Friday, 11 January 2013

Let them eat brioche

Because that's the type of cake Marie Antoinette was referring to, except she didn't say it at all. Poor woman, she was accused of terrible things and insensitivity over the price and shortage of bread wasn't the worst of it, she was also accused of incest with her son.
But back to brioche: every French bakery sells this buttery eggy bread. I've never liked it but felt inspired to try making it from scratch, especially I happen to have a vintage brioche mould. It's not a short process, taking around three days altogether. Yup three days according to Dan Lepard's recipe: one night leaving the milk and yeast to ferment, another night leaving the buttery dough to chill overnight. Was it worth it?

Sure, it was buttery as fuck. It tasted like croissant but with a different crumb formation. It's a little like a panettone but without the fruit. My daughter declared that it needed nutella spread on top too.
I took the final brioche by tube to share with my parents over in Clerkenwell. I've still got some left which I'll try toasted, or in a 'brioche and butter' pudding.

For this recipe I used good quality Président unsalted butter which has a low water to fat content. My message for today: spend money on good butter. When we are broke, prioritise spending on the best quality simple ingredients. If you can't afford a meal in a Michelin star restaurant or a holiday in Hawaii, you can at least splash out on a decent pack of butter. As most of us don't have access to the lovely butter from @thebutterviking, go for grass fed cow butter, recognisable from the deep yellow colour or go crazy and buy Echiré.


  1. I've been put off making brioche since a batch of mini ones that came out looking like dog turds a few years ago - I might have another go soon although the 3 days puts me off.

    That French Click website looks marvellous! I am going to have to restrain myself...

  2. French click: I know, all the butters on it!
    I might try another recipe see if it's quicker?
    I've just added a link to the 'buttery as fuck' description that readers might like.

  3. Travels with my brioche! Where are you going to take it next? Looks like a real brioche.

  4. Love the look of the vintage mould, but 3 days .....maybe not. Although brioche bread and butter pudding is very tempting.

  5. Laundry: thanks but maybe I should have put a 'tete' on it. I'd like to take it to Japan?

    Magnolia: yes got to make that...

  6. Brioche makes the best bread and butter pudding and the ultimate french toast, not to mention a sublime queen of puddings. I rarely eat it just as brioche because it is so nice to cook with.


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