Welcome to Feature My Food Friday! Today, I am introducing a woman after my own heart. After her first trip to Paris, Beeta adopted a love for everything French, including cooking and baking. Since then, Beeta has worked as a bread and pastry instructor and she is the author of the French food blog ‘Mon Petit Four.’
Hello! My name is Beeta and I’m a proclaimed Francophile. I find the whole French motto of ‘good food, good wine, and good company’ to be a sort of life philosophy that I adamantly adhere to. I adore sharing the meals I create with my family and friends; the laughs and memories shared at the table are some of my most cherished.
When I’m not cooking for my loved ones and myself (or blogging about it), I work as a French bread and pastry instructor in my California hometown and sometimes abroad in Paris.
Where do you find inspiration for your recipes?
I love the romance and elegance that surrounds French cuisine. I’m not talking about the fancy pastries or nouvelle cuisine you see at elite Paris restaurants (although, I enjoy those too). I’m talking about the simplicity and love that goes behind the relaxed meals and communal gatherings in everyday French life. Roast chicken seasoned with herbs de Provence, or stone fruit caramelized over a bed of pastry, these informal dishes tend to be my source of inspiration.
What recipe did you choose to share today and why?
The recipe I’m sharing today is for a Cinnamon Orange Raisin Brioche. I love to share classic French dishes on my blog, but I also love to give them a bit of a personal touch. This is especially the case when it comes to adding seasonal twists, like I’ve done here.
Photo credit: Mon Petit Four
Could you share a couple of tips that make your life easier in the kitchen?
I think the best tip is to lay out all your ingredients beforehand. When I got in the habit of doing this, I never had to worry about frantic grocery runs midway through preparing a meal. My other big tip is to trust your intuition with recipes and do a little research beforehand if something doesn’t seem right.
Thank you so much for taking part, Beeta. I agree with you on being prepared before you start cooking. It can save many headaches and trips to the shops. I really have a soft spot for brioche, and my great-aunt recently shared a family recipe with me. I will have to give it a go soon!
Fancy seeing your recipe on Feature my Food Friday? Whether you are a keen baker, a blogger or a reader who would like to see their creation online, I would love to feature you! Just drop me an email me and I will send you more details.
With no further ado, here is Beeta’s recipe:
Cinnamon Orange Raisin Brioche by Mon Petit Four
- 2 c all-purpose ?our
- 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/4 c whole milk room temperature
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 c unsalted butter 1 stick, cut into tbsp-size slices and slightly softened
- heaping 1/3 c raisins
- 1 egg yolk beaten
In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), mix the ?our, sugar, yeast, salt, and ground cinnamon until combined well.
Add the eggs in, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the orange zest and milk, and continue mixing until a dough starts to form. If you’re using a mixer, swap out the paddle attachment for the hook attachment, then knead on medium speed for a couple of minutes until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Otherwise, turn the dough out onto a ?oured surface and use the heel of your hands to knead the dough until it’s ?rm and compact.
Turn the dough back into the bowl if kneading by hand, then add in half of the butter slices. Knead for another 2 minutes with the mixer, or use a rubber spatula to mix the butter into the dough.
Stop the mixer to add the rest of the butter in and continue kneading for another 2 minutes. Again, if you’re not using a mixer, simply use a rubber spatula to incorporate the butter into the dough.
Once the butter has been incorporated into the dough, stir in the raisins with a wooden spoon or your rubber spatula. Turn the dough out onto a lightly ?oured surface, then fold the dough in towards the center at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock.
Transfer the dough into a large bowl, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Turn on your oven’s warm/hold setting for 30 seconds, before turning the oven off and placing the dough in the oven.
Let the dough rise in this warm, draft-free place for approximately 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has approximately doubled in size. Gently take the dough out and place it back on your lightly ?oured board.
Again fold the dough in towards the center at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, very gently turn your dough out onto your lightly ?oured board, trying to be delicate and light handed with the dough. Slightly stretch the dough so that it's in a rectangular oval shape rather than the circular mound that it most likely is.
Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces using either a bench scraper or sharp knife. Take each piece of dough and fold the dough in towards the center like you had previously done (12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock) to create a ball shape.
Place the smooth side of the dough ball facing up into a greased loaf pan. Repeat this step for the rest of the dough so that you end up with 8 balls in the loaf pan (2 columns, 4 rows). Cover the loaf pan with a light kitchen towel and let the dough proof for 40 minutes.
It's ?nished proo?ng when you can gently press down on the top of the dough with your ?nger and ?nd the dough immediately springs back. Once proofed, lightly brush the top of the dough with a beaten egg yolk.
Bake the brioche at 375°F for approximately 25 minutes, until deep golden brown. You can also check the internal temperature of the bread to make sure it reads 175°F to 180°F. To enjoy, let the brioche come to room temperature for best ?avor and texture.
COOK’S NOTES: If you don’t let brioche come to room temperature, it can often taste yeasty and feel gummy when it’s warm, therefore, it’s important to let it properly cool before cutting into it.
Adapted from Fine Cooking