Let them eat brioche! would be a quote from Queen Marie Antoinette, supposed to describe the contempt for the sufferings of the poor on the part of a rich person. It’s a myth.
End of the Marie Antoinette myth
This phrase, quoted by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in his Confessions published in 1782, is often wrongly attributed to Queen Marie-Antoinette.
The comparison is striking but historically false.
The 18th-century writer thus tells the story of a “great princess who was told that the peasants had no bread, and who replied: Let them eat brioche”. Rousseau does not specify who this princess is, but it is impossible that it is Marie-Antoinette.
On the one hand, because there is no other written record of the time relating this quotation from the queen. On the other hand, because the Confessions were published posthumously from 1782 and tell the life of Rousseau until… 1765. However, Marie-Antoinette arrived in France to marry Louis XVI in 1770.
In other cultures, we can found similar formulas. A Chinese emperor said, that if his people had no rice to eat, would have answered: Why don’t they eat meat?
About the french brioche
In fact, the brioche is a cross between bread and cake. It made from a mixture of sugar and flour, milk, eggs, yeast and a lot of butter.
In France, we commonly eat for it for a french breakfast. We enjoy most often savour it plain. Indeed, no need to add more. But you could also possible to decorate it with jam.
The brioche is commonly eaten for a french breakfast. Most often it is eaten plain, no need to add more. But you could also possible to decorate it with jam.
However, one of the latest trends is to replace the classic hamburger buns with a slightly sweeter variety of brioche. You could as well eat brioche with a savoury dish such as foie gras.
The original recipe is from Normandy. The brioche is a derivative of the old Norman word for crushing, which means “to knead”.
Recipe of the french brioche
A very easy recipe
In this recipe, I don’t use any utensils except my oven and my arm. Old-fashioned! 😉 This recipe is quick and easy.
You’ll need 15 minutes to prepare, 1/2 hour of pause in a warm over for the dough and 15 minutes to cook… And 5 minutes to devour them for your breakfast but that’s another story!
It seems long to you because there is a lot of text?
Don’t worry, I’ve tried to answer all the questions you might ask yourself to make this delicious bun.
Tips for the best brioche recipe
There you go, you can make this recipe with the kids who will love to put their hands in the dough, or even decorate it with sugar chips, chocolate, pralines or whatever you like.
Personally, because there is a lot of dough, I made some with chocolate. Milk chocolate is better than dark chocolate and I’m really a fan of chocolate so believe me, don’t use chocolate that is too strong in taste.
And the other part of the dough I incorporated orange blossom which is a typical flavor of brioches from the South of France, like the French Riviera.
I’ve already told you, cooking is free! Don’t be afraid to have a base, then to innovate and you’ll amaze everyone to taste it or breakfast which are my favourite moments to enjoy a brioche.
The French recipe of the easy and delicious brioche!
To make soft and tasty brioches, you need:
For 6 medium size buns of french brioche:
– 2 cups -300 grams of flour
– 1/3 cup -75 g butter
– 1 cup -100 gr of sugar
– 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar and 1 tablespoon of orange blossom
– 2 eggs
– 3/4 cup – 125 ml of milk
– salt: 1 teaspoon
– 1 tablespoon of baker’s yeast (update: avoid baker’s yeast which will not make your brioche rise as much as with baker’s yeast).
-Option : chocolate
Personally, I eat it for breakfast and I even freeze some for later.
Before starting, you have to activate the yeast. -in a large cup add ⅛ of warm water ( 100°F) with 1ts of sugar with 1 tbs of baker’s yeast. Let this mixture foaming.
1. By hand : make a wheal inside your flour and add the yeast. Start to mix a little with a fork, than add 1 egg, salt and the butter which is soft. You could now Start to knead. Or in a food processor: Beat the eggs, milk, sugar, yeast then pour in the flour
2. Knead well your dough which needs to be sticky. Yes for making the bread the dough need to be more dryer than for the brioche. So you have lot of dough on your hands, yes it’s normal! Mix well in a food processor for 7 minutes at low speed (speed 1) + 5 to 7 minutes at speed 2 (or the opposite).
If you are kneading by hand, count about 20 minutes of active kneading.
3. With the food processus, you need to add the soft butter cut into pieces: Be careful not to melt your beaker – it should have been taken out several hours before and should be soft and not melted, and to work the dough, it is better not to make it hard.
I’ve already forgotten to take out the butter. The microwave is not a good option to soften it, because the molecules heat up more in the periphery than in the middle and so the butter melts on the edges…
Knead slowly for about 7 minutes in a food processor until having a soft and homogeneous dough.
=>Stop kneading as soon as the butter is well incorporated. Do not go any further, otherwise, the butter will heat up too much and you will end up with a compact brioche.
4. The dough must be very smooth, supple and elastic.
Do you find it sticky? Too soft? It’s normal! Don’t add flour because that’s the way it should be (especially if it contains a lot of butter). The stickier the dough, the more airy, stringy and melting the brioche will be.
5. Leave to rise away from draughts for 1h30 to 2 hours minimum, remembering to degas the dough once during rising.
Or before the preparation you have preheaten your oven at the minimum temperature, with a bowl of water. The idea is to create a warm and humide space. Now that your oven is just warm ( temperature around 100°F), you could turn it off if the temperature is over 100°F, and let inside the dough swelling for ½ hour. Add on the top of the bowl a wet kitchen towel before adding the dough inside.
You could let the dough swelling outside in a warm place ( near by the heat, or in the bathroom which is warm and humide) for 1hour and 30 minutes.
A long spout allows the dough to develop well and keeping it in a cool place allows for better shaping since the dough will no longer be sticky or practically no longer sticky (you should use the flour only to make the worktop flour). Leaving the dough in the cooler does not alter the ability to grow, on the contrary, it controls it while allowing the dough to develop.
6. When the leavening is finished: You should break the dough with your fist to degas it. knead it again, and make small bowl with the down, shape your brioche.
Let it grow again, covered, in a warm place, for 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the room temperature or over the night in your fridge. Most of the time I’m making several bowls ( 5 leave) that I let grow in circle on my baking try with parchemin paper on it of course.
Ideal: 30 minutes in a warm and humide place or in you just warm oven at the temperature of 100°F + 1h30 or more (ideally overnight) in a cool place in a filmed bowl or covered with an airtight lid if your bowl has one.
If you decide to leave the dough in the fridge over the night, you could cook it for the breakfast !!!
7. Brown the whole egg, sprinkle with granulated sugar (or leave it plain) and bake for about 25-30 minutes at 180°C – 350°F(thermostat 6) or 10-15 minutes for small pieces.
Have a happy breakfast time, you will see it’s delicious!