk.
2. In the mixer bowl, put flour, powdered sugar, vanilla sugar and salt. Mix and make a well in the middle to place the egg, the 2 tbsp of orange flower water, the yeast and the milk.
3. Mix using the dough hook until dough is soft (medium speed). At this point, add the soft butter and continue kneading to incorporate into the dough. In the end, we have a very smooth and slightly sticky paste.
4. Cover the dough and let it rise for an hour until it doubles in volume (place it in a warm place protected from air draft).
5. Once the dough has properly risen, it has to be kneaded by hand again to chase the air, then cover and cool for at least 2 hours or even a whole night if possible. When you place the dough in the fridge, it’s firmer and easier to shape.
6. Nicely shape the dough into a ball and divide it into 3 pieces of the same size (I usually weigh the whole dough and divide it by 3). Roll each dough to have a long roll of 60 cm.
7. Weld the ends of the 3 dough strands together and start forming a braid. Basically, you need to braid it like you would do for hair! Pass each three strands on top of each other until you finish the whole dough .Place the braid on the baking tray.
8. Mix the egg yolk and coffee until dissolved (it gives a nice gold color to the top of the brioche).
9. Brush the braid with the yolk, and let rise for 40 minutes to an hour.
10. In the meantime, heat the oven to 180°C and brush once again the braid with egg yolk and then sprinkle with the sugar grains.
11. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes depending on the ovens.
12. Leave to cool on a rack before tasting (it can be eaten warm as well).
If you try this recipe, do not forget to share your pictures on my Instagram Feirouz_sweets #feirouzsweets