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Pâte Levée Recipe

Provencal French cuisine

A French (not Provencal) pastry.
Used for the brioches aux pralines.

Serves: (for 1 kg dough)
Preparation: 30 min, 4-6 hours before baking
Cooking: 40-50 min


500 g flour [farine]
300 g butter
5 eggs

50 g sugar
20 g baker's yeast [levure de boulanger]
10 g salt

1. Put 3/4 of the flour out on the work surface in a large ring, about 25 cm (10") diameter. Put the sugar and salt into the center of the large ring.

2. Put 1/4 of the flour on the work surface, in a small ring, about 10 cm (4") diameter. Crumble the baker's yeast into the center of the small ring. Pour a small amount of water into the small ring and mix in the flour a bit at a time, until you have a soft ball of dough. Put this ball of "leaven" dough in a warm spot and leave it to rise.

3. Break the eggs into the center of the large ring, and mix in the flour by pulling it into the center. Knead the mixture by banging it onto the surface so it sticks, pull it to stretch it out, and then fold it back over itself to trap a layer of air inside. Continue to knead the dough until it is smooth, adding a small amount of water as necessary if the dough is too stiff.

4. Press the raised ball of leaven dough into the center of the large ball of dough. Knead the mixture several times by squeezing it between fingers and thumbs and folding it inwards.

5. Soften the butter to the same consistancy as the dough. Take half the dough and mix the butter into it by hand. Add in the second half of the dough, folding it in with the fingers several times until it is smooth.

6. Put the dough into a floured baking bowl, cover it with a cloth and leave it to double in volume.

7. Knead the dough to remove any air. If the brioche recipe calls for extra ingredients, such as nuts or fruits, add them at this time.

8. Put the dough into the brioche moulds (large and small), without filling the moulds more than half way.

9. Leave the moulds until the dough has doubled in volume. Paint a well-beaten egg onto the top of the dough in the moulds, and put into the oven to cook.

The procedure is always the same for the brioche dough, regardless of the butter and egg proportions used.

Conversions 30 g = 1 oz = 2 Tbs   180 g = 6 oz = 3/4 cup  
1 kg = 2.2 lbs 1 lt = 1.06 qt  60 g = 2 oz = 1/4 cup 225 g = 8 oz = 1 cup
0.45 kg = 1 lb   0.95 lt = 1 qt 115 g = 4 oz = 1/2 cup   450 g = 16 oz = 1 pint

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