On summer mornings in coastal towns, Calabrians can sometimes be found eating a brioche ice-cream sandwich for breakfast, and I can’t think of a better way to start the day. This brioche is golden brown, crisp on the outside and light on the inside. Serve with your favourite icecream.
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) warm milk
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
- 2¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 4 cups flour
- 85 g softened butter
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten, plus one extra egg for glazing
- 3 tsp (15 ml) water
- Chocolate and pistachio gelato, for serving
- Whipped cream, for topping
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Yeast activation time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes
Dough resting time: 2 hours + 1 hour (see Note)
1. In a bowl, combine warm milk, sugar and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes, or until frothy. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix in. Cover and let sit 30 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface.
2. Add remaining flour and softened butter to a separate bowl. Work together with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Add the three beaten eggs. Mix together using your hands. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it becomes smooth.
3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and cover. Let rest 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
4. Punch dough to release air. Turn out onto a floured counter and knead for a few more minutes. Divide dough into 12 pieces of equal size. Roll into balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Cover and let rest for 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Add 1 cup water to a baking tray or casserole dish and place on the lower rack (this will create steam). Whisk the water in a bowl with the remaining egg to make an egg wash. Uncover the brioche balls and brush with the egg wash. Place in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until golden.
6. Remove and let cool. Once cool, cut in half and fill with 2 scoops (1 chocolate and 1 pistachio) of gelato. Top with whipped cream. Dust with icing sugar if desired. Buon appetito!
• The rising times may vary depending on the temperature in your kitchen. On warmer days, the dough may take a shorter time.