(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)
This brioche is a great fusion of France and North America – you have the rich, buttery and light texture of a French brioche partnered with the sweeter tasting flavors of maple and bourbon that we find in North America. This brioche is a celebration of where I’m from and where I live currently.
Yield: 24 servings
- 100 g water
- 70 g granulated sugar
- Combine water and sugar in pot and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.
Toasted Pecan Insert
- 250 g toasted pecans
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 80 g simple syrup
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients and mix for 3 to 5 minutes, until ingredients bind together.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop 15-30 g rounds of the mixture onto a sheet pan. Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes.
- 200 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200 g all-purpose flour
- 200 g granulated sugar
- In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and mix for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Shape dough into a disc and roll out with sheeter to a thickness of ¼” (6 mm). Cut out 2 ¾” (70 mm) round discs and freeze until ready to use.
- 150 g confectioners’ sugar
- 45 g bourbon
- Whisk ingredients together until smooth.
- 430 g bread flour
- 8.5 g salt
- 65 g maple sugar
- 21.5 g maple syrup
- 235 g whole eggs
- 21.5 g fresh yeast
- 21.5 g bourbon
- 150 g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 65 g crème fraiche
- 65 g toasted pecans
- 22 g dried black cherries
- In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flour, salt, maple sugar, maple syrup, eggs, yeast and bourbon, and mix for 5 minutes at low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 9 minutes. The dough needs to be fully developed before adding the butter, which means you need to be able to form a ‘window’ when you stretch the dough (window pane test). Add the butter and crème fraiche and mix at low speed for 5 minutes, then mix at medium speed for 7 minutes. Increase the speed to high and mix for 1 minute. At this stage, the butter should be fully incorporated and the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
- Add the toasted pecans and the dried black cherries and mix at low speed for 1 minute, until fully incorporated.
- Give the dough one fold, then let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Give the dough another fold, then place in the refrigerator for 12 to 15 hours.
- Divide the dough into 30 g pieces for the body and 12 g pieces for the head of each brioche. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes in the refrigerator (it’s important to keep it chilled).
- To shape the body, flatten down the dough on a work surface and place a Toasted Pecan Insert on top and close the dough around it, giving it a round shape. Shape the head into a round shape.
- Proof at 79˚F (26˚C) with 80% relative humidity for 1 ½ hours.
- Place the Craquelin on the body before baking. Bake the body at 338˚F (170˚C) for 12 minutes.
- Bake the head at 338˚F (170˚C) for 8 minutes.
- Dip the head in Bourbon Icing while warm, then cool. Once cool, place the head on top of the body using a little bit of the icing as ‘glue’.
About Romain Dufour