A lot of the brioche recipes out there call for fresh yeast or to be proved for 12 hours in the fridge, but not everyone has access to local baker where you can buy fresh yeast, or has 12 hours to wait for the brioche to prove.
Making brioche by hand is very labour intensive, so I would strongly recommend you use a table top mixer with a dough hook. You will also need a non-stick bread tin 23 cm x 13cm.
Ingredients (for 1 small loaf and 6 small rolls)
500g Strong bread flour
1 sachet (7 grams) fast acting yeast
100g pistachio in the shells
6 medium eggs (reserve 1 for egg wash)
200g unsalted butter chopped into small pieces
1 level teaspoon table salt
140ml whole milk (warm)
30 grams castor sugar
- Warm the milk and then remove from the heat and add the sugar.
- When the milk is luke warm add a sprinkling of bread flour and the yeast and then transfer the milk mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Whisk in 3 eggs, on a medium speed, one at a time and then change the whisk attachment for your dough hook.
- On a low-speed gradually begin to incorporate half of the flour. Now add two more eggs, the salt and the rest of the flour, continuing to knead the dough until it is smooth (about 8-9 minutes).
- Begin to add softened butter a few pieces at a time, making sure it is mixed in well before adding more. From time to time you should scrape the sides of the bowl down to ensure the butter is mixing in evenly.
- When all the butter is incorporated the dough should look silky and smooth. Remove the dough hook and cling wrap the mixing bowl and allow the brioche dough to double in size in a warm place (but not too hot or the butter will melt).
- In the meantime shell the pistachio nuts and blanch them in boiling water for 2 minutes and then drain. Remove the outer skins to expose the inner green flesh of the pistachios, drain them well and reserve.
- Once the dough has risen it needs to be cooled down to make it easy to work with, so transfer the brioche dough to your fridge for 1 hour.
- In the mean-time grease your loaf pan with spray-on oil (to ensure your loaf comes out freely).
- The next stage ideally needs to be done in a cooler part of your kitchen. Knead the chilled dough for 1-2 minutes and then take 3/4 of the dough and divide the 3/4 into 8 even sized balls. Work each a few pistachio nuts into the centre of each ball (if the pistachio nuts on the surface they will burn during cooking).
- Place the 8 balls into the bread tin, 1 at a time pressing them together slightly so they will form a loaf. Now take the remaining brioche dough divide into 4-6 small round rolls, roll them into shape but don’t add any pistachio nuts. Instead chop any remaining nuts finely and sprinkle onto the rolls during the last couple of minutes of cooking.
- Preheat your oven to 180C or 160 C if your oven has a fan. Now prove the loaf and rolls in a warm place for another 35-40 minutes until they have doubled in size. Whisk the reserved egg well and then gently brush the loaf and rolls thoroughly before putting them into bake. Baking the brioche will take about 35-40 minutes though you might need to move the bread to a lower shelf after 30 minutes to avoid them from getting too brown. Of course the rolls will need less baking time because of their size.
Allow the brioche loaf to cool for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool. Let the loaf cool for a further 10 minutes before attempting to slice the loaf.
This brioche works wonderfully with a Pâté and leftovers (if there is any) makes great toast or even use in a bread and butter pudding.