Piece of life
A brioche recipe from Christophe Michalak is a good start, but “without eggs and butter,” it gets intriguing. Let me tell you something immediately…. it’s magic!
For the record, I came across this recipe because of a fridge problem… At the start of the pandemic, our fridge broke. Imagine: shops closed, handymans overwhelmed and my fridge freezing everything, cooking had become a real headache! And the kids [100% of the time at home] wanted a brioche, but I didn’t have any butter and only 2 frozen eggs [damn fridge], so I thought I’d look for a vegan recipe. And that’s how I found this recipe on Mercotte’s website [PS: the recipe is not vegan since there is milk, but you can use plant-based milk instead, it works out great !].
About the brioche
This brioche is a wonderful discovery. The texture is amazing: stringy, soft, and very greedy… For the skeptics, believe me, it’s worth the try. And as a brioche passionate, you should trust me!
I had fun testing this brioche in different ways.
1/ The oil: I mostly use olive oil. It has a strong flavour but matches perfectly with the recipe, though you can change it to a more neutral oil, like avocado oil or grape seed oil.
2/ The milk: cow or plant-based, as you prefer. I made this brioche with cow and oat milk, both versions were equally good.
3/ Sugar. I reduced the quantity a bit from the original recipe. I tried the recipe with a different form of sugar: white sugar, honey and maple syrup. If you go for a “liquid sugar,” you’ll have to decrease the amount of milk a bit to compensate; the dough being already soft, the addition of liquid makes it too hard to handle.
4/ I don’t follow the same steps for the dough preparation as the original recipe, but it works perfectly.
5/ The shape: well, be creative…
The best brioche (without eggs and butter, chef Christophe Michalak)
- Mold (mine is 23 cm or 9 inch), with a high edge
- 380 g flour
- 260 ml milk (cow or plant-based) 250 mL if you use maple syrup or honey
- 70 g oil olive, avocado, grape seed, canola (rapeseed)…
- 40 g sugar or maple syrup or honey
- 20 g fresh yeast or 1 bag of dry yeast (about 7 or 8 g)
- 5 g salt
For the topping
- pearl sugar
- Line the mold with parchment paper (or grease it with oil).
- Crumble the yeast into the bowl of the mixer (fitted with the hook).
- Pour in the warm milk and let the yeast dilute for about 10 minutes.
- Add the flour, oil, sugar (honey or maple syrup) and salt.
- Knead the dough on slow speed for 10 minutes. The dough will be quite sticky, this is normal.
- Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rise for about 1 hour in a dry, warm place, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough. Cut the dough into 8 pieces of the same size (more or less… I don't weigh it, I do it by eye), and shape them into balls. Place them in the mold, forming a flower. Leave a small space between each piece, about 0.5 cm (as the dough will rise).
- Let it rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Gently brush the dough with a little milk, then spread the pearl sugar over it.
- Bake for 30 minutes.