Twice-Baked Almond Brioche

03Mar08

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With this post, you’re either going to love me or hate me. You will love me because I’m going to share a recipe for delicious brioche that you can make yourself, but then you will hate me because you’re going to take one look at the loooong list of steps, not even bother to attempt it, then have dreams of freshly homemade brioche for the rest of the week and you’ll simply salivate at the sheer thought of it. Yeah, you will! :)

I have never made brioche before because I am an extraordinarily lazy person and it all seemed like a big fuss which I could not be bothered with . I don’t know where the motivation came from, maybe my stomach, but last night I finally decided to give it a go and you know what? It is a huge fuss! There is a lot of preparation and so much waiting time, but it really is worth it. I actually didn’t think I’d have the patience to complete the recipe, or even type up the method as it’s so bloody long, but I’m glad I did. I really want you to try it for yourself as freshly baked brioche is simply magnificent!

Brioche is lovely eaten on its own, or toasted and spread with good butter and/or jam, but I thought I’d go the extra mile and make Twice-Baked Almond Brioche instead.

Brioche

Brioche recipe adapted from ‘Baking with Julia’ by Dorie Greenspan.

Sponge

2 teaspoons instant yeast

½ cup (125ml) full cream milk, just warm to the touch

½ cup (70g) plain flour

Dough

⅓ cup (75g) caster sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

4 large eggs, beaten

3 cups (420g) plain flour

250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

  1. For the sponge, place the yeast, milk and flour into the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Stir with a whisk until the yeast has dissolved. Cover the bowl with with a tea-towel and allow to rest for 30-40 minutes. During this resting time, it should bubble up.
  2. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and flour to the sponge mix. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and mix on low speed until the ingredients come together and begins to resemble a dough. Cover again and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 15 minutes, scraping the hook and sides of the bowl as necessary. During this time, the dough should come together, wrap itself around the hook and ‘slap’ the sides of the bowl. If after 8 to 10 minutes, you don’t have the audible ‘slapping’ of the dough, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until it comes together.
  3. With the mixer on low-medium speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time. The dough will look like a huge, lumpy mess, but persevere until all the butter is incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes or until you can hear the dough slapping the sides of the bowl again. The dough should be very shiny and elastic.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise and double in size. This will take around 2 to 2.5 hours.
  5. Deflate the dough by folding it over itself several times using greased hands. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 6 to 24 hours in the fridge.

The dough is now ready to be used as you wish. To make two loaves, simply divide the dough, roll each portion out to the length of your tins, rest for an hour, egg wash them and bake until dark golden brown, but I will be using half the dough for Twice-Baked Almond Brioche and the other half later in the month for Sticky Cinnamon Pecan Buns (blog post will follow of course!). So, divide the dough in two and wrap one portion up tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the freezer.

With the other half, here we go…

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Twice-Baked Almond Brioche

Instead of flaked almonds, you can use other nuts, or fresh fruit such as sliced strawberries, raspberries, pears, peaches or nectarines. Whatever!

The syrup and almond cream can be prepared a day in advance and stored in the refrigerator overnight.

Almond cream recipe adapted from ‘Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen’ by Clotilde Dusoulier.

½ quantity brioche dough

Syrup

½ cup (110g) caster sugar

¼ cup (60ml) water

¼ cup (60ml) orange juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond cream

¼ cup caster sugar

½ cup ground almonds

¼ teaspoon salt

60g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg

flaked almonds, to sprinkle

icing sugar, to dust

  1. Grease an 8-hole mini loaf pan, with each loaf measuring approximately 10 x 5 x 3 cm. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a rectangle slightly larger than the loaf pans. With the shorter end of the rectangle at the top, roll the dough into a tight coil. Turn in the ends to seal and place the rolled dough piece, seam side down into the pan.
  2. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size. This should take around an hour.
  3. Whilst the loaves are resting, prepare the syrup. Combine the sugar, water, orange juice and vanilla extract in a small saucepan. Cook over moderate heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Allow the syrup to boil or a minute or two. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  4. Bake the loaves in a preheated oven set at 165°C for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove the loaves from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  5. For the almond cream, beat all the ingredients together until creamy.

