It was my birthday last week and for my present, my amazing boy surprised me with a Kitchenaid stand mixer – in the colour Caviar (it’s black with a nice sparkle through it).
I was so freakin’ excited because it was exactly what I was after (even the colour!)
So, to break in my new appliance I baked some Brioche and for Sunday morning I made some French Toast.
Brioche is a type of French bread enriched with egg and butter, which in France, is commonly eaten at breakfast or as a snack. It can also be both sweet or used in savoury dishes (my MIL makes a version which has a sausage inside)
Brioche comes in all different shapes and sizes. The commonly known Parisian version, Brioche à Tête is formed and baked in a fluted round tin; a large ball of dough is placed on the bottom, topped with a smaller ball of dough to form the head. Here I have made a loaf of brioche made in a standard loaf pan.
As brioche is made with a yeasted dough, have the milk lukewarm and all other ingredients at room temperature to assist the activation of the yeast.
Brioche is double-proved, once in the bowl and again after it has been shaped, so make sure you allow plenty of time. Having the oven pre-heating to warm the room also helps this rising process (I baked a lasagne whilst waiting for my dough to rise)
1½ tsp dried yeast
5 egg yolks, at room temperature, lightly beaten
375 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
30 g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
150g butter, diced and softened, plus extra for greasing
For brushing: eggwash
Warm milk in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm. Combine yeast and half the milk in a bowl, stirring to dissolve. Stand in a warm place until foamy (8-10 minutes).
Whisk remaining milk with egg yolks in a bowl and set aside.
Mix flour, sugar and a pinch of salt in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, until combined. Make a well in the centre, add yeast mixture and yolk mixture. Beat on medium speed until a smooth dough forms (4-5 minutes).
While mixing, gradually add one-third of butter at a time, beat until dough is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl (8-10 minutes).
Transfer to a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand until doubled in size (1½-2 hours).
Knock back dough, knead on a lightly floured surface until smooth, shape into a loaf and place in an 11cm x 24cm loaf tin buttered and lined with baking paper. Cover, stand until doubled in size (30 minutes-1 hour).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Brush top with eggwash, dust with caster sugar, bake until golden and risen (25-30 minutes).
Remove from tin, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, return to oven until sides are golden (8-10 minutes), cool on a wire rack.
Cinnamon & Vanilla French Toast
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or essence
1 tablespoon icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 x 2.5cm-thick slices day-old brioche
2 tablespoons butter
3 bananas, sliced on an angle
pure maple syrup, to serve
Combine eggs, milk, cream, vanilla, icing sugar and cinnamon in a large jug. Whisk with a fork until well combined. Pour mixture into a shallow ceramic dish.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Dip 2 brioche slices in milk mixture for 30 seconds to 1 minute each side or until well soaked. Hold over dish to drain.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until bubbling. Add soaked brioche. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes each side or until golden.
Transfer to a baking tray. Keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining butter and brioche.
Place French toast on plates. Serve with a the sliced banana and a drizzle with maple syrup.