Blueberry and Custard Brioches

There are days where I just feel like having something really decadent to eat. I mean, to me food is something that's meant to be comforting- its meant to be shared with family and friends over pots of homemade chicken stew and old-school porridge, shared over laughter and tears, and something that's meant to soothe the soul. I'm a firm believer that a warm chocolate chip cookie-  filled with goey pockets of dark chocolate and rich with brown sugar and vanilla- can do wonders. And while baking disasters (sometimes) do make me cry, the sweet smell of baking brownies and the warm comfort of baking bread and pastries in the oven is truly unbeatable.

This brioche is one of those things that I want to have for breakfast everyday. It's decadent and delicious, and well the few berries studded in the unctuous, vanilla flecked pastry cream makes me feel like I'm living the healthy life having fruits for breakfast (I wish I could kid myself). Jokes aside, its one of those breakfast pastries with texture: soft, buttery bread, creamy pastry cream with bursts of tart blueberries and a crisp crumble topping to seal the deal, which should be exactly how it should be. I mean, whats not to love? It's everything I want for breakfast in a gorgeous little bun, and I promise every ounce of effort you need to whisk the pastry cream and make brioche dough is well worth it- you'll relish the smell of buttery things baking in the oven and my favourite part has to be having spoonfuls of warm pastry cream straight out of the pot (shh don't tell anyone). Its really good, trust me. 

Blueberry and Custard Brioche 

Adapted from Gail's Artisan Bakery Cookbook

Brioche dough 
3g dry instant yeast
1 tbsp milk 
250g bread flour 
2.5 eggs
25g sugar 
125g salted butter, room temp
1 tsp salt 

Combine yeast, milk, flour, eggs, sugar, salt and half the butter, knead till smooth and elastic. Add the remaining butter and knead about 6-8 minutes on the stand mixer till shiny, smooth and elastic. Let rise at room temp for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, knock down then rise overnight. 

Pastry Cream 
1/2 vanilla pod, seeds scraped
250ml milk 
50g sugar
3 egg yolks
20g cornflour 

Heat vanilla, milk and sugar over medium low heat till just boiling. Meanwhile whisk together egg yolks and cornflour till pale. Gently whisk in the hot milk mixture, then return the mix to the pot and cook, stirring constantly till thickened. Let cool completely, pressing cling film directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. 

150g plain flour 
100g butter, chilled and diced
50g sugar

250g blueberries

Rub butter into flour till coarse breadcrumbs, stir in sugar. Chill, uncovered, till ready to use. 

Shape the brioche dough into 9 buns. Let rise on parchment lined baking sheet for 1 1/2 to 2 hours till doubled in size. Gently press down the middle and spoon in 2 tbsp of the pastry cream. Sprinkle over the berries and crumble.
Bake in a preheated 190 degrees celsius oven for 15-18 minutes. 

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