Posted on Friday, 15th February 2013 by Grace Massa Langlois
The elementary school I attended as a little girl is located directly across the street from my childhood home. I shared with you yesterday that everyone in the neighbourhood knew when my mother was making bread because the aroma escaped outdoors. I can remember sitting in my classroom and catching the first yeasty whiff. The tantalizing aroma always made me antsy and I can remember staring at the school bell and chanting to myself, ring, ring, ring! I could hardly wait to munch on the end slice with a heaping helping of Nutella. Chocolate and freshly baked bread is a match made in heaven and these Brioche à Têtes Parisiennes au Chocolat are truly irresistible.
Working with yeast used to terrify me but the more I work with it the more comfortable I become. I made a wise choice to set aside my stand mixer for a while and prepare the dough by hand because I quickly learned what to look for and how the dough should feel at the different stages.
As I mentioned yesterday, brioche dough is so versatile and, I’m excited to start using the Poor Man’s Brioche for savoury preparations. Apparently it’s quite popular for “en croûte” (foods wrapped in pastry dough and then baked). One of my favourite “en croûte” dishes is Beef Wellington but I’ve only ever used puff pastry, I’m looking forward to preparing it with this type of brioche.
French Pâtisseries use the higher fat ratio brioche to make tender pie or tart dough. I am going to attempt to put this dough together, I’m not sure how successful I will be because it will be difficult to work in the large amount of fat by hand but it would be a wonderful alternative to Pasta Frolla or flaky pie dough. I think for the amount of work involved I would probably save it for special occasions.
You’ll notice that I didn’t achieve the same dark golden exterior on the crust compared to the plain Brioche à Têtes I shared yesterday. I’ve never given egg wash much thought until now. I firmly believe that “we eat with our eyes first” and egg wash can make pastries, pies, breads etc. look more appealing. Egg wash also seals in flavour and adds texture.
Did you know that you should add salt to egg wash and it should be prepared the day before using? Salt thins out the egg wash because egg proteins are neutralized by the salt and are no longer attracted to one another but it does take some time for this to happen hence the reason for preparing in advance.
Thinning out the egg wash makes it easier to apply a thin coating and it gives the baked good a professional finish. When applying egg wash it’s important that it does not pool on the pastry or around the base of the pastry, I think thinning out the egg wash will help with this task tremendously.
When you’re preparing egg wash, keep the following in mind, egg yolks provides most of the shine and colour, egg whites provide texture (crispy, flaky) and can also lighten the colour, salt adds a touch of flavour but it is mainly used to thin out the egg wash, milk or cream adds colour and, sugar provides a bit of sweetness but can also add colour. And, when preparing the egg wash, make sure the eggs are beaten well.
While I was researching egg wash I learned a helpful tip for preparing baked goods that fall in the Viennoiserie family. A thin layer of egg wash should be applied after shaping in preparation for the final rise and then another thin layer should be applied just prior to baking. Egg washing twice ensures even colouration but also prevents a skin from forming on the pastry.
I’ve noticed most recipes for Viennoiserie only call for egg washing the pastries after shaping. I’ve always egg washed just before baking. I’m going to make an assumption but I believe the reason for this is because if care is not exercised when applying the egg wash after the final proof the dough could deflate. I would recommend using a soft bristle brush and gently brushing when applying the second coat because you could also damage the delicate pastries.
Through my journey into dessert making I’ve learned that the little details are so important. I hope some of the tips I’ve shared for preparing Brioche Dough and shaping Brioche à Têtes will help you in the kitchen. If you have any questions, please ask in the comments, I welcome the interaction.
Brioche à Tête Parisiennes au Chocolat-Chocolate Brioche Rolls
- Brioche Dough Recipe
- Brioche à Tête Parisiennes au Chocolat-Chocolate Brioche Rolls
For the Brioche à Tête Parisiennes au Chocolat, I prepared the dough following the attached Brioche Dough recipe but instead of using one hundred percent bread flour, I used a combination of bread flour and plain (all-purpose) flour. Although both are delicious, I preferred the texture of the dough prepared with one hundred percent bread flour. I urge you to try both and see which you prefer.
Brioche à Tête Parisiennes au Chocolat-Chocolate Brioche Rolls
Yesterday I shared a wonderful technique for shaping Brioche à Tête unfortunately the technique can’t be used in the preparation of these brioche rolls because they are filled with chocolate.
These brioche rolls can also be filled with jam or crema pasticcera (chill in the refrigerator to thicken, which will make shaping the dough ball easier) but you must take care when filling and shaping and I also recommend not adding too much filling.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 600 g (21 ounces) brioche dough
- 72 g (about 2½ ounces) good quality bittersweet chocolate chips – if using Ghirardelli chips use 6 per roll (or more if you’re so inclined)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- Coarse sugar or pearl sugar, optional
- Arrange twelve 8 cm (3-inch) brioche moulds on rimmed baking sheet. Using small pastry brush, grease each mould well with melted butter, tap out any excess.
- Using bench scraper, divide the dough into twelve 40 g (1.4 ounce) pieces and twelve 10 g (.35 ounce) pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a tight ball by cupping your hand over the dough and moving it in a circular motion.
- To form the base of the rolls, work with one large ball of dough at-a-time and work quickly to shape (to prevent butter from warming up and melting within the dough). Flatten each dough ball into a round disk with your fingers. Arrange 6 or 6 g (about ¼-ounce) chocolate chips in the centre of the dough round. Create a ball completely enclosing the chocolate chips by pulling up the opposite sides of the dough round and then, pinching together to secure. Place the dough ball, seam side down, in the brioche mould. Press your thumb in the centre of the dough ball to create an impression (make sure to not cut through the dough and also to stop the impression just before the base of the mould).
- To create the tête (head), again, working with one small dough ball at-a-time, roll the ball on an angle creating an oval shape that is narrower on one end and rounded on the other end (the rounded end will be the surface of the tête).
- To attach oval to the larger ball, lightly flour index and middle fingers and then, gently press the narrow end of the oval into the impression in the large ball, continue doing this around the sides of the impression until two-thirds of the oval disappears into the larger ball and only a little is left visible, the tête or rounded end of the oval.
- To prepare egg wash, whisk together egg yolk and milk in a small bowl until combined well. Using pastry brush, apply a thin layer of egg wash on the surface of the dough (make sure the egg wash does not pool on the pastry or drip down in between the dough and tin otherwise it will be difficult to unmould the rolls.)
- Arrange four overturned glasses in between the moulds on the baking sheet. Slide the baking sheet into a large, clean plastic bag, tucking the ends under (or if you prefer cover with plastic wrap). Let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 180° C (350° F).
- Using small pastry brush, apply a second thin coating of egg wash on the surface of each brioche roll immediately sprinkle coarse sugar or pearl sugar (if using) over top. Take care when applying egg wash, do not let it pool on the pastry and, watch for drips and do not brush the tins, otherwise the rolls will stick to the moulds making it difficult to remove them.
- Bake until golden brown or internal temperature reaches 85° C (185° F) on an instant read thermometer, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and immediately unmould on wire rack. Let stand, upright, to cool until warm. Brioche rolls are best enjoyed while still warm but once completely cooled can be stored in resealable plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Reheat in a warm oven – 160° to 180° C (325° to 350° F).
- Buon Appetito!
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Tags: after school treat, afternoon tea, breakfast, breakfast rolls, brioche, brioche dough, brioche rolls, brunch, chocolate, entertaining, food, food photography, food photos, french pastries, French rolls, French sweet dough, sweet bread, sweet dough, sweet rolls, yeast rolls, yeasted bread, yeasted rolls
Posted in Baking & Pastry, Baking Mise en Place, Basics, Eggs, Mini Desserts, Pasticcini, Pastries, Piccola Pasticceria, Recipes, Ricette di Base, Yeast Breads & Yeast Dough