Saffron Brioche

Ingredients

425g strong white flour, place in the freezer for about 15-20 minutes
330g cold butter, cut into cubes
1 envelope active dry yeast
75g sugar
good pinch of saffron strands
60ml warm water approx 30 degrees C
5 eggs, cold
1 tablespoon quark
pinch of salt
1 egg
 

Method

  1. Place the cold butter cubes in a bowl and with an electric beater, beat until the butter is smooth and creamy, with no lumps. Scrape the butter into a smaller bowl and set aside in the refrigerator until required.

  2. Dissolve yeast in a clean bowl, with 1 teaspoon sugar and the saffron water. Using the kneading hooks of your electric beater add the remaining sugar, quark, eggs, salt and flour. Mix all the ingredients on low speed until everything is nicely blended. Scrape the bowl as you go along.

  3. Turn up the speed of the beaters to medium and continue beating for another 5-7 minutes. The dough should be very sticky, soft and supple. You’ll have to keep stopping and scrapping it from the sides and from the hooks.

  4. Add the cold creamed butter in several portions into the dough. Push the pieces right into the dough and beat well to integrate it without and lumps into the saffron dough. You’ll have to keep stopping and scrapping it from the sides and from the hooks.

  5. Scrape the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a cloth and refrigerate for 24 hours to allow the flavors to really intermingle well.

  6. Butter your brioche, muffin or loaf pans generously.

  7. Scrape the dough out onto a nicely floured surface and punch it down with your hands. It will still be slightly sticky. Divide it into about equal 10-12 portions for brioche/muffin pans or shape into 2-3 loaves for the loaf pans.

  8. For individual brioches, pinch off a smaller piece of each portion. Taking the larger portion and in the cup of your hand tightly roll the dough into a tight ball. Do the same with the smaller portion. Place the larger dough ball into the brioche or muffin form and then put the smaller portion on top. Gently pinch the sides to secure it. Repeat this procedure until all of the portions are formed.

  9. For the loaf pans, shape the portions into a loaf and place into the loaf forms.

  10. Place the forms on a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let the brioches rise for 2 hours in a warm and dry place.

  11. In the meantime, prepare the egg wash by beating the egg with a 1 teaspoon of water.

  12. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Brush the egg wash gently over each brioche. Be careful not to get any on the forms.

  13. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, until the tops are golden. Cool on a rack.


Notes:

- You can enjoy the brioche warm or at room temperature. 

- I love it fresh with butter with a variety of jams, jellies and preserves or with a drizzle of honey. A day or two later it’s perfect toasted.

- Stale brioche make awesome French toast or a brioche pudding like this banana brioche pudding with baileys caramel cream.

 

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