“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”—Let them eat cake .
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, 1755 – 1793
495g (1lb) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting * 1 tsp salt * 45g (1½oz) caster sugar * 7g (½oz) fast action yeast * 30g (1oz) unsalted butter * 310ml (10 floz) tepid water * flour, for dusting
Put the flour in a large bowl. Add the salt and sugar to one side and the yeast to the other. Add the butter and three-quarters of the water and mix with your fingers. Continue to add the rest of the water a little at a time until you have picked up the flour from the sides of the bowl. Careful. You want a soft, not soggy dough, so you may not have to add all the water.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 10 minutes, whilst you work through the wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin. Put it into a lightly oiled, large bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least double in size for up to 3 hours. Keep in a warm, dry place such as an airing cupboard.
Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper. Knockback the dough mix by folding the dough, to release the air until it is smooth. Divide the dough into 12 smooth balls weighing 70g each. Place in the baking trays allowing enough space to spread. Place inside a large plastic bag and leave to rise for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Uncover the barm cakes and sprinkle with flour. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until risen and golden. Take out of the oven and put onto a wire rack to allow to cool. Sprinkle some flour over the top before serving.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
This recipe comes from the section OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING, a selection of easy recipes for the barbecue or when entertaining your guests at a garden party.