Sicilian sugar brioche
At the beginning of September I went to Sicily for two days. My childhood home.
Just two plentiful days, too few to do everything I wanted, enough to understand how the passing of time increases the distances inexorably.
I live with a conflicted feeling, right there in my stomach. Something that pulls between my aversion to people and things that I once could not bear and my deeply “nostalgia” for that part of my life and those loved ones who I cannot be near a I would like.
I think I will live with this feeling for my entire life. The sight at an old book found in my mother’s house or the flavour of a particular dish, these small things are enough to bring me back through the years, discovering old memories.
This time it happened with a sugar brioche
Sicilians love bread and the bread they bring home must be absolutely be freshly baked and better if still warm.
In a good bakery you can find fresh bread in all different hours of the day, together with so much delicious variety of food that it’s impossible to buy just bread.
The traditional semolina flour bread and the soft “panini” covered with toasted sesame seeds find a place behind the counter together with small pizze with tomato sauce, mozzarella and oregano, soft semi-sweet panini, crunchy grissini and a big tray of roasted onions ready to season with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, salt pepper and oregano.
Alongside these delights you will find for sure some simple brioches covered with sugar.
The sight of it takes me back to my school days.
There was a small bakery run by a couple on my way to school where I used to stop every morning to buy my “merenda”.
The woman wrapped the brioche in a thin brown paper.
During the breaktime I opened my brioche with special care, using the brown paper like a placemats, but conscious that a battle would begin shortly thereafter.
After the first bite a rain of sugar would dirty my lips, my fingers and my blue school uniform.
It was everywhere , I could not resist the temptation to lick the crunchy sugar off my fingers, tidying myself with each delicious taste. Another bite and the I would lose my battle once again.
The powerful memory of this humble bakery brioche, with a low fat and sweet dough, was all there.
It was in that crunchy sugar breading that managed to make it rustic and special and that at the end of the “merenda” left me covered in sugar up to my hair….
This recipe come from an Italian foodblog, Anice e Cannella, and is pretty near to the original ones.
BRIOCHE CON LO ZUCCHERO
170 ml water
170 ml full fat milk
20 g. fresh yeast
250 g. strong bread flour
250 g. Italian 00 flour
75 g. sugar
5 g. salt
75 g. lard
Milk for brushing
Pour in the bowl of your stand mixer the water, the milk and the yeast. Stir with a spoon to dissolve the yeast then let it rest for 10 minutes.
Add the flour and start mixing at low speed for about 5 minutes. Add the salt and keep kneading.
One you have an elastic dough start adding the lard little bit a time, in order to give to the dough the time to absorb the fat.
Once the dough is smooth and elastic transfer in a greased bowl, cover with a clingfilm an let it rise until double in size.
Take again the dough and flat it gently with your hands. Make a rectangle and give some folds like you see in the link you will find below. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Cut the dough in pieces about 60 g. each ones for the base and 20 g. for the little “hat” – have a look to the second link below to see how to shape a buns , you can the second one smaller and then you fix it on top .
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and arrange the brioches. Brush with some milk and let it rise until double in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 180°
Brush again with milk and bake until golden.
Prepare a dish with three tablespoons of sugar, brush quickly with some water and press them on the sugar.
- If you have more time you can proceed in this way: reduce the yeast to 13 g. knead and let it rest for 50 minutes then let it rest in the fridge overnight. The morning after leave the dough one hour at room temperature, then follow the recipe ( folding etc )
- Once the brioche are ready and cooled, without the sugar on top, you can freeze them. Once you desire to eat the brioche put them in the oven and turn it to 160°. When the oven arrives to temperature , the brioche are ready to eat
- More video about folding and shaping here or here
Sicilian Sugar Brioche
My Sicilian recipes HERE