Assembly

  1. Preheat the oven to 165°C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Slice the tops off the brioche loaves so that they are level. Dip the brioche loaves into the syrup, ensuring that all sides are coated and moist. Spread two tablespoons of almond cream top of each loaf (you can lightly coat the sides of each loaf with the almond cream if you want, like I did, but the almond cream kind of all melted off onto the tray during baking, so there’s no point really). Sprinkle the loaves with the flaked almonds and place onto the prepared tray.
  3. In the bottom third of the oven, bake the loaves for around 15 minutes or until golden brown.
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17 Responses to “Twice-Baked Almond Brioche”

  1. How decadent! These look delicious! I have never made brioche either. Maybe now’s the time!

  2. You are my hero for making this! I am way too lazy and scared to make this bread, plus I don’t have a lovely kitchen aid to mix the dough. But I dream of brioche ever since I had my first loaf of the buttery bread strolling the streets of Paris. And brioche with almond cream? You are literally killing me.

  3. Your brioche looks beautiful! I love the small loaves. I’m a huge fan of both brioche and almonds. I made an almond brioche a few weeks ago from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes cookbook. It was very easy and absolutely delicious – and it only took a few hours to make! Next time you have a craving, you might try it.

  4. I have made brioche once before, and it was totally worth it. This twice-baked version sounds wonderful!

  5. These look delicious! You’re right, though, I’ll probably never attempt these. Maybe someday when I’m feeling adventurous! Nice photos, by the way.

  6. You made bread!! It’s gorgeous! Oh my god it’s gorgeous! I’m just about to get up and have my coffee and oh how I wish I had a piece of this bread to go with it. Oh so yummy. Beautiful work!

  7. 7 Joy

    You know, you’re absolutely right with what you said at the beginning of your post. I want to try to make it because they look so good, but then the whole process seems very daunting! :p

  8. this is getting tagged. i may not make it anytime in the near future, but one day i WILL make it. i *love* both brioche and almond cream. maybe french toast made from homemade brioche with almond cream on top? drooool.

  9. 9 Linda

    Thank you everyone! :)

    Gretchen – try it! If you can’t be bothered, just buy a loaf from a bakery and take it from there!

    Amanda – You’ve been to Paris? And eaten brioche in Paris? Now you’re killing me!

    Susan – thanks for the suggestion. I might check it out :)

    Deborah – it is great. Try it for yourself :)

    Jennifer – thanks for the kind words about the photo, but the first one isn’t even in focus :( The loaves were devoured before I could shoot them again!

    Joy the Baker – I thought it was time I made something yeasty. Keep your eyes open for more :)

    Joy – if I saw this a recipe this long on another blog, I wouldn’t bother either, lol. I’m glad I tried it though :)

    Michelle – Brioche French toast is soooo drool-worthy. I’m tempted to bake the other half of the dough just to make French toast :)

  10. I will make this! I really will!
    I’ve made Dorie’s brioche before and it’s not really all that hard… takes a little time is all.

  11. Looks like there are a bunch of us on the same wave length! I made brioche on Sunday morning. The almonds in this one remind me of almond croissants! Delicious!

  12. 12 Jude

    They look wonderful. I’ve never used my little loaf pan tin so these will be a great reason to.

  13. 13 Lisa

    Hi, its always nice to find another Australian food blogger!
    I love brioche, these look absolutely fantastic :)

  14. 14 Eva

    That looks simply sinfully good! Will probably take until May or so to have enough time for that, but I HAVE to have this!

  15. Brilynn – Yes please! I’m just very impatient (which is ironic as I like to bake) and extremely lazy :)

    Tartlette – I saw your brioche on your blog. Beautiful they were!

    Jude – I always use my little loaf pan. Most recipes for cakes work well in them too.

    Lisa – G’day!! (sorry, couldn’t help myself) I’m glad you’ve found me because us Aussie bloggers sometimes get lost in the blogging world :)

    Eva – Thank you! There are many quicker and shorter recipes for brioche out there so if you can’t be bothered tackling Julia’s mammoth recipe, search online for others :)

  16. What a delightful recipe! I will definitely want to try this.

  17. Wow, these look great! I don’t have a mixer so I’m not going to even think of attempting these, but I’ll keep them in mind for when I do get one.


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