Not quite satisfied with my last efforts with one hundred percent butter brioche from Ian Lowe, I made a couple to increase portion size and asked Ian for some expert advice before endeavoring to introduce equal butter to flour, here's what came of it, classique!
Brioche with olive oil isn't new to me. What is new is laminating it with butter! Nothing nicer then crisp flaky dough outside while the inside is soft and savory. Below are photos of such a treat; sourdough leavened and laminated dough, erupting like a mushroom!
Brioche in itself is already a rich buttery bread, but when folded with about a 2/3rds of that butter like croissants it transforms into that's crisp, airy and rich wonder that is laminated Viennoiserie. In this version I played with a bit of rye and a whole wheat levain for fermentation, as I was low on just wheat levain. Achieving a good amount of layers with a egg and butter rich dough I thought would be difficult, but instead I got delicate crumb and crunchy crust.
A baking colleague recently introduced me to some formulations for two paninis; briochine and semi sweet, (Dolci é Semi dolci). These small buns can be used for little sandwiches ideal in tastings, bar menus, or breakfast. Both are enriched with egg, butter, lard or oil. And they are delightfully light. Try them with a bechamel and a sliver of salty pancetta? Or a spoonful of nutella? Below is a formula that I used. Note, for the semi dolci, you can adapt for sour dough or hybrid.
While maintaining a levain at work for sourdough onion rings, I sometimes play around, make a loaf or pizza dough for the kitchen staff, but no real bread production per say.
That changed when I tried ordering hamburger buns from my bread company and was told I'd missed the cut off for the day. Oh well! I proceeded to feed my levain and the next day made my own buns, olive oil version brioche. Pretty nice results, although a nice retarding would of lent to a more even final product. Still, I was pleased!
Brioche is that buttery rich and pillow-like Viennoiserie. It is wonderful, whether plain, toasted, enriched with nuts, raisins, or sugar coated. It's a royal sort of bread, and must be treated and prepared with care to emulsify the lipids into the gluten strands of wheat, sort of like a sauce.
I have been playing with a pre-ferment formula using my levain, a bit of yeast and instead of butter, olive oil. Chad Robertson has a version in his bread book, with a poolish and levain and olive oil. I have had some success with it, but enjoy the one in the photos. It's got great shelf life, and a surprisingly fruity taste from, what I guess is, the olive oil.
I remember the first time in baking school that we hand-made brioche. It was a sticky and messy venture which included incorporating butter into sweet eggy dough. Once we could manage the dough-slapping technique - recently made famous by Richard Bertinet - it started to get a cohesive gluten structure, meaning, like me and my fellow students, you can do it, too. And you don't even have to enroll in school.
Here's two pathways to explore. You can try dabbling with the buttery richness of brioche by enriching the dough with olive oil, as explained in Chad Robertson's Tartine, which gives the finished product a healthy feel. Or try what I've done, adapting a recipe from a Parisian boulanger called Laurent Bonneau, the formula found on the bread forum Boulangerie Net. It's a formula for a 25 percent rye brioche, originally a straight dough, but I tinkered a bit to a hybrid rather then full levain as I had failed in my last two levain brioche. The formulas needed tweaking, as the results were less then perfect!
A few pointers:
1.) Longer ferments for sweetened doughs, especially with levain.
2.) An overnight cold chill, so you can shape the dough.
3.) Bake at between 375-400, depending on size or weight of your brioche.