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Brioche Step by Step (Posted On: Monday, August 10, 2009)

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Azzurra, one of our favourite dining establishments in Downtown Collingwood sets themselves apart by adding a unique twist in preparation and presentation for each of the dishes presented by Chef Leona Nyman.  This includes their signature Azzurra Burger with gorgonzola served on a fresh brioche.

Chef Leona invited us into the kitchen to teach us how to make fresh brioche step by step.  The success of brioche is all in the mixing so make sure to mix well after each step.

Ingredients

• 1 pound of butter, cubed
• 12 XL Eggs
• 1 cup warm water
• 2 packages active dry yeast
• 5 cups white flour (do not sub in whole wheat)
• 2 tablespoons white sugar
• 3 teaspoons salt
• Fresh rosemary
• Sprinkle of kosher salt

Method

• Dissolve yeast in warm water, let sit for about 5 minutes.  Using a large mixer with a dough hook mix in eggs.

• In a separate bowl mix flour, salt and sugar until well blended.  This step is crucial because you don’t want the salt to come into direct contact with the yeast mixture.

• Add dry mix to egg mixture and incorporate well…giving it a good zip at a high speed for a couple of minutes.  If necessary use a spatula to scrape down sizes.

• Add cubes of butter a few at a time until all butter is incorporated and mixed in well.  If it is humid, you may have to add a dash of flour here and there. 

• Once dough is well mixed turn out onto a sheet of parchment paper, fold it up, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate overnight…or at least for 3 hours.

• Take cold dough out of the fridge and make 3oz (approx) balls.

• Sprinkle shaped dough with a light dusting of flour and then cover with plastic wrap.  It is crucial that no outside air can get to the dough at this stage otherwise the dough will dry out and crust and inhibit rising.

• Let dough rise for approx ½ an hour in a warm kitchen.  Snip tops in a crisscross with kitchen scissors and add a sprinkle of fresh chopped rosemary and a sprinkle of kosher salt.

• Bake at 450 degrees for the first 5 minutes and reduce oven heat to 385 degrees for an additional 10 to 12 minutes.

Important – No peaking!  Completely resist the urge to open the oven door during baking unless you want ‘death of brioche’.

You can bake brioche as separate buns, or in loaves…your choice…it’s all up to you.  Brioche is a fabulous brunch item…and most of the work gets done the night before.  Yummy!

Check out Azzurra’s website to see the other fabulous items on their menu.

Written by Julie Card
mycollingwood.ca

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