Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The perfect French brioche

Still looking for that brioche with a light , fluffy, cotton wool like texture. Search no more, here it is. I tried to keep instructions to a minimum, I really don t like lengthy recipes. Bear in mind the dough rest overnight and needs 3 hours proofing the next day.

The perfect French brioche

150g bread flour
150g all purpose flour
7g dried active yeast (one packet)
145gr eggs (1 egg + egg yolks - 6 in my case)
60 ml lukewarm milk
100g unsalted butter softened
70 gr sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 loaf tin

1/ Delay yeast in a jug with the lukewarm milk with 80gr of the flour, leave to rest for 1/2 hour or until doubled in size

2/ In a big mixing bowl, sift what is left of the flour, then add eggs beaten with the sugar, the salt. Incorporate the yeast and milk mixture. Mix well and let rest for 5-10 min

3/ With a wooden spoon or by hand knead the dough for 10 min. It is hard work! Try to stretch the dough when doing it.

4/ Add butter cut into bits, mix well and knead again (should be 20 min, but I gave up after 10). At this point you will probably need to add about a tablespoon of flour to get everything together. shape in one big ball to sit in the bowl.

5/ Cover the bowl with greased cling film, leave in the fridge overnight.

6/ The next day, punch the dough down, then put it on a lightly floured surface. Flatten in a rectangle shape, and fold each side towards the center, Turn parcel by 90º, flatten again, and fold sides towards center, repeat again. shape into a roll a bit shorter than your loaf tin. Cut in four equal pieces

7/ Put the four pieces side to side in a loaf tin, leaving some room in between. Brush top very slightly with beaten egg.

8/ Cover loosely with greased cling film, let rise in a warm place for 3 hours (it should triple in size)

9/ Brush with beaten egg all over, with a pair of scissors do a 1 inch incision along the length of the brioche (ie the top of each risen dough ball cut in 2)

10/ (about 30 min in oven) Preheat oven at 200º with an oven proof bowl with water at bottom. bake for 10 min , then turn oven down to 180º, cover brioche with aluminum foil if needed, bake for another 20 minutes.

What do i do with the 6 egg whites?
I made a quick victoria sponge, very nice texture, recipe:
150g all purpose flour
6 egg whites
200g sugar
125g melted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat egg whites stiff, finishing by adding sugar (it will look shiny like a meringue)
Gently fold flour mixed with baking powder, melted butter and vanilla extract

Pour in a spring form tin, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake 30 min at 180º

Submitting this post to Yestspotting @ http://www.wildyeastblog.com/ :-)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Fruit and custard tart

Pâte Sablée
- 140g plain flour
- 90g unsalted butter
- 25g icing ugar
- 1 egg yolk

Vanilla custard
- 330 ml milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 50g cornflour
- 50 g sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence

- 1 tin canned peaches
- 200g strawberries
- 1 kiwi (

In a bowl mix the flour and icing sugar. Add the butter cut in small pieces. With your fingertips gently blend the butter with the flour mix until it ressembles breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolk and a teaspoon of ice cold water. Mix with a knife and then with your finger until the mix come together and shape into a dough bowl. You can add a little bit of water if you have difficulties to shape a dough ball (-> too crumbly)

Put in cling film in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Roll out on a floured surface to fit a 22 cm shallow tart tin.

Cover the pastry with baking parchment and baking ceramic beans (try to stack some on the sides)
Return to the fridge for a while if necessary (the dough needs to be cold when going in the oven)

Preheat the oven to 180 Deg C (oven does need to be well hot when putting the tart in)
Bake blind for 15 min, then 5 to 10 min uncovered (or until golden brown).

In the meantime make the custard.
Beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a saucepan. Add the flour in batches and mix until incorporated.

Warm the milk a little in the microwave. Pour on the egg mixture gradually while beating. When the micture is homogenous, add the vanilla essence and put on a medium heat.

!!!Keep stirring at all time!!! and until the mixture starts to thicken (this will happen in a spilt second so keep an eye for it).

Take away from the hob straight away. Pour immediatly in a bowl. Stir once in a while so a hard crust does not appear. You can cover with cling film or a plate once cooled if you are using later.

Do the next step only when about to serve the tart or 1 hour before, so the pastry does not become soggy.

Spread the custard over the empty tart shell.
Position your fruit in any fashion you wish!
Enjoy :-)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tart Tatin

French Tart Tatin

4-5 eating apples (eg pink lady) or firm pears
250g puff pastry (ready made is fine!)
100g caster sugar
50 g butter
Half lemon

Peel and core the apples, cut into quarters, rubbing them with the lemon as you go along so they do not go brown.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Pour the sugar evenly in the pan over medium heat on the hob. Wait for the sugar to caramelise (best is just to leave it alone, no stirring). When the sugar is liquefied and has a nice golden colour, add the butter cut into cubes (it will bubble like mad, do not panick!)

Place the apple quarters round side down in a circular fashion.
Add some small pieces of butter on top.

Place the pan in the oven for a good 30min.

Meanwhile roll out the pastry if necessary, and keep in the refrigerator.

Take pan out of the oven, let it cool for 5-10 min.

Cover with the puff pastry, tucking it in the sides.
Put back in the oven for about 20 min, until the pastry is nice and golden.

Take out of the oven, and delicately drain some of the juices in a bowl.
Turn the tart out on a large plate, and pour the reserved juice over.

Eat warm or cold with some ice cream :-)