Friday, 15 May 2009

Petite Brioches

A wonderful breakfast treat - ideal for a special tea of coffee party and a great stater - all from one simple recipe. 4 cups all-purpose flour 3 tablespoons sugar 1 package Rapid Rise Yeast 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup milk 1/4 cup water 3/4 cup butter or margarine -- cut in pieces 4 eggs CREAM CHEESE and FRUIT PRESERVES 1/3 cup whipped cream cheese 1/3 cup apricot, raspberry or cherry preserves HAM AND CHEESE 1 cup shredded cheese 1 cup diced cooked ham In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Heat milk, water and butter until very warm (120º to 130ºF); butter does not need to melt. Gradually add to dry ingredients; beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 3 eggs, 1 egg yolk (reserve egg white) and 3/4 cup flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. (This can be done in a bread maker or a food processor) Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Stir dough down. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight. Remove dough from refrigerator; punch down. Transfer dough to floured surface. Remove 1/2 cup of dough; reserve. Divide remaining dough into 16 equal portions; shape each into ball. Transfer to 16 well-greased 2 1/2-inch brioche pans or muffin cups. Divide reserved dough into 16 equal pieces; shape each into ball. Make deep indentation in center of each large ball; moisten slightly with water. Press small ball into each indentation. Cover; let rise in warm draft-free place until doubled in size, about 30 to 45 minutes. Lightly beat reserved egg white; brush on tops. Bake at 400ºF for 12 to 15 minutes or until done. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. This is the unfilled variety - ideal for Breakfast or brunch - however you can make them into tea time treats or an unusual first course by filling each brioche as follows: • For Filled Petite Brioches: Flatten each large ball to 4-inch circle. Place desired filling (recipes follow) in center; bring dough up around filling, pleating and pinching firmly to seal. Transfer, pleated side up, to prepared pans. Proceed as recipe directs. Cream Cheese and Fruit Preserves: 1/3 cup apricot or raspberry preserves and 1/3 cup whipped cream cheese. Use 1 teaspoon each of preserves and cream cheese per brioche. Fruit Preserves: 2/3 cup apricot, raspberry or red cherry preserves. Use 2 teaspoons preserves per brioche. Ham & Cheese: 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese and 1 cup diced cooked ham. Use 1 tablespoon each of cheese and ham per brioche. Cheese: Grate or shred a sharp or flavoured cheese and mix with a little mustard - use 1 tablespoon per brioche. Pate: Fill with 1 tablespoon of good quality or home made pate. Seafood: Fill brioche with a mixture of anchovies (or anchovy paste) and tomato - or use smoked oysters - one per brioche. make up your own for a truly unique taste treat.

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