Photo by Anja Schmidt
I love to make this for lunch for the family or friends, but without the flavorings. In France it is quite usual to serve a light brioche with something savory like cheese, liver pâté, or smoked salmon, but when we make this in my bread classes, it is often quite a revelation, and always a big favorite when we sit down and tuck into it at lunchtime.
Turn it into a bit of a party piece by serving some charcuterie on a separate board, and putting out a bowl of warm new potatoes, which everyone can use to scoop out all the cheese first, like a fondue. When the cheese has gone, I make a big green salad in a bowl, toss it with plenty of vinaigrette (made with 1 to 2 parts wine vinegar to 3 to 4 parts extra virgin olive oil and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper), and some chopped walnuts, and tip it into the space left by the cheese. I then cut a big wedge for everyone to enjoy a fantastic mix of cheesy, herby, garlicky bread and salad.
If you buy a 1kg brie, this will feed 8 to 10. I may be French, but because it’s good to support regional produce, I use a nice ripe English Somerset brie—but not so overripe that it is running over the table!
Serves 8 to 10
- 1 quantity of Multicolored buns dough, omitting the flavorings
- strong white bread flour, for dusting
- 1 large (1kg) ripe brie
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, and finely sliced
- a few small sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme
- 2 tablespoons good extra virgin olive oil
- dash of Pernod (optional)
For the glaze:
- 2 eggs
- pinch of fine sea salt
Photo by Anja Schmidt
- Make the dough following steps 1 to 5 on page 121.
- When the dough has rested, lightly flour your work surface and roll the dough into a rough circle.
- Place a large baking ring (about 12 inches in diameter) on top of a baking sheet, then press in a large sheet of parchment paper.
- Lower the dough into the paper, and use your fingertips to gently press it down in the center, and outwards into the shape of the ring, so that you create an indent big enough to hold the brie, while forming a rim around the outside of the cheese.
- Put in the brie, and score the surface with a sharp knife in criss-cross fashion.
- Push the slices of garlic into the cuts that you have made, along with the sprigs of fresh rosemary and thyme. Drizzle the whole thing with the olive oil. I like to sprinkle over a tablespoon of Pernod too, but that is up to you.
- Cover with a large freezer bag and leave to rise for about 45 minutes. During this time the rim of the dough will almost double in size.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375°F, and beat the eggs with the salt for the glaze.
- Brush the rim of the dough with the egg glaze, and transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Turn down the heat to 350°F, and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes, until the cheese has melted, and the rim of the brioche is a dark golden brown. If you lift up the parchment paper carefully, you should be able to see through it to check that the base of the brioche is also dark golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and holding the parchment paper, lift the brioche from the ring onto a board, and invite everyone to tuck in while it is still warm.
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Excerpted with permission from Crumb by Richard Bertinet, published by Kyle Books in March 2019.