Monday, October 18, 2010

Pumpkin Brioche

Pumpkin Brioche
(adapted from Susan Spicer's "Crescent City Cooking" cookbook)

1 envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey, plus 2 tablespoons honey
1 cup pumpkin puree
5 eggs, plus 1 beaten egg
1/4 cup whole milk
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small pieces
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1 teaspoon honey in 2 tablespoons warm water.  Place the pumpkin puree in the bowl of a mixer.  Using the paddle attachment, beat 1 minute at medium speed, then add the 5 eggs, milk, and yeast mixture and beat for 1 minute.  Add the flour, the remaining 2 tablespoons honey, and salt and mix for about 5 minutes at medium speed.  Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes, then beat in the cold butter, a third at a time.  Remove the bowl, cover it lightly with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled in size. 
Close your hands into fists and gently punch down the dough to release air pockets and reduce its size.  Cover the dough and place it in the refrigerator to rise overnight, or at least 6 hours.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and scoop it into a buttered 6-cup brioche mold, two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans, or individual molds (such as buttered muffin tins).  Allow the dough to rise at room temperature until doubled.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Brush the surface of the dough with the beaten egg and prick it in several places with a toothpick.  Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 325 degrees F.  and continue baking until golden brown, about 20 more minutes for a large mold, or about 10 minutes for individual rolls.  Cool for 10 minutes in the molds, then invert and cool completely on a wire rack.