Brioche is a famous flour, egg, and yeast cake of northern France, which is now made in one form or another everywhere. This is an elegant bread, perfect for a special brunch.
1 package active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2/3 cup warm water
2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
3 egg whites
1 egg white for glaze
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water. Let it rest for 5 to 6 minutes until bubbles have formed on the top. Mix the flour and salt together and set aside. Whisk the orange blossom water into the 3 egg whites.
With a mixer, add the egg white mixture to the yeast until incorporated. Slowly add the flour-salt mixture. If you have a dough hook for your mixer, put it on and knead the dough for 10 minutes on medium speed. Otherwise, knead by hand for approximately 20 minutes. If the dough seems sticky, add a little more flour to make it soft and pliable.
After kneading, press the dough into a 9 x 5 x 3-inch bread pan.
Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in volume. Punch down and let it rise again for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the dough looks soft and fluffy.
Brush with the egg white and bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees. for 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and let cool before serving.
Recipe makes 1 loaf.
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