A weblog about my food creation and addiction!

Versatile brioche dough — Pissaladiere

Kat’s patisserie is back to live!…I know, after having been away for an entire year! I hope my readers haven’t given up on me and have stopped checking this site out yet…

I’m not quite a pasta or rice person, I mainly live on breads whenever I need my carb, although while the whole world is talking about eating light, I’ve been limiting my carb intake to the very minimum:p Having said that, the rich, buttery, soft and egg-y brioche is something that I just simply can’t resist: be it on it’s own; with little extra indulgence of good French butter; top with a slice of smoked salmon and dollop of fraiche creme to have an instant tartine; or make it a lavish version with Dungeness crab and caviar…either way, it’s a little piece of heaven

The best ever brioche I had was at the French Laundry, the one that they served with foie gras torchon. And the next best thing is probably the brioche loaves available at Wholefoods market…so affordable and so good…although I couldn’t believe that they actually put their loaves in freezer and defrost before putting them on shelves!…what?! But, it proves its ability to stay yummy even after freezing, and so that I’m able to buy a truck load to HK whenever I get back to the States …Why not just buy in HK?…sadly, there’s just not much good options here, and so here comes my new post — homemade brioche goodness.

Using Thomas Keller’s brioche recipe is definitely a no brainer. Yet, I heart all the amazing breads and pastries from Tartine, and their recipe sounds promising as always — although surprisingly,  it’s much more complicated and time consuming comparing to the French Laundry one. So I’m trying both out You know, we like the fuss, complication and chaos in kitchen sometimes…maybe most of the times:p The tartine recipe requires an overnight slow rising process at cool temperature, resulting in a finer texture theoretically; while the French Laundry recipe is simple and straight forward. Surprisingly, they turned out pretty much the same, equally delicious with a fine texture. So it’s your call to decide which one to pick I personally would most likely stick with the fuss free version next time:p

As I’ve made so much dough, naturally, some was used to make one of my favorite savory breads: Pissaladierre — a French classic one with anchovy, olive,  caramelized onion and cherry tomato.

I’ll just include the recipe from Tartine here. Will do a separate post for the French laundry one.


The recipe: adapted from Tartine

For the brioche dough: (makes 3 3/4 lb dough / 1.7 kg dough)


3/4 cup nonfat milk

2 tsp. active yeast

250g (1 3/4 cup) bread flour


2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. active yeast

5 large eggs

1 3/4 cup whole milk

495g (3 1/2 cup bread flour)

55g (1/4 cup) sugar

1 Tbs. salt

235g (1 cup +2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, chilled but pliable

Egg wash:

4 large egg yolks

1/4 cup cream

pinch salt

How to:

To make the preferment:

Warm the milk in a small saucepan, just enough to take the chill off. The milk should not be warm or cold to the touch. Pour the milk in a mixing bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the milk, stir to dissolve the yeast with a wooden spoon. And then add the flour, mix until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth and place in a cool place for one hour, and then in the fridge for at least one hour to cool down. The mixture should doubled in volume and not yet collapsing.

meanwhile, measure all ingredients for the dough. Cut the butter into cubes, and then return the butter, milk and eggs to the fridge to chill.

To make the dough, transfer the preferment and the yeast to the mixing of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix on low speed until the yeast is incorporated into the preferment batter. When the mixture has come together into an even, well-mixed mass, begin to add the eggs one by one. increase the mixer speed to medium or medium high to incorporate the eggs and stopping the mixer and scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl as needed.

once all the eggs are incorporated, reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add 1 cup of the prepared milk. When the milk is fully incorporated, stop the mixer, and add the flour, sugar and salt. Mix at low speed again until all ingredients are well incorporated, about 3 minutes. Now, increase the speed to medium-high a d mix until you see a dough forming and it starts to come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. About 2-3 minutes.

Turn off the mixer, and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes. While the dough is resting, place the chilled butter cubes into a separate mixer bowl. Fit the mixer with paddle attachment and mix the butter on medium speed until the butter is pliable but not soft and is still chilled.

Refit the mixer with the dough hook again, and start to mix the rested dough again on medium speed. when the dough once again starts to come away cleanly from the sides of the bowl, increase the speed to medium-high. At this point, the dough should look very silky and elastic. With the speed still on medium-high, start to gradually adding small amount of butter, squeezing the butter cubes through your fingers so that they become ribbons as they drop into the bowl. Stop the mixer to clean the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl from time to time. Make sure you don’t add too much butter at a time, and also make sure you don’t mix the butter too long after each addition, or you’ll heat the dough up. When all the butter has been added, allow the mixer to run for another 2 minutes to make sure all butter is fully incorporated. The dough should still come sway nicely from the sides of the bowl at this point.

Now, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup milk in increments of 1 tablespoon and increase the mixer to high. Mix until the dough is silky and continues to pull away from the sides of the bowl. This should take about 2 minutes.

lightly oil a large baking sheet. Spread the dough evenly on the prepared pan. dust the top light lightly with flour and cover with cheesecloth. If you are making the dough well ahead of time,  put the pan  in freezer for 3 hours, then transfer to the fridge and let it slowly rise overnight; if you are making the dough the same day you want to serve the bread, then put the pan in freezer for 2 hours, then transfer to the fridge for 3-5 hours before shaping the dough.

This Pissaladiere recipe will need to use 285g of the prepared dough.

Finally for the Pissaladiere:

on the lightly floured surface, roll out dough into an even round just enough to fit inside the tart pan. (I used a 9″ fluted tart pan.) Allow the dough to proof for 30 to 45 minutes. The timing depends on how warm your kitchen is. It will rise not quite twice in size.

While the dough is proofing, heat the olive oil in a heavy saute pan over high heat. When the oil is very hot, add the onions and saute , stirring constantly, until onions have reduced and well browned, about 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and water, stir well, and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add pepper and stir well. Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Pit the olives and chop coarsely. Top the dough even;y with the cooled onions, leaving a 1/2″ border uncovered around the sides. Then arrange the anchovy fillets over the onions, and top with the olives and halved cherry tomatoes.

in a small bowl, mix together the egg yolk and cream. lightly brush the uncovered edges of the tart with the yolk mixture.

Bake at 350F, for 25 to 35 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and onions are further caramelized. Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkle with a little thyme. It is best the same day it is made.

Oh, and it’s just a perfect light lunch on a summer day with a glass of rose or Riesling

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2 Responses Subscribe to comments

  1. Rose

    Hi Kat,

    Glad you are back. I have been waiting for your posts since I discovered your site some months ago. Just want to say thank you for your very informative posts, and hope you keep up with great works.

    The brioche dough looks amazing, I will definitely try this recipe.


    Nov 28, 2012 @ 11:39 PM

  2. sweetpea

    Hi Rose, Thank you for your warm words and glad you find my blog informative!
    Have been busy baking, baking and more baking! But will definitely do my best to update the long-neglected blog! Thanks for bearing with me with the long wait!

    Have you tried out the brioche yet? Either way, happy baking!


    Jan 07, 2013 @ 5:19 PM