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  • Writer's pictureGrace Saadi

Peach and Vanilla Bean Brioche Envelopes

Updated: Mar 26, 2021


First, I wanted to say thank you to Native Vanilla for sending me some products! In this post, I used their Grade A Vanilla Beans. As I mentioned before, I highly recommend their vanilla and company in general. Second, if you want to see a far superior version of these envelopes, check out the ones Marina Amendola and Ellie Ayers made. As fellow Johnson & Wales pastry students, I saw their viennoisieries at the Junior bread buffet a little over a year ago and have wanted to try it ever since. Maria was a massive help as I attempted to make the envelopes and I can't thank her enough. Mine certainly could be improved, but I’d love to revisit this in the future.

 

Peach and Vanilla Bean Brioche Envelopes

Makes approx. 12 envelopes


Brioche

440 g bread flour

175 g milk

55 g whole egg (approx. 1)

27 g egg yolks

43 g granulated sugar

11 g instant yeast

9 g salt

165 g butter (preferably European), cold

Zest of 1 small lemon

Also need: egg wash


Instructions:

  1. Add the milk, eggs, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add it as well, then whisk to combine.*

  2. Add the flour and salt and mix on speed 1 for one minute with a dough hook, then increase to speed 2 and mix for another minute, or until the dough moves as a unit. Make the cold butter pliable by hitting it with a rolling pin (this is called “plasticizing” the butter).*

  3. Slowly add the butter to the dough in very small pieces. Do not add too much at once, otherwise the mixer will struggle to properly knead the dough. When half the butter is mixed, add the lemon zest. Once all the butter is added, continue to mix the dough to make what’s called a window (example shown below). This whole process will take up to 10-15 minutes total to properly incorporate the butter and form the gluten.

  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and rest for 1 hour at room temperature.

  5. Flatten the dough on a greased and parchment-lined sheet pan. It helps