Brioche is a pastry of French origin, similar to regular bread but for the additional egg and butter content which gives it a rich and tender crumb The steps involved in making it are actually very simple, but with rise time, it's best made on a quiet afternoon, or before bed, where it can cool overnight for an extra quick rise in the morning. It's pretty hard to screw up, but here are a few tips. You want to use fresh yeast, eggs and butter, using eggs that are room temperature. You also want to add the cooling butter mixture just a bit at a time so it blends well with the flour. I'd also recommend mixing this one by hand, the tender, buttery results are worth the little extra effort.
Brioche is made as a whole loaf and as individual rolls. How about muffins? On a cold and rain day, Brioche for supper sounded good. But how to prepare it that would be a little different? As I brought groceries into the house earlier, The dog was snooting the bag, smelling the bacon. Bacon, Bacon, Bacon......And some Maple Sugar! AH HA!!
Bacon Brioche Muffins with Maple Sugar
Chop about 6-8 pieces of cooked/cooled bacon into pieces. Set aside any small bits that are left after chopping.
In a small bowl, mix together and let sit 5-10 minutes, until slightly foamy-
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons warm water (about 120 degrees, baby formula temp)
2 Tablespoons warm milk
1/2 Tablespoon yeast (that would be 1 and 1/2 tsp)
in small pan melt 2 sticks unsalted butter
3 Tablespoons plus 2 and 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 Tablespoon salt
let cool a few minutes and whisk in 4 eggs
Combine yeast mixture with butter/egg mixture and stir into a big bowl containing 4 cups flour, a bit at a time, stirring briskly with a wooden spoon until smooth and shiny looking (3-6 minutes or so, depending on how much muscle you put into it).
Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in warm place (like the oven with light on) 2 hours, or until double in size. Then place in fridge to cool so it's easier to handle (1-2 hours or overnight for breakfast brioche)
Lightly grease the pans you will use. Remove the dough from the fridge and knead dough on lightly floured board about 4-5 times and cut into 12 pieces and gently form into balls with clean/dry, floured hands. I did 6 slightly larger balls for a popover pan (to which I added the little extra bits of bacon) and 6 smaller ones for a muffin pan that I will top with rosemary and sea salt for dinner rolls later in the week.
Let pans rise in warm place 1 hour. Place large bits of chopped, lightly cooked and cooled bacon into the top of each roll, pressing down into the dough (without squishing it) and then sprinkle with Maple sugar (I use King Arthurs) and bake in preheated 350 F. oven for 18-20 minutes.
To serve your bacony goodness, drizzle with maple syrup and a dab of butter while still warm and serve with fresh fruit for a light supper on a chilly night or a tasty breakfast.
sourced from: http://mausersandmuffins.blogspot.com/