Saturday, 1 February 2014

Brioche for breakfast

Brioche for breakfast
Fresh home made brioche for breakfast is so easy with a bread machine. I have had one for 15+ years and very rarely buy bread as it takes 2 minutes to weigh out the ingredients, as I go to bed, so we wake to a fresh loaf in the morning. I always feel like I am cheating, and not an ethical hands-on baker, but we eat fresh preservative free bread that is a lot healthier/tastier and cheaper than bought. Panasonic are the best bread makers, my first/ current one is 12+ years old (Panasonic SD-252), and I really really want one with a raisin dumper but the basic model just keeps on going! Previous to that I had 3 different cheap ones that all lasted 1-2 years, two were replaced twice under guarantee.

I have known Karen for years on twitter, we have never met, but she owns a beautiful award winning Hopton House B&B on the Shropshire/Welsh borders that I'd love to stay at one day. Her tweets, about the funny side of her life as a BnB landlady, keep me amused. However, it is her pics and descriptions of the breakfasts she serves her guests that always make me drool. Karen is kind enough to share many recipes and I stashed away her brioche recipe and make it in muffin tins as she advises. So here is her recipe, with the brands I use for failsafe bread:

Hopton House Karen's Orange Brioche recipe

1tsp Dove's Farm Quick Yeast (the packets are orange and 125g of yeast lasts a couple of months, keep in fridge in an air tight container, sold in Waitrose)
400g White bread flour (Waitrose Essential Strong White Bread Flour gives brilliant results and is reasonable price for great quality)
1 tsp salt
4 tblspn sugar
Finely grated zest of an ornage
100g butter roughly diced
4 eggs lightly beaten
80ml milk
Extra milk or egg yolk for wash

At least 3 hours before bedtime layer the ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order they are given and put into the machine and set the machine going on the regular dough setting , which takes 2 hours 20 mins on my setting. Go off and knit for a couple of hours!

Once the machine has played its part remove the dough and knock back and divide into 10-12 portions. this is easier said than done as it is VERY sticky! Do not be tempted to add too much flour. Shape and fill a greased 12 hole muffin tin. I weigh them out so they are even.

Place the muffin tin in a carrier bag and "puff up" and tuck the handles underneath so the dough doesn't stick and has room to rise without drying out. Place the tin in the fridge or cold place (garage, cellar, larder) to rise, or prove, overnight. This slow proving makes for holier holes and a very light texture.
The first peep at your brioche dough in the fridge the following morning
Brioche ready for the oven
The next morning pre heat fan oven to 180 degrees C. Carefully wash the brioche tops with milk or egg and bake for 12-15 mins. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack and serve with even more butter and home made jam.
Brioche fresh out of the oven
A lovely variation is to enclose a square of chocolate in the dough balls before baking, and you have your own home made pain au chocolate! Sainsburys Basics plain chocolate is fabulous for baking.
Close up of open brioche crumb
After breakfast the weather didn't seem as bad as forecast, in fact it was clear blue skies if windy, so we jumped on our bikes and pedalled down to Bristol Harbourside to wander through the Harbourside Market to browse the stalls and have a coffee (him) and Earl Grey Tea (me). It was a very quick 4-5 miles downhill with a following wind so we worked a little harder coming home. We even stopped off and got some groceries in the village Co Op on the way back, how green were we?! My new panniers hold a lot! After packing the panniers the rain returned, luckily it's only a few hundred metres home from the "coop." Leek and potato soup was quickly made with the stock I made from last weekend's roast chicken, and a cosy afternoon of blog writing, knitting and 6 nations rugby has ensued listening to the wind howling and the rain lashing, again.

Here is a sneeky peek at a very quick knitted project I started yesterday at Knit and Natter and I should finish today or tomorrow. The yarn is Sirdar Indie and super bulky, and I am knitting in garter stitch, doubled up, on 15mm needles!


  1. Nice looking Brioche, I made a pizza with my homemade dough ☺
    Great riding, I am currently walking every day to shift some weight......

    1. I much prefer home made pizza too, only 45 mins for the dough in the trusty bread machine! Keep up the walking, I cycle to work for the same reason.

  2. Have fun with the Indie, look forward to seeing the end product ;-)

    1. Finished, a record for me. Will write it up in the next day or so.

  3. Oh my goodness... that brioche looks so yummy! I'm so impressed you make it every day! I love the yarn in your project.. wonder what it is? Tease! LOL! ((hugs)), Teresa :-) (PS - I added your blog to my list)

    1. Project is's for the living room, and I'll write it up in the next day or so I don't make brioche every day, that's a special treat, regular bread normally!

  4. My don has just seen me reading this and has asked why, when he loves brioche, have I not made it for him!! Guess what I shall be making this week end. Thanks for the posting. We are all looking forward to the weekend ahead x


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