Brioche Balls

Posted on February 19, 2014


It’s been a busy, fun and food-filled few weeks.

From recipe testing and a photo shoot at a Lords house, to photographing actors, bakeware and some raucous production photography.

It was nice to round it off with a day in London to celebrate Ed’s 40th, where we had lunch at the River Café then called in at Fortnum and Mason for some extra birthday treats.

Ed's Birthday - River Cafe

Ed and I always remember events in our lives by the things that we eat. From meals as significant as our wedding lunch to a packet of crisps at the top of Snowdon, it’s thinking about the food that can jettison me back to any given moment.

We have obviously passed this ‘food memory’ onto George as he will regularly say something like “Oh, I remember coming here, it’s where I sat under a tree and ate a ham and jam sandwich” Yes George, I think anyone would remember if they ate that too.

After a period of decadence we probably ought to beat the retreat with a month of salad and abstinence, but until then, it’s been a while since I posted any baking.

So I offer you these Buttery Brioche Balls.

Balls of brioche dough

This recipe was devised to serve with a starter of burrata and Aga dried tomatoes, but you’ll have to get hold of a copy of Aga Living magazine the for the rest of the recipes. Luckily though, you don’t have to have an Aga to make them.

They bake in only 10 minutes or so, but as with most brioche recipes you make the rich dough in advance and chill it in the fridge overnight. This makes for a quick morning bake if you fancy some of these with marmalade for breakfast. They are also good served with melting cheese to dip them in or with soup.

Brioche Bites on a Board

I baked one batch of the dough in some cute cast iron pans as an alternative shape.

Pan Loaves

I love the way they get stretch marks as the oven spring rises them up out of their pans.

These did look like they were destined to be perfect burger holders, but they actually got incorporated into the bread and butter pudding (we had a bit of bread overload during recipe testing week)

I’ve got a list of ‘things yet to blog’ that’s long as my arm. There are things that I have made and loved but have yet to write up and photograph. It’s a constant surprise to me which posts garner the most interest and those that hover around beneath the radar. Anything with potatoes always seems to go down well…and cake is forever popular.

Is there anything you would like to see on the pages of things{we}make? Something from your ‘food memory’ that I should have a go at?

If so, let me know in the comments and I will build it into the schedule.

Brioche Bites

200g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5g from a 7g from a sachet of instant yeast (almost all!)
5g fine salt
20ml warm milk
1 tbsp caster sugar
50g softened butter
2 medium free range eggs, beaten
1 medium free range egg and a tablespoon of milk to glaze

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, and bring it all together to form a dough.
Knead for about 10 mins, until smooth, ideally using a stand mixer with a dough hook.
With a little flour shape the dough into a ball, place in a bowl and cover with cling film.
Leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day let the dough warm up for an hour.
Form about 16 squash ball sized balls (around 25g each)
Arrange on a baking tray, on parchment or Bake-O-Glide so they are 0.5cm apart.
Cover with oiled cling film and rise for another hour in a warm place until they start to touch.
Preheat the oven to 200c/GM6.
Glaze with beaten egg and milk, and sprinkle with seeds if you like.
Bake for 10-12 minutes until rich golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack.

If you don’t manage to eat them the same day make a bread and butter pudding.