Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gruyere and Carmelized Onion Flower Brioche

Lets just start by saying I am so glad this recipe finally made it into my life.  Apparently the brioche flower (usually Nutella filled) has been floating around the internet and gracing peoples tables for a while, however it only just came onto my browser a few weeks ago.  Upon seeing a picture of it, I instantly had to try making it, and have made it a few times since.  As you can probably tell, I usually go for flavor over looks in my baked goods, but this is one of those few special recipes that is simple to make (unlike the macaron), amazing to look at, AND delicious to eat.  Either sweet or savory, this recipe is a winner.  People are so impressed its home made when you bring it in, and its so easy to share, as everyone just tears off "petals."

My discovery of this recipe on the interwebs also happened to coincide with being given a gopro as a present.  This seemed like a perfect excuse to try out time-lapse baking... thus leading to my new obsession (expect to see more here soon!) Here is my first baking time-lapse, of the brioche making process (nutella filled):

The traditional recipe is Nutella filled, and it was pretty gooey and amazing, but I decided to branch out a little today and try a savory filling, and I did not regret my decision... carmelized onions and bubbling gruyere cheese combine beautifully, making a decadent, savory, delicious, beautiful brioche, perfect for that special event you are going to, or just to stand in your kitchen and eat fresh out of the oven.  No judgement, just jealousy.  I suspect there are a million flavor combinations to be tried, that would all be delicious (pesto and sun dried tomato maybe?? or a new format for cinnamon rolls??).  So go ahead, drop your fear of yeast, and make this impressive Brioche.  You'll be happy you did.

Gruyere and carmelized onion flower brioche
Adapted from The Bread Kitchen

- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp dried active yeast
- 1 Tb sugar (3 Tb if making a sweet brioche)
- 60 g (4 Tb) butter
- 3 1/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs

- 2 small/medium onions
- ~150 grams (~1 cup grated) Gruyere cheese

Glaze: 1 Tb milk, 1 Tb water

Make the Brioche:
  1. Measure out the milk into a plastic measuring glass (or something microwaveable) and microwave for 20 seconds until look warm.  Add the yeast and sugar into the milk, mix a little, and let it sit for 10 minutes to activate it.
  2. While the milk is sitting:
    • melt the butter in the microwave (use 30 second increments to not burn it), and set it aside to cool.  
    • place the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl, mix it up, and make a well in the center.
    • Half the onions, and thinly slice them.
    • grate your cheese
  3. Add the eggs to the center of the flour well, and gently break up the yolk and mix up the eggs.  Add the milk/yeast mixture and melted butter, and mix everything together with a wooden spoon until it begins to come together into a soft dough.  Then using your hands, knead the dough for ten minutes.  It will start off sticky, but just keep kneading and it will transform into a soft ball of dough (that is just a little sticky).  Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a dish towel, and let it rest in a warm place until it doubles (1-1.5 hours).
  4. Put two tablespoons of olive oil and 1 Tb of butter into a large frying pan over medium heat, then add the sliced onions. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let them steam for 10 minutes.  Then remove the lid, and let cook for another 10-40 minutes until they become deep brown (see picture above), stirring occasionally.  Be patient, this can take a long time, but they are worth it!  And you are waiting for your dough to rise anyways...  (Last time I made them I forgot the onions on the stove for 20 minutes, and I rushed in to find some looking black, but even those tasted so delicious and full of flavor).
  5. When your dough is ready, knock it down with a punch, then knead it for a few minutes.  Cut the ball of dough into quarters, and place 3 of the balls back into your bowl and over it.  Place one ball between two sheets of parchment paper, and roll it into a ~9.5 inch circle.  Remove the top layer of parchment paper, and slide it into a cookie tray.  Spread 1/3 of the carmelized onions and 1/3 of the grated cheese onto the circle of dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border at the edges uncovered.  Roll out the next ball of dough, place on top of the first layer, and gently press down to seal the edges.  Spread the next 1/3rd of gruyere and onions on top, and repeat with the remaining balls of dough and filling, but don't spread any filling on the top (4th) layer.
  6. Now the fun part!  Using a sharp knife, cut the brioche into 16 equal parts, leaving a 2 inch circle in the center not cut.  Its easiest to keep even if you cut it in half over and over....  Then take a pair of segments, and twist each one 180° away from each other, then twist them again 180°.  Now twist them once more, 90°, then press the ends together.  Repeat this with the remaining pairs of segments.  Don't worry if things don't look perfect, and some filling looks like its spilling out, this is part of the charm, and it will taste delicious.
  7. Cover with a lightly greased sheet of sedan wrap, and let sit in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
  8. Mix remaining milk and water together, and brush over brioche before baking.  Bake at 180c/360f oven for 20-25 minutes, until it looks golden and the cheese is bubbling.  Cool on a wire rack.  Or eat it warm right off the tray, like I did.

1 comment:

  1. I am so chuffed to run across this recipe! Every time I've made the brioche flower bread, I've thought how great it would be with Gruyere and onions -- and googling it today to see if anyone had tried it brought me to your recipe. This is my favorite savory combo of all time and one of my favorite doughs, so I can't wait to try it out this week. Thanks so much for posting your efforts and photos, and best of luck with your veterinary career, I'm sure you'll be a great one!


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