After I had watched Julie and Julia, I totally became a Julia Child fan. I first thought Meryl Streep’s performance to be incredibly strange with her stiff movements and her strange way to talk, but then I saw original footage of Julia Child and I realized: Meryl Streep was just perfect in that role…Julia Child is the strange one….which only made her more likeable. She is so clumsy and awkward and just awesome. Maybe I like her so much because I see myself in her….but I don’t want to go into that.
To cut a long story short: I got Julia Child’s “French Cooking” for my birthday and tried the first recipe last week. French cooking is not for busy people but it is relaxing and almost meditative. I made brioche and added wild garlic because….well, because I can.
Brioche is a very heavy yeast dough with loads of butter and egg. They are usually served as a sweet bread with jam. But mine are salty and taste delicious with some cream cheese. They are great for picnics or barbecues.
Brioche (one big or 8-12 muffin sized ones)
1 package dry yeast
3 Tbsp hot water (to dissolve the yeast)
¼ tsp salt
½ Tbsp sugar
Dissolve the yeast with the salt and sugar in the hot water. After five minutes it has to create bubbles on top (if not, the yeast has gone bad and you need to retry with another package)
260 g all-purpose flour
½ tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
170g chilled butter
Mix flour, sugar, salt, eggs and the dissolved yeast in a bowl. The dough will be very sticky and soft. Put the dough onto a working surface and throw, lift and scrap it until it has enough body to be kneaded. Vigorously knead it to make it more elastic until it barely sticks to your hand. Now to the butter. Soften the butter and knead it until it has roughly the same consistency as the dough. Add it bit by bit to the dough.
If you want to add flavor (like wild garlic) add it when adding the butter.
Once the butter is incorporated, the dough should be smooth. Place the dough in a bowl, sprinkle it with flour and cover it with plastic foil or a damp towel.
The dough now has to rise for 1/12-2 hours at room temperature.
After it has risen by at least 2/3 punch it down and knead for a moment.
Now it has to rise for 4-5 hours in the refrigerator until it has doubled in size. You can also let it rest in the fridge overnight, but you have to put a weight on the dough in order to prevent it from rising too much.
If you made too much dough, you can freeze a portion now for later usage.
After the dough has risen, knead it down again and put it in a buttered pan (I used a muffin pan).
Now it has to rise again for 2 hours until it has doubled in size again.
Glaze the brioche with egg wash (I forgot to do that) and bake it for 20-30 min at 190°C until they are deeply golden.
If you also want to fall in love with Julia Child, here is the clip from her show where she makes brioche: http://www.wgbh.org/articles/The-French-Chef-Brioche-7033