I have read a lot of recipes about brioche. I have also eaten my fair share of it, though I have never attempted before to make it, let alone a variation of the bread. But when I saw the cover of Huckleberry, I knew that I would have to make it sooner or later. I bought the book for a friend of mine as she has more time to bake than I. Plus, when I have the time, I tend to be experimenting with dinner recipes rather than baking. I also feel that baking isn't really where I need to spend my time learning as I have been baking since I was quite young. My grandma lived on the same street, and she would often bake on Saturday morning. When I was a little older I would bake with her. She would make a full sized version of cinnamon rolls and then give me enough dough to make a miniature version which was all mine to eat. So, while I enjoy baking, I really enjoy eating good food, so I spend my time on that endeavor instead of baking.
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups flour
6 tablespoons sugar, plus more for the top
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, soft
Place the fresh blueberries on a plate and freeze. (Frozen blueberries are too watery, so freeze your own from fresh. I often buy extra berries and freeze them immediate for use during the winter.) Warm the milk to 105-115 F (warmer will kill the yeast). Add milk to a mixing bowl and add the yeast. Whisk to combine. Add the flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt, eggs and egg yolk to the bowl. Mix on low speed (with a dough hook) until the dough comes together, 1-2 minutes.
Increase speed to medium-low and work dough for 6 minutes. Push the dough down the sides a few times during the 6 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add the butter a little at a time over 2 minutes. When the butter is beginning to be combined, increase speed to medium -high to fully mix in the butter, about 5 minutes.
Dump the dough on a lightly floured work surface and press into a 16 x 10 inch rectangle. Distribute the blueberries and 2 tablespoons sugar along the top edge and gently roll down toward you into a log.
Place the log on a greased sheet pan, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Reshape the dough one more time by pressing into a 12 x 6 inch rectangle and cover with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. With the dough in a vertical position, roll it towards you tightly. Place in the greased loaf pan, wrap loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for about 3 hours or until double in size.
Preheat your oven to 350 F. Brush the dough with some milk and dust with sugar. (Don't let it pool.) Bake until golden brown - about 45 minutes. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.