Hello, Good News! Welcome to another article where we explore the world of baking and share with you some amazing recipes that you can try at home. Today, we are going to talk about brioche feuilletée, a heavenly pastry that combines the richness of brioche with the delicate, flaky layers of puff pastry. If you love buttery, airy, and slightly sweet breads, then you will love this French delicacy.
Brioche feuilletée is not very common outside of France, but it deserves more attention and appreciation. It is a pastry that requires some skill and patience, but the result is well worth it. In this article, we will show you how to make brioche feuilletée from scratch, as well as some variations and tips to make it even more delicious. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about brioche feuilletée and its history and culture. So, let’s get started!
What is Brioche Feuilletée?
Brioche feuilletée is a type of brioche that has been laminated with butter, creating thin layers of dough that puff up and become flaky when baked. Brioche is a bread of French origin that has a high egg and butter content, giving it a rich and tender crumb. Puff pastry is a dough that has been folded and rolled repeatedly with butter, creating hundreds of layers that rise and separate when exposed to heat.
By combining these two doughs, brioche feuilletée achieves a unique texture and flavor that is unlike any other pastry. It has a dark, golden, and crispy crust, frequently accentuated by an egg wash or sugar crystals applied before baking. The inside is soft, moist, and slightly sweet, with visible layers that melt in your mouth. Brioche feuilletée can be shaped into various forms, such as loaves, braids, buns, or twists. It can also be filled or topped with different ingredients, such as chocolate, nuts, fruits, cream, or jam.
The Origin and History of Brioche Feuilletée
The exact origin and history of brioche feuilletée are not very clear, but it is believed that it was created in France sometime in the 20th century. Some sources suggest that it was inspired by the kouign-amann, a Breton pastry that consists of bread dough layered with butter and sugar. Others claim that it was invented by Philippe Conticini, a famous French pastry chef who owns the Pâtisserie des Rêves in Paris.
Regardless of who created it first, brioche feuilletée has become a popular pastry in France, especially in Normandy and Provence. It is often eaten for breakfast or as a snack, accompanied by coffee or tea. It is also served as a dessert or as a base for other pastries, such as babas au rhum or tarts. Brioche feuilletée is considered a viennoiserie, a category of pastries that includes croissants, pain au chocolat, and pain aux raisins.
The Ingredients and Equipment for Brioche Feuilletée
To make brioche feuilletée from scratch, you will need the following ingredients:
- Flour: All-purpose flour works well for both the brioche and the puff pastry doughs.
- Eggs: Eggs add richness, moisture, and structure to the brioche dough.
- Butter: Butter is essential for both the brioche and the puff pastry doughs. It adds flavor, texture, and flakiness. You will need unsalted butter at room temperature for the brioche dough and cold butter for the puff pastry dough.
- Milk: Milk adds moisture and softness to the brioche dough.
- Water: Water helps to hydrate the flour and create gluten in the puff pastry dough.
- Sugar: Sugar adds sweetness and helps to brown the crust of the brioche feuilletée.
- Yeast: Yeast is a leavening agent that makes the brioche dough rise and become airy.
- Salt: Salt enhances the flavor and controls the yeast activity in both doughs.
- Cream: Cream adds richness and moisture to the brioche dough.
- Liquid (optional): You can add some liquid flavoring to the brioche dough, such as vanilla extract, orange blossom water, or brandy.
You will also need the following equipment:
- A stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or a large bowl and a wooden spoon for mixing the brioche dough.
- A rolling pin for rolling out both doughs.
- A pastry scraper or a knife for cutting and folding the doughs.
- A baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat for baking the brioche feuilletée.
- A pastry brush for applying the egg wash or the sugar crystals.
- A wire rack for cooling the brioche feuilletée.
The Steps for Making Brioche Feuilletée
Making brioche feuilletée from scratch involves several steps and takes some time, but it is not very difficult if you follow these instructions:
- Make the brioche dough: In a stand mixer or a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Add the eggs, butter, milk, cream, and liquid flavoring (if using) and mix until a smooth and elastic dough forms. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about an hour. Then, punch down the dough, cover it again, and refrigerate it overnight.
