One thing I’ve learned about french cooking is this: it almost always delicious, but not always easy. Brioche is one of those things I always wanted to make, but was either too intimidated or too tired to ever try. But recently, the people at Magimix by Robot-Coupe contacted me to see if I would review their food processor, which they sell exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.
That’s just one of those questions you don’t have to think too long about before you answer, you know?
When I first got it, I have to admit, the box was so big, I was a little afraid to open it. But once I did, I discovered it came with attachments galore, not to mention a handy storage case for all of the blades. That is was one of the drawbacks of my other food processor. I was always having to find covert places to stash my blades to prevent little hands from finding them. I could have ordered a case online, but I don’t like buying something, only to find I have to keep buying things to go with it. As I used it, I discovered the Magimix is the real deal. Apparently, this is the original food processor. And really, why wouldn’t someone in France have invented it? It was probably some sous chef getting tired of chopping everything so perfectly, who decided to do something about it. Since owning it, I have put it to the test: pie crusts, manicotti filling, grated cheese. But as the ultimate trial run, I wanted to pick something I’ve been putting off. To my delight, they have a recipe for brioche in the instruction manual. I thought if anyone would have an easy way to make brioche, it would be the people at Magimix, so I gave it a try. It was the easiest bread I’ve ever made.
This is adapted from their recipe, because I didn’t have fresh yeast. Those lucky Europeans! I still can’t find it over here.
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- 1 package (or 1 tablespoon) instant dry yeast
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 4 eggs, cold from the refrigerator, plus one for egg wash
1. Dissolve yeast in the milk. Fit the food processor with the dough blade (This is usually the one with shorter, blunter blades). Place 1 cup of the flour, the yeast and milk mixture, salt, sugar, and butter into the food processor. Pulse a few times until it looks mostly incorporated, and it looks like a crumble topping for a pie.
2. With the processor on, use the feed tube to add the remaining flour and each of the eggs, one at a time. Process the mixture until the dough starts to come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Turn the power off, and let the dough rise in the food processor for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size. Pulse the dough a time or two to “punch it down.”
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter two 9×5? loaf pans*. Take the dough and divide it into 16 equal parts. Roll each section of dough into a small ball and line the bottom of each loaf pan with 8 balls of dough. Cover with buttered plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
4. Brush lightly with egg wash (1 egg beaten with a teaspoon of water). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Place pan on its side for cooling, and remove when you feel like you’ve waited long enough, about 3-4 minutes. Serve warm.
* To make individual brioches, butter 16-20 brioche molds, or line a muffin tin with paper liners. Follow the same baking instructions as above, but reduce cooking time to 12-14 minutes.