Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Recipe #2 - Orange Brioche Bread

I love the holidays - Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza -  every single day. I can feel the holiday spirit oozing from every person I meet. The joy, the cheers, the drinks, the food, and the happiness just invigorate me.

I need the energy too - I’m chugging along through the book and I wanted to take it up a notch. I’ve been baking cookies for the last month or two, and I missed one of my baking pleasures – breads.

The book from the Culinary Institute of America is famous partly because of the fact that they have amazing recipes on their breads and detailed instructions on how to proof and bake each one.

So I decided to start off with something tough and challenging (between you and me, it was pretty simple) – Orange Brioche Bread. This is the perfect holiday bread to make for your family.
I strayed from the recipe slightly – I didn’t have large eggs (2 of which would give the right measurement), and so I ended up using 2 extra large eggs, but that made the batter a little too wet. I ended up adding a little more flour to make up for that.

The key is that the dough should not be too wet. And so you might need to add as much flour as you need to for that. A lot of other factors like humidity also affect how much flour you end up using. 

After the dough is done, you let it rest overnight. Next day, shape it, bake it, and eat it.

And oh my God! The smell of fresh orange brioche permeating throughout my entire apartment is enticing. The temptation to break into the bread was great, but I pulled myself away and resisted the call of the siren. I took it to the lab where it was promptly devoured with happiness.

Another reason I love the holidays – presents. We all got gifts from our boss, and I must say I love it. Fig Balsamic Vinegar and Orange fusion Olive Oil – it can’t get better than that. I will be using these on my salads on a regular basis.

Did I mention that I love the holidays? My birthday is coming up soon – Christmas Eve! I’m excited to spend that time with my family, friends, and those closest to me. Isn’t that what the holidays is all about?

Orange Brioche Bread
Adapted from Baking and Pastry – Culinary Institute of America
Yield: 1 9x5x2 in loaf

About a cup and a half of bread flour (I used all purpose, but I highly recommend bread flour) = 227g
2 eggs and one extra egg for egg wash
4g of instant dry yeast
2 large eggs (DO NOT use EXTRA-large like I did - it's a pain to keep adjusting the flour)
48 ml (1/4 cup) of whole milk (I used half and half)
About a tablespoon of orange zest (a couple of oranges worth - depending on how strong you want the orange flavor to be - you can never go wrong with orange zest.)
22.7 g sugar
4g of salt
1 stick of butter, soft

1. Combine the flour, yeast, eggs, milk (I used Half and Half), sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl and mix for 4 minutes.

2. Add small chunks of butter slowly to incorporate it into the batter. 
3. After the butter is incorporated, mix for 15 minutes or until the batter begins to pull away from the bowl. This is the tricky part. My dough seemed excessively wet and I needed extra flour. Play around as needed.
4. Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit overnight in the fridge.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 by 5 by 2 in loaf pan.
6. Measure out 1 oz dough balls and make 2 rows of 4. I ended up putting another layer with the extra dough remaining.
7. Keep it covered for 2 hours in a warm place till it doubles in size but doesn't collapse when you touch it. Rather it should bounce back. Brush it with an egg wash.
8. Stick it in the oven and wait with anticipation.

9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until you get an internal temperature of at least 190 F (for a soft bread like a brioche). Let it cool completely.  

Amazing stuff... nom nom nom... (the sound of me munching with happiness)!



  1. I love brioche! This sounds so yummy


  2. orange flavored bread!! yummmmm :-). I got myself a bottle of orange fusion olive oil as well and was wondering how to use it. any ideas?

  3. That is amazing. I just got a bottle myself as a Christmas gift. You can definitely use it to make vinaigrettes for salads. There is also an Olive oil grape cake with a honey ginger grape glaze that uses regular Olive Oil, but you could certainly try the orange olive oil flavor and see what happens. I would say that if it's expensive, start off slowly, but if you find that it's just lingering on in the cabinet (as many of mine do), try and use it up in an olive oil based dish.

  4. Oops! I think you may have left orange out of the recipe. I'm gonna go with the zest of half an orange. That may not be quite enough.

    1. Thanks for pointing that out Peter! I can't believe I missed one of the main ingredients. Use as much as you like - more will not hurt (depending on if you like oranges - alternatively, a lemon version could be made with lemon zest).

  5. I would like to add some white chocolate chips to the recipe. Would I need to do or add anything differently to account for the melting of the chips while baking?

    1. You don't have to change a thing. Just keep in mind that you want to coat the chips in a tiny bit of flour so that they scatter throughout the batter and don't just sink to the bottom.
      Let me know how it works!