"If they no longer have bread, let them eat croissants." This phrase was attributed to Queen Marie Antoinette of Habsburg-Lorraine, who, it is said, pronounced it in front of the starving people in the absence of bread.
The origin of the name is controversial: Alexander Dumas has come to claim that it would derive from Brie (the famous cheese) because it would have been kneaded with the brie and da geese, see figs similar in shape to the typical sandwich head. It is more likely to come from an archaic form of French broyer (grind but also work the dough, or that derives from Saint-Brieuc, place where instead it would have been invented and the preparation sold with the name of Briochin.
Countless varieties of brioche
By now it has passed water under the bridge from the days of the classic breakfast bar with "brioche and cappuccino". Today there are so many types of brioche that we really need a map to be able to orient ourselves in this delicious sweet and varied world! First of all, even for vegans and celiacs the pleasure of a tasty croissant in the morning is no longer forbidden, thanks to the delicious new full-grain and vegan versions. Thus, even for the less traditionalists, brioches of all kinds are now widespread: from Sicilian ones with the group with a lot of granita, to the Ligurian and Venetian ones.
The traditional recipe to do with simplicity even at home
And if instead we wanted to make this breakfast no longer the Sunday exception or the weekly routine, but a pleasant good morning also at home? here is the method known as pasta on pasta which includes three leavening times: ideal to prepare the day before! to prepare the brioche dough just a little flour, milk, butter, yeast, sugar, salt and eggs. Start by dissolving 20 g of brewer's yeast with warm water, milk and 75 g of flour to form a round bun of the right consistency. Then make a cross cut and place it to rise in a warm place with a layer of flour underneath. Make a hole in the middle of the remaining flour (about 225 g) and add 30 g of sugar, salt and an egg, and mix with your fingers, add 150 g of butter cut into small pieces and start mixing the flour, first with the blade of a knife, then with the hands, to form a homogeneous and elastic dough. Combine this with the leavened bun, and when it has grown twice, using your hand to work it, add 2 more eggs one at a time. When the dough has risen in a closed and warm place, unravel it and fill it with half of a dozen striped tin tins, greased first with butter and dusted with flour and icing sugar, or by the desired shape with brioche dough. Finally, let them rise again, then cook them in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees for 15-20 minutes, to be seasoned according to personal tastes!
Brioche dough to rise correctly needs a warm environment, about 27-28 degrees; otherwise, processing in a colder place requires a greater dose of yeast and a longer leavening time. With this type of pasta, you can pack fruit brioche, braids, savory croissants. All the preparations, before being baked in the oven, should be gilded on the surface with a brush dipped in beaten egg, which will give the attractive final glaze.
Dietary issues: nothing to fear
Indeed someone will have posed the caloric problem of a breakfast of this type. Nothing to fear, because any good diet will agree that this is the most important meal of the day, where you can afford more than any other time to "cheat" and give yourself a sweet pleasure, then having the rest of the day for dispose of it. In addition, today there are so many variations, that it will be enough to reduce the quantity of butter to be gluttonous without sin!
If you want to learn many other recipes for healthy and genuine breakfasts, take part in one of our pastry courses: we are waiting for you!
Texts by Giulia Ubaldi