Sun-dried Tomato Brioche

Welcome to my first attempt at the Crazy Ingredient Challenge. This month’s ingredients are: tomatoes and heavy cream.

Now, if you type ‘tomatoes and heavy cream’ in a search engine, the majority of recipes you come across are either soup or sauce… which would fulfill this challenge just fine. I was headed along this route which brought up grilled cheese – a classic pairing.
Mmmm. Grilled cheese. Just thinking about the ooey, gooey deliciousness makes my mouth water and my tummy grumble with anticipation. The more I thought about it, the more an idea started to form.
What if, instead of soup, the tomatoes were in the bread? Not unheard of, but what bread uses heavy cream and slices well enough for grilled cheese? 
I’m glad you asked, because I found one. The recipe I found was an adapted version of a German braided bread – lightly sweet and great for schmear and jam. But I wanted savory, so here we are.
Sun-dried Tomato Brioche
*adapted from Hungry Gems 

What you need:

  • 4+ C all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 C sugar (this equals out to about 8 tbsp, if you need to break it down)
  • 1 tbsp dry active yeast
  • 7 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil or water, drained and patted dry, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp smashed garlic
  • 1 tbsp tarragon leaves 
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • a pinch of fine sea salt
  • olive oil, to coat bowl and bread
  • 1 yolk plus 1 tsp water at room temperature, for brushing the loaf before baking
  1. Heat whipping cream to 110-115°F (takes 5 minutes or less on medium heat – stove top).  Pour cream into a medium bowl and add 2 tsp of the sugar and the yeast. Stir and let rest for 10 minutes to activate.  The mixture should smell of yeast and be bubbly after the 10 minutes.
  2. For the garlic, mince and use flat side of knife to “smash” it into a paste-like consistency.
  3. Mix 4 cups of flour and all the rest of the ingredients, including the yeast mixture in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
  4. Beat on medium speed with a dough hook for 10-15 minutes If needed, gradually add more flour until the dough no longer sticks on the bottom of the bowl.  The dough should be soft and smooth.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl and turn the dough ball over in it to coat the dough.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour. An oven preheated to lowest setting then turned off is a great place for this step or, if you’re lucky enough to have a gas stove, the pilot light should provide enough warmth.
  6. Gently deflate dough and divide into 3 parts, shaping each into an equal length rope.  Braid the ropes and place loaf on a Silpat mat, parchment paper or baking rack on a cookie sheet. Gently brush with oil.
  7. Preheat oven to 350°F while dough is in its final rising – approx. 30 minutes until risen and puffy.  
  8. Brush on a mixture of the egg yolk and water to coat the entire surface of the bread, making sure to be careful not to deflate the dough.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes until the loaf is brown and when patted, the bread sounds slightly hollow.  If it browns too much, you can tent it with aluminum foil while baking. 




I’ll be honest. This failed for me. Sure, it looks pretty, but either I did something wrong or… I don’t know what. The flavor profile was spot on, but with this style of bread it fizzled.

Lesson Learned: Don’t try and make a sweet bread savory.
Oh well. C’est la vie.
And if you’re wondering what happened to the grilled cheese… we still had it, just not on this bread.





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