to say i'm not a morning person: the understatement of the week. even after a good night's sleep, first thing in the morning i look like i'm suffering from a collossal hangover, and i feel like a bear too soon awakened from its hibernation. each morning i do a very realistic zombie impersonation nearly crawling from bed to the coffeepot. takes two cups for me to become human. moreover: nothing good ever happened to me on a morning. seriously, ever. all my jump-for-joy stuff occured mid-afternoon, or in the evening. that said, the early morning coffee cup has a completely different allure when paired with these brioches. a robust orange flavored dough, filled with lemon curd or nutella. or homemade strawberry jam. so long, briocheless mornings. i'll remember you all in therapy.
i saw these on fimere's blog, and i had to make them right away. hers turned out much prettier, but with two toddlers undefoot i'd say mine aren't all that bad either. zhara's best friend, genevieve was over here on a playdate and i only had so much time before sesame street was not the greatest thing ever.
fimere made this orange curd that sounded lovely to me. what's more: you make it in the microwave, in 3 minutes. but my microwave decided to act up, and i got very unappetizing orange omelet, which joined raw eggs and beer from milwaukee on the list of foods not to be consumed. (just kidding: got nothin' against raw eggs.) this was happening late last night, and after that episode i called it in. put the dough in the fridge and went to bed.
which made things great in the morning when all i had to do was fill and bake.
for the dough:
3 3/4 cups/500 gr all purpose flour
1 1/2 ts salt
2 ts dry active yeast
3 tb sugar + 1 ts for the yeast/ 50 gr
zest of one orange, finely grated
1/2 cup/120 ml orange juice
7/8 cup/ 1 cup minus 2 tb/ 200 ml heavy cream
vanilla bean, optional
first bring everything to room temp. if you forget to take it out in advance, put the egg in some warm water and leave it a few minutes. the juice you can warm a few seconds in the microwave. steep the cream and infuse with the split, scraped bean. let cool to 115F and dissolve the yeast and 1 ts sugar in it. place flour, salt, sugar and zest in the food processor and pulse once or twice to combine. add the juice and the beaten egg and pulse a few more times. with the processor running slowly stream in the cream. add a tb or two of milk if it's stiff. run it 15 seconds more to knead, then turn it into an oiled bowl, oil the top, cover and set in a warm spot to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. (or you can put it in the fridge overnight.)
preheat oven to 390F. split the dough in half. roll a rectangular 1/4 inch thick sheet. then cut inch wide strips lenghtwise. crosswise cut 2 inch pieces to form rectangles. spread nutella, jam or lemon curd on them and stack three or four on top of each other. fold each stack in half and place in buttered muffin tin. let rise another half hour. brush with egg wash if desired. bake for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned on top.
they taste wonderful, i suspect even plain they would be a great treat, though i'd probably use an extra tb of sugar, and more orange zest. i loved the ones filled with nutella, there's just something about orange and chocolate - and so did zhara. the ones with the lemon curd could have used a bit more of it... i was afraid they'd be too sweet so i smeared it sparingly. the strawberry jam was great cause it had a lot of almost-whole fruit, it went great with the orange flavor. definetely a treat that makes the shortlist. merci fimere!