Shall we have breakfast at home or in the bar? One thing’s for certain: breakfast will be sweet. Think of crème pâtissière secreted inside a delicious brioche. And a cappuccino, then maybe an espresso later on to really kick off the day.
150g (5 1/2 oz) 00 flour
100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) milk
20g (3/4 oz) fast-action dried yeast (instant yeast)
350g (12oz) strong white flour
1 egg, plus 1 extra, beaten, to glaze
3 egg yolks
100g (3 1/2 oz) white sugar
35g (1 1/4 oz) honey
125g (4 1/2 oz) butter, softened
grated zest of 1 orange
seeds from 1 vanilla pod (bean)
10g ( 1/4 oz) salt
Makes 12 brioches
Preparation time: 30 minutes, plus 27 hours rising
Cooking time: 15 minutes
First of all you need to prepare the biga (starter). Mix the flour with the milk and yeast in a bowl, cover with clingfilm (plastic wrap) and leave to stand until doubled in volume (this will take about an hour).
Mix the biga with the strong flour, egg, yolks, sugar and honey in a large bowl. Knead into an elastic dough on a work surface dusted with flour, adding the butter a little at a time. Finally, add the orange zest, vanilla seeds and salt. Continue to knead until you have a smooth, soft dough. Place in a bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave to stand for 24 hours.
Shape the dough into brioches, each weighing about 40–50g (1 1/2 – 1 3/4 oz), and leave to rise on a baking tray (cookie sheet) for a further 2 hours, keeping them covered. Brush them with the beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven, 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4, for 15 minutes. Glaze your brioches with warm syrup, made from heating sugar and water, and add a filling of choice, such as lemon curd, crème pâtissière or berries.