The perfect meal in my eyes is a thick slice of crusty country bread, a hunk of good cheese, some salami or prosciutto, a lovely glass or red wine and maybe some fruit for dessert. This perfect meal would be serve outdoors whether at home or in a beautiful pastoral setting. These salami and provolone brioche would definitely satisfy the bread, cheese and meat part of my outdoor meal. Plus, would be very easy to pack and carry.
Although many bakers shy away from making brioche as it is time-consuming and forming the traditional top knot brioche does take a little practice, the pleasure lies in enjoying the fruits of your hard-earned labor. If brioche molds are not in your batterie de cuisine, these brioche are just as delicious made in muffin tins or in a ring mold. After the recipe, be sure and watch the video on shaping brioche.
Making the brioche dough begins with a sponge, a small amount of dough that is prepared a short time before the actual dough which gives the entire dough a boost. Although the sponge may contain other ingredients such as eggs, milk or sugar, a very simple one is made with yeast dissolved in water and flour beaten in to make a smooth batter.
Salami and Provolone Cheese Brioche
Recipe From Italy in Small Bites by Carol Field
- 1 package active dry yeast (2-1/2 teaspoons)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup milk, warmed-105°-115° F
- 1/2 cup (70grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces boiling potatoes, peeled (about 3 medium-size)
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 cups, plus 2 teaspoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 ounces salami, finely chopped
- 2 ounces piquant provolone cheese, diced ( I used jalapeño jack cheese with good results)
- Freshly grated pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- Cook the potatoes in boiling water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside to use while still warm, not hot.
- While the potatoes are boiling, prepare the sponge. Stir the yeast and sugar into the warmed milk in a large bowl and leave until the yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let stand until doubled in volume, about 15 minutes. As soon as the potatoes are still just warm, mash them until no lumps remain.
- First Rise- Beat the eggs and salt together and add to the sponge. With a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of a heavy duty mixer, mix in the flour and potatoes. Add the butter, then the Parmesan, salami, provolone(jalapeño jack) and pepper.
- Either switch to the dough hook of your mixer or turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead for 7-9 minutes by hand or with a dough hook, 2 minutes on low, then 3 minutes on medium speed, until dough is firm, response and slightly sticky.
- Remove to a lightly oiled bowl, turning to oil both sides, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and lead to rise until doubled, about 1to 1-1/4 hours.
- Shaping and Second Rise-Review the video for individual brioches. If making brioche in rings, divide the dough in half and shape each piece in a long roll. Join the ends to make two rings, leaving as large a hole as possible in the center. Set the rings on greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cover with towels and let rise until puffy, 1 to 1-1/4 hours.
- Baking-Preheat the oven to 400°F. If using baking stones, preheat them 30 minutes and place the baking sheets directly on top of the stones. Just before baking, brush the tops of the rings well with the beaten egg. Bake the brioche for 25 minutes, until glossy and golden brown. Makes two 10-inch rings or about 12 individual brioche.
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