Birthday baking & brioche at last!

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When I started this blog, I noted that one of the things I would really like to be able to make is brioche. But yeast and I have a rocky relationship at the best of times – one that involves it ceasing to work whenever I am within a 1m radius of it. Needless to say, this has limited the extend of my experimentation to things which do not require yeast.

My OH, on the other hand, has a thriving mastery of bread (and yeast risen goodies), and as it was his birthday we invited a load of friends over for the evening, and made all the baked goods in the world. One of these were The Hairy Bikers’ Craquelin (or Belgian Brioche) – which involves a cointreau-soaked sugar cube in the middle of a brioche bun. And can I just say: OMNOMNOMNOMNOMNOM! Seriously, these little beauties are utterly delicious, and far easier to make than I imagined. 

Craquelin/Belgian Brioche (12)

  • 125ml whole milk (we used semi-skimmed)
  • 2tbs caster sugar, plus 1 tsp
  • 7g dried yeast (fast acting)
  • Sunflower oil, for greasing
  • 500g plain flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 175g butter, softened
  • 2 tbs cointreau (or orange juice for non-boozy version)
  • 12 sugar cubes (they suggest white, but we used brown and it worked)
  • 1 egg yolk, for glaze
  1. Pour the milk into a small pan and stir in the teaspoon of sugar. Heat over a low temperature until the milk is just warm, remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.. Stir in the yeast and leave for 10 minutes until the surface is froathy.
  2. Grease a 12-hole muffin tin with the oil.
  3. Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the salt, the remaining 2tsp of sugar, and the zest. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the yeast-milk. Pour the beaten eggs in, then stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon until a soft dough is formed. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 mins until smooth. Start to kneed in the butter a tablespoon at a time, kneading until totally incorporated. Should take ~10 mins.
  4. Clean the surface and your hands, flour the surface and knead the dough for another 10 mins. Form the dough into a ball and place in a big, well-oiled bowl. Cover loosely with oiled cling-film. Leave in a warm place for 1.5hrs or until doubled in size.
  5. Pour the liqueur into a saucer and dip the sugar cubes into it so they absorb the liquid. Place the dough back of the floured surface and punch it firmly to knock it back. Knead again for 1 min. Divide the dough into 12. Roll 1 piece into a ball, and then holding it in the palm of one hand flatten it with the other.Place one of the soaked sugar cubes in the middle, and press the edges together to completely seal it. Repeat for all 12.
  6. Place the 12 balls into the greased muffin tin, seal-side down. Glaze the tops with the egg yoke. Cover with oiled cling-film and leave in a warm place for 45 mins to rise. Pre-heat the oven to 220c. Bake the buns in the middle of the oven for 10 mins, then reduce the temp to 180c and cook for 10 mins more. They should be golden and well-risen.
  7. Remove from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 mins. Serve warm or cold.

 

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6 responses to this post.

  1. mm this looks tasty. Brioche is a little ambitious for me, but maybe one day

    Reply

  2. Posted by annika - all the live long day on 06/06/2013 at 18:26

    Mmmmhhh, your blog’s delicious! So much baking inspiration!

    Reply

    • Aww, thanks 🙂 Loving your blog too, by the way! Will be having a good look at it as I work out what to get you for FPP this month 🙂

      Reply

  3. Oh my gosh, Brioche – I’m exactly the same, always wanted to make it and always been terrified! I want to make it for burger buns…I think I’ll follow your lead and try it now too!

    Reply

    • Do it! It’s so much more straight forward than I thought, although it is time consuming. Totally worth it! 🙂 Let me know how they work out for burgers.

      Reply

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