Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Blueberry Brioche

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.

Blueberry Brioche
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
3 eggs
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.

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