Wow – this was more work than I anticipated…brioche takes time, especially the recipe I ended up using. If there is anything I have learned this year it’s plan ahead. I thought I did a pretty good job until I realized the brioche I needed could take up to 4 days to make if I chose. This is baking in the oven now, and it smells divine! I’m hoping that it is worth all the extra effort I put into it.
Update: Wow – was this ever tasty! Be sure to use a good quality butter when making this bread, because it is such an important component and flavor in this. The dressing was so flavorful and moist, and I am happy to report that it was completely worth the head ache and effort to make. I will not forget the lesson I learned this Thanksgiving about planning. Next time this is on the menu, I will be sure to bake it off or just start it a week before it’s needed. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
*Basic Brioche – The Bread Bible
Dough Starter –
- 2 TBSP room temperature water
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
*Make the starter one to two days ahead. In a mixing bowl, add ingredients and mix until very smooth. Cover with plastic wrap.
Flour Mixture –
- 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp
- 2 eggs
- 8 TBSP room temperature butter
1. Combine first four ingredients and pour on top of the starter, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Using a standing mixer, add eggs and mix on low speed for about a minute until evenly moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled rubber scraper, then continue beating for five minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It wont pull away from the bowl completely.
3. Add the butter one TBSP at a time until all incorporated. The dough will be soft and sticky. Lightly oil top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Chill – refrigerate for one hour, then gently deflate with rubber spatula, then return it to the refrigerator for another hour.
5. Deflate/Chill – turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Press or roll into a rectangle, flour as needed. Give the dough a business letter turn, brushing off excess flour. Rotate 90 degrees so the closed side faces left. Make a second business turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour. Wrap loosely but securely with plastic wrap and place in a large ziploc bag. Refrigerate of at least six hours and up to two days.
6. Shape/Rise – remove from fridge and gently press down to deflate. Roll/press into a 7 1/2″ by 5″ wide rectangle. Roll down from top in three turns, being sure to brush off the excess flour. Place seam side down in a prepared 8×4 inch loaf pan pressing down firmly. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan – about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack on the lowest position of the oven and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on the rack.
8. Glaze/Slash/Bake – glaze the top of the loaf with a mixture of one egg yolk and a splash of cream or milk. Slash the top of the loaf 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep lengthwise down the loaf, making sure to leave 1″ at each end. Set on hot stone and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.
9. Cool – un-mold loaf to cool on a wire rack at least two hours before cutting.
*Sausage Brioche Dressing – adapted from Food Network
- 1 brioche loaf, cubed into 1-inch pieces
- 1 pound pork breakfast sausage
- 4 celery ribs, halved lengthwise and cross cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 cup chopped sage leaves
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Spread the brioche on a baking sheet and put it in the oven until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the sausage and break it into pieces with a spoon. Cook until browned, then transfer it to the bowl with the brioche. Add the celery to the sausage drippings and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Put the sausage into the brioche bowl. Stir in the stock and sage and mix until the brioche absorbs most of the liquid. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Transfer the dressing to a 13 by 9-inch baking dish and cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Cover with foil and bake until golden brown on top, another 20 to 25 minutes.
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