Two times in the last few weeks I have been asked to bring a breakfast treat for an event the family was attending. Both times I brought Almond Brioche, created from a recipe in my favorite Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day book. Both times I received rave reviews, which I shook off since the bread is so easy to make, I don’t think I deserve the praise. And now I will share it with you, so that you can receive raves and praise, which hopefully you will soak up and bask in the glory of!
- 1 recipe Brioche dough (see below)
- 4 TBS unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup almond paste (not marzipan)
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 large or 2 medium eggs
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Zest from half an orange (about 2 TBS)
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds (I use toasted sliced almonds from Trader Joes)
Making the almond cream: In a food processor, cream together butter, almond paste, flour, egg and almond extract. Pulse a little to break up the chunks, then let it run for a while until the cream is smooth.
Assembling the brioche: Dust the brioche dough with flour and gather into a ball, stretching the dough around the bottom and sides of the ball.
Roll dough out in an 10×14″ rectangle, about a 1/4″ thick. I generally use quite a bit of flour on the counter to make sure the dough does not stick.
Spread the almond cream on the dough, leaving an inch clear around the edges. Roll up dough, starting from a short end, jelly-roll style. Freeze log for about 15 minutes.
Grease a 10″ round springform pan with butter and dust with sugar.
Cut chilled dough into eight pieces (I use plain dental floss) and arrange in pan swirl-side up. Allow dough to rest for one hour. *
Preheat oven to 350F. Just before baking, mix together sugar, lemon zest, and almonds and sprinkle over brioche. Bake 50-65 minutes, until set in the middle.
Remove from oven and allow to sit for 2-3 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside and slide the brioche onto a serving plate. Enjoy warm or room temperature.
* Note – I have made the brioche to this stage the night before, and put the dish in the fridge overnight. I then remove it in the morning and allow to rest on the counter for one hour before baking.
Number of servings (yield): 8
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 3/4 TBS granulated yeast
- 3/4 TBS salt
- 4 eggs (1 cup) lightly beaten eggs
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 3 1/2 – 3 3/4 cups flour
Mix water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter in a lidded food container (I use a square one from the restaurant supply store).
Mix in flour, without kneading, using a spoon. The dough will be loose, but will firm up after chilled.
Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, about 2 hours.
Refrigerate at least 3 hours before using, preferably overnight. When ready to assemble almond brioche, follow the recipe above.
Number of servings (yield): 8
The last almond brioche I made was served at a Summer Book Brunch, hosted by several moms as a fundraiser for our school. I love books and brunch, so this was a fun event to support. After enjoying many tasty treats, 7 of us introduced the three books we each chose. Then guests were invited to take 3 books home with them. We also had several guests on e-reader tickets, which allowed them to enjoy brunch and the presentation, and the entire list of books to download at a later date for their favorite reader. Great school fundraiser!
The books recommended this year were: A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan; An Object of Beauty, by Steve Martin; Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys; Bossypants, by Tina Fey; Caleb’s Crossing, by Geraldine Brooks; Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell; Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese; Jarretsville, by Cornelia Nixon; Maise Dobbs Mysteries (1-6), by Jacqueline Winspear; On Chesil Beach, by Ian McEwan; One Day, by David Nicholls; People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks; The Cactus Eaters, by Dan White; The Gendarme, by Mark Mustian; The Hare with the Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal; The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins; The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot; The Most Beautiful Book in the World, by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt; The Paris Wife, by Paula McLain; The Space Between Us, by Thrity Umrigar; The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, by Alan Bradley; The Winter of Our Disconnect, by Susan Maushart; Three Stages of Amazement, by Carol Edgarian; Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption, by Laura Hillenbrand; and War Dances, by Alexie Sherman.
Look, a whole list of books for summer reading, plus a delightful brunch treat. What a bounty.