- Make the puff pastry dough: Cut the cold butter into thin slices and arrange them on a piece of parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper and use a rolling pin to flatten the butter into a square about 1/4 inch thick. Refrigerate the butter until firm. In another bowl, combine the flour, water, and salt and mix until a smooth and stiff dough forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.
- Laminate the doughs: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry dough into a square about twice the size of the butter square. Place the butter square on top of the puff pastry dough in an offset manner so that the corners of the butter are in the middle of the sides of the puff pastry. Fold the corners of the puff pastry over the butter and seal them well. Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Fold the bottom third of the dough over the middle third, then fold the top third over that. This is called a single fold. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes. Repeat this process two more times, making sure to rotate the dough 90 degrees each time before rolling and folding. After the third fold, wrap the dough and refrigerate it for an hour.
- Shape and fill the brioche feuilletée: On a lightly floured surface, roll out the brioche dough into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out circles of brioche dough using a cookie cutter or a glass. Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, leaving some space between them. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise at room temperature until puffy, about an hour. Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry dough into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out circles of puff pastry dough using the same cookie cutter or glass as before. Place them on another baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat and refrigerate them until firm.
- Bake the brioche feuilletée: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Brush some egg wash over each circle of brioche dough. Place a circle of puff pastry dough on top of each circle of brioche dough, pressing lightly to adhere. Brush some more egg wash over each circle of puff pastry dough. Sprinkle some sugar crystals over each circle if desired. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and flaky. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool slightly before serving.
Brioche Feuilletée Variations
Brioche feuilletée is a versatile pastry that can be adapted to different tastes and occasions. Here are some variations that you can try:
Brioche Feuilletée with Chocolate
If you love chocolate, you can add some chocolate chips or chunks to the brioche dough before shaping it into circles. Alternatively, you can spread some chocolate hazelnut spread or ganache over each circle of brioche dough before topping it with puff pastry dough. You can also drizzle some melted chocolate over the baked brioche feuilletée for extra decadence.
Brioche Feuilletée with Nuts
Nuts add some crunch and flavor to brioche feuilletée. You can chop some nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pistachios, or pecans and sprinkle them over each circle of brioche dough before topping it withpuff pastry dough. You can also mix some nuts with honey or maple syrup and spread them over the baked brioche feuilletée for a sticky and nutty topping.
Brioche Feuilletée with Fruits
Fruits add some freshness and color to brioche feuilletée. You can slice some fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, bananas, or apples and arrange them over each circle of brioche dough before topping it with puff pastry dough. You can also make some fruit jam or compote and spread it over the brioche dough or the baked brioche feuilletée. You can also sprinkle some powdered sugar or whipped cream over the fruit-filled brioche feuilletée for a sweet and creamy finish.
Brioche Feuilletée Breakdown
To give you a better idea of what goes into making brioche feuilletée, here is a table that shows the breakdown of the ingredients, equipment, time, and calories for one batch of 12 pieces:
| Ingredients | Amount | Calories |
| Flour | 500 g | 1700 kcal|
| Eggs | 4 | 300 kcal |
| Butter | 400 g | 2900 kcal|
| Milk | 100 ml | 50 kcal |
| Water | 100 ml | 0 kcal |
| Sugar | 50 g | 200 kcal |
| Yeast | 10 g | 30 kcal |
| Salt | 10 g | 0 kcal |
| Cream | 50 ml | 150 kcal |
| Liquid | 10 ml | 10 kcal |
| Equipment |
| Stand mixer |
| Rolling pin |
| Pastry scraper|
| Baking sheet |
| Pastry brush |
| Wire rack |
| Time |
| Preparation: |
| Brioche: |
| Puff pastry: |
| Lamination: |
| Shaping: |
| Baking: |
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