The first time I made brioche a few months ago I mixed all the ingredients by hand, following every step of The Bread Kitchen’s video. It was the worst decision I could’ve made at that time…if you see that video you’ll know I had my hands completely covered in soft, squishy butter, as I tried to knead it into the dough. I was so close to giving up, I only made it to the end thanks to Titli Nihaan’s encouraging commentary on the video. I took out all my frustration on the dough, slapping it as hard as I could on my wooden board (which kept shifting around in the most unhelpful manner). And what do you know, after 15-20 minutes of amateur kneading, I had a nice brioche dough, just like the video’s. Shame I had to rush that first batch of brioche rolls, though. They were underproofed as a result. They tasted fine, they were just small and dense. But at least movie night went as planned (Star Trek Beyond…the boyfriend’s choice).
As a result, this time I cleared my Saturday schedule; nothing would be getting in the way of making a good brioche. I wasn’t looking forward to the buttery mess, so I tried mixing it all up in the food processor using the dough/creamer attachment. It worked, to some extent. The poor appliance was shaking so violently, it felt like it was about to take off, but at least the butter was incorporated evenly without the goopy mess.
I had to finish kneading it by hand, since the dough was getting stuck around the middle bit. It was a pain to get it all out. Nevertheless, I cut down the kneading time by a sizeable amount (woop, woop!).
Then came the boring part: letting it rise. At least I got to watch some Gilmore Girls on my sister’s Netflix (shout-out to the best sister ever). I’m currently re-watching season 7 while waiting for the revival. Will Lorelai ever learn? She’s the one who let her relationship with Luke go bust. Also, I dislike Logan so much, no matter how many cheesy gestures he pulls. I got so engrossed in the show, it didn’t occur to me that the kitchen was too cold to let the dough rise properly. After about an hour I turned on the heating and placed the bowl in my room, close enough to the heater. And, like magic, that made all the difference.
Shaping-wise, I wanted to try out the classic brioche à tête shape (just like the ones I used to get at the Coop in Morges). I realized that using chilled dough would have been better for shaping out the rolls, as it would have been firmer. But, oh well! You live, you learn.
After letting them prove for almost an hour, I brushed on (with my finger due to lack of professional equipment) some yolk and sugar glaze. Then straight into the oven, as my flatmate needed the kitchen.
I used regular muffin tins since I don’t have brioche tins (yet), but I think that just gave them personality. The heads came out a bit crooked but inside they were light and fluffy. Nothing small or dense about these! I just wish the brioche I used to buy in Switzerland had been as big as these; for almost CHF 2 (about £1.60) those buns were tiny. More delicate and elegant, sure, but so tiny. I’d rather have one of these bad boys… No wonder I’m Team Jess.