Brioche is a buttery, egg-rich French bread dough that is often used to make burger buns or simply enjoyed on its own. Laminating the chilled dough with butter and using this simple technique transforms this bread into a croissant-like pastry that has crisp, flaky layers on the outside and a soft, butter centre. Adding a refined filling of toasted hazelnuts and chocolate spiked with cardamom & orange really takes this to a patisserie level of sophistication.
1. To laminate the brioche dough, turn the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a 12-inch (33 cm) square. Beat 1 cup (225 g) of the butter to soften it and spread this evenly over the brioche. Roll the brioche up like a cinnamon bun spiral. Press this flat with your hands, cut in half crosswise to make two 6-inch (15 cm) pieces. Stack these two pieces on top of each other, flatten and roll out to a 12-inch (33 cm) square, roll up into a spiral and flatten again. Wrap and chill for at least 30-60- minutes, but up to 4 hours (or even overnight) is ideal.
2. Grease eight 5-ounce (150 mL) ramekins and place these onto a baking tray. Pulse the hazelnuts, remaining ½ cup (115 g) of butter, sugar, orange zest, cardamom and cinnamon together in a food processor or small chopper until a coarse but well-blended paste.
3. Roll out the laminated dough to a 12-x-14-inch (33-x-38 cm) rectangle and spread the filling to cover it. Sprinkle the chocolate over the filling and roll up the dough from a short side, into a spiral. Cut the dough into 8 portions and place them into the ramekins. Cover the tray with a tea towel and let the brioches rise for 90 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 350∞F (180∞C). Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the tops of the brioches are a rich, even golden brown colour. Cool the brioches in the ramekins on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully loosen and tip them out onto the racks to cool completely.
The brioches are best enjoyed the day they are baked, but the filled & rolled brioches can be refrigerated for up to 2 days before baking, or they can be frozen for up to 3 months and thawed overnight in the fridge before baking.
4 cups (600 g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons (8 g) instant dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt
3/4 cup (175 ml) 2% milk, warmed to 115∞F (46∞C)
5 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup (175 g) unsalted butter, diced and at room temperature
1. Stir the flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the milk and eggs and blend on low speed until the ingredients are almost fully combined and then add the butter in pieces while the mixer is running. Increase the speed one level and knead for about 5 minutes until the dough looks stretchy and elastic as it pulls from the side of the bowl to the hook.
2. Transfer the dough to an ungreased bowl and cover the bowl well. Le the dough sit on the counter for an hour then chill for at least 8 hours, or overnight.