بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيمالسلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
.Oooooooh la laaaaaaa briooooooche! Inspired by Asmaa's mouthwatering breakfast brioche . I set out this morning to recreate this Algerian classic. But to also re-share it with you all :)
Brioche is how it is universally known is a delicate enriched bread that many may consider the princess ... really la crème de la crème of all breads. Brioche is made like any other bread, measuring, mix, kneading, rising, punching down, kneading some more, shaping, rising again, glazing then baking. Each country seems to have their very own version of this enriched bread. The Croats have their badnji kruh; Hungarians their kalàcs; Greeks their tsoureki; Turks their çörek; Romanians their cozonac; Jews their challah; Armenians their choreg and so now and so now. I could name many many more for you.
This air-light, slightly sweet heavily enriched bread orginates from the kitchens of the Ottoman empire. But it took French engineering and creativity to make this humble bread really shine! Perhaps the most known of French brioches are Brioche à tête, Brioche Nanterre and Brioche Parisienne.
Here in Algeria, we have two types of brioche, Chrik and La Mouna. Today, I'm (re)posting about Chrik. I'll save La Mouna for another day enchallah ;)
Chrik Constantinois, often called Chrik for short comes to us from the old Algerian city of Constantine. These little breads were invented during the Turco-Algerian Empire lead by the Barbarossa brothers starting in the 16th century is most likely a local improvised version of the Turkish çörek.
In 1950, it was estimated about 25% of Algerians had Turish orgin. The presence of Turkish ancestory is clear in Algeria through the history but also through culinary traditions. Hasanpaşa Köfte, Chrik, Bourek and Chackchouka are just of the myraid of dishes.
Chrik is popular in the north and east where it's served in the late evening at parties "sah'raa" after the Ramadan iftar. And also for "suhour", the meal before the fasting begins. A small and fragant Chrik is served paried with M'halbi, a cream of rice deliciously flavored with rose water, is often supplemented by fresh seasonal fruit.
Traditional Chrik isn't as rich as the typical French brioche. Peter Reinhart in his book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread gives us 3 brioche recipes in his book – Rich Man’s Brioche, Middle-Class Brioche and Poor Man’s Brioche – each differentiated by the varying amounts of butter used, with Rich Man’s Brioche calling for the largest amount (2 cups) and Poor Man’s Brioche having the least (1/2 cup). After reading then trying these methods out ... I add more butter to my usual brioche recipe... opposed to the scant 1/4 cup I used to only add! I guess Reinhart would say that is Real Poor starving Man's brioche LOL!
VITAL STEP: The vital step in brioche making is mixing the butter in well. It is extremely important to ensure a smooth dough, instead of lumpy dough filled with pockets of butter. I do not have any of these, but using a bread machine or stand mixer would probably makes this bread go alot faster. It is essential that the butter you are working with it soft! Don't try to incorporate the butter straight from the fridge, you will have ruined your dough! Also sorry to say, quick defrosted butter in the microwave will not work in this brioche either. Please be patient and take your time by removing the butter few hours before preparing the dough or better yet, the night before! The more butter you add in any brioche dough, more chewier - softer the crumb. It lasts much longer but is also more caloric. Remember, the more butter you need - less liquid you need to add to form the sweet dough. !