A wonderful, part whole-wheat, recipe for Brioche—a traditionally eggy, light and fluffy French pastry. Make this recipe on its own, batter it for a delicate French Toast breakfast, or simply use the dough as a starter for other wintertime warmers, such as delicious pecan sticky buns.
Whole Wheat Brioche
From Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes enough for 2, 2lb loaves.
4 cups white whole wheat flour
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast, or two packets
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (or 3/4 cup neutral flavored vegetable oil)
3/4 cup honey
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing on top of the crust.
- Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, and vital wheat gluten.
- Combine the liquid ingredients and mix them with the dry, without kneading, using a spoon or a 14-cup food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with paddle (kneading, in this recipe, will actually knock out air; you want the yeast to be as uninterrupted as possible to rise to its full potential). The dough will appear somewhat loose, but will firm up when chilled.
- Cover loosely and allow dough to rest at room temperature until it doubles in volume (approximately 1 1/2 – 2 hours)
- Chill the dough. Don’t try to use this dough fresh; it requires at least 2 hours of refrigeration to reach the right consistency, but is also useable for up to 5 days if stored in the refrigerator in a lidded but not airtight container.
- Grease a brioche pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 2-pound (cantaloupe-size) piece. Place the ball in the prepared pan and allow to rest, loosely covered, for 1 –2 hours, until volume has nearly doubled.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Just before baking, brush the loaf’s top crust with the egg wash.
- Bake the loaf on the oven’s center rack for 40-45 minutes. Brioche does not form a hard, crackling crust, but the loaf will be done when it appears medium brown and firm.
- Remove the Brioche from the pan and allow to cool before slicing.