Poor Man's Brioche

by Ai Qi on 29th Mar, 2012

Posted by
Ai Qi
Date:
29/03/2012
Tags:
bread brioche

Ever since our purchase of a KitchenAid mixer, we've gotten into a habit of baking bread every week for our own consumption. We usually bake Pullman bread and wholewheat bread. This week, Xinyu decided that we should bake something different, and here we are, with Poor Man's Brioche. You might have guessed that with a Poor Man's Brioche, there must be a Rich Man's Brioche. And you're right. The version for the wealthy (i.e. Rich Man's Brioche) is loaded with butter (70% or more!), while the one made for the masses (i.e. Poor Man's Brioche) is butter challenged (20-25%). As we noticed that all the cooking has made us put on a bit of weight, we decided to go with the butter challenged version. The recipe (and the names) is from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" by Peter Reinhart, and makes two 1-pound loaves.

Poor Man's Brioche

Poor Man's Brioche

Ingredients:
  • Sponge (pre-ferment)
  • 1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
  • 2 tsps instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
  • Dough
  • 4 large eggs slightly beaten
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
  • 2 tbsps granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsps salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
Sponge (pre-ferment)
['sponge']
1/2 cup unbleached bread flour
['unbleached bread flour']
2 tsps instant yeast
['instant yeast']
1/2 cup whole milk, lukewarm
['whole milk']
Dough
['dough']
4 large eggs slightly beaten
['large eggs']
3 1/4 cups unbleached bread flour
['unbleached bread flour']
2 tbsps granulated sugar
['granulated sugar']
1 1/4 tsps salt
['salt']
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
['unsalted butter']
Recipe:
To make the sponge, stir together the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the milk. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 30 to 45 minutes.

To make the dough, add the eggs to the sponge and whisk until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and mix till even.

Knead dough on medium speed in a stand mixer with a dough hook. Slowly add in the butter, one piece at a time, making sure the butter is fully mixed in before adding a new piece. Once all the butter is in, continue kneading till dough is smooth and silky.

Lightly oil a bowl and transfer dough into the bowl, and leave to rise for 90 minutes.

Shape dough into two loaves, place in loaf pans, and proof for 1 hour. Bake at 180 C for ~30 minutes, or until internal bread temperature reaches 87 C. Remove from pan and leave on a cooling rack to cool.

We usually slice and freeze the bread so we can quickly toast it for breakfast in the morning; you can do this once the bread has cooled sufficiently.
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