Brioche Provençale

This is one of a little family of “poor man’s” brioches I developed from a cheap French book of what they call “Cakes”. They don’t pretend to be anything like the butter and egg laden classic nor do they follow classic rules which I’m sure won’t come as a surprise to you.

Note: Unlike most of the formulas on the site which are for 940g dough weight to produce an 800g loaf, the brioche formulas are 600g dough weight for a 500g loaf.

Melt the butter and add to the other liquid ingredients (milk, starter, butter and honey).

Mix in the flour and salt to form a dough. Knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.

Any mixture of preserved/crystalised fruits can be used. I usually include pineapple, papaya, ginger, peel, glace cherries. Dice them to your preferred size and fold them into the dough before your final knead.

Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.

Alternatively ferment overnight in the fridge.

Prepare a proving basket. Shape the dough and place it in the basket seam side up. Cover and leave for 3½-4 hours checking with the finger tip test after 3 hours. However, as this is a heavy dough, be guided by your eye, judging the amount it has risen.

Preheat the oven to about 210C.

Gently turn out the dough onto a baking sheet floured with wholemeal rye. Mix an egg wash (an egg + a splash of milk) and brush the dough generously. Slashing is optional according to the loaf shape and the effect you wish to create.

Bake for 15 minutes the reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 35 minutes brushing with egg wash again half way through.

Cool on a wire rack

You will of course have noted that one of the doughs is in fact Brioche au Chocolat.

One step further: a couronne made up of alternate fruit and chocolate brioche buns.

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