I love brioche and i love making it. So i thought i'd share with you Little and Friday's Savoury Brioche recipe that is not only super delicious for breakfast, brunch, lunch or a snack, it is also really easy to make.
You'll need a stand beater but if you dont have one you can mix the dough by hand, but you would need to be patient and strong - the dough is pretty stubborn!
60g fresh yeast, or i just use 2 x 7g sachets of dried yeast to give you c.3 tsp
6 1/2 cups of plain flour
3 tsp salt
1/2 cup caster sugar
140g unsalted butter
1. In a pot, heat the milk over a medium heat until it is luke warm. Remove from the heat and sprinkle over the yeast. Stir with a wooden spoon until the yeast is dissolved and no lumps are left.
2. Place all dry ingredients into your stand beater bowl and, with the dough hook attachment, mix at a low speed to fully combine. If you don't have a beater, place ingredients in a big mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
3. Make a well in the centre of your dry mixture and crack the eggs in and pour in the yeast mixture. Mix at a low speed until a sticky dough forms.
4. Stop the beater and scrape down the sides - i use a wooden spoon here as a spatular isn't strong enough to move the dough. You need to get any remaining unmixed dry flour from the bowl's bottom up to fully combine it. Now, increase the speed to medium and mix for 10 minutes. You are looking for an elastic, shiny dough that pulls away from the sides of the mixing bowl. If doing this by hand, knead the dough on the bench for 10 minutes.
5. Cut the butter into small 1cm cubes and gradually add to the dough mixture, continuing to beat on medium so the butter combines into the dough. I find this doesnt always happen in the machine so once ive add all the butter i turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench and 'rub' the butter in.
6. Spray a clean bowl with non-stick spray and place your dough inside. Cover with a slightly damp tea towel and put the bowl into a warm oven (~30°C) and shut the door. Yeast likes to activate in warm darkness! Leave it there for 3-4 hours until its doubled in size - make sure you have your oven rack low as it grows!
You can now turn out the dough onto a lightly floured bench and start on the filling.
Filling ingredients (i have edited some of the filling quantities to suit how it turns out for me)
1/2 cup basil pesto
1/4 tomato paste (this is my addition to the recipe to give it a bit more richness)
1 cup crumbed feta
1.5 cups grated vintage chedder cheese
c.15 sundried tomatoes, chopped in half
4 cups of fresh baby spinach
Egg wash made up by whisking 1tbsp cream with 1 egg
1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Prepare at least 12 muffin tins with either non-stick spray, or individual line each muffin tin with 'pockets' of baking paper (cut 15cm squares of paper and squish into the muffin tin).
2. On a floured bench, roll dough into a rectangle which is 1cm thick. Your rectangle should be 20cm wide and as long as your dough goes - mine gets to c.90cm (the recipe book says 45cm!) Position the dough so the longest side is facing you.
3.Spread pesto and tomato paste over the dough ensuring it is fully covered. I used a cake scraper to get a nice even spread. Scatter over the 2 cheeses, and sprinkle with sundried tomatoes. Lastly, lay a thick layer of spinach over the top.
4. Roll up the dough away from you to form a long log. Using a sharp knife, slice into 5cm-wide slices - you will end up with 12-19 scrolls depending on how much your dough 'grew'. Place each scroll into a muffin tin and brush tops with egg wash. If you only have 12 muffin tins, just cook in two batches.
5. Before you place the scrolls into the oven, turn the temperature down to 180°C and cook for 15 minutes. Then turn the temperature down to 160°C and cook for a further 25 minutes. The scrolls should be a deep golden brown. Allow to cool before removing from tins.
*This cooking method is different to what Kim Evans published in her "Treats From Little and Friday" cookbook - i found her way did not cook the brioche right through and it came out doughy. By reducing the temperature the dough cooks through for longer, but doesn't burn.
You can freeze this cooked brioche in air tight zip lock bags and warm them in the oven for serving when you need them.
Little and Friday is the most refreshingly original cafe concept i have experienced, and i have not come across anything in Sydney that beats it. I think the story of how Kim Evans started her dream is what makes it even more atmospheric and special. So if you are in Auckland and have time for a visit, it is well worth the trip to Newmarket or Belmont (the Flagship store where it all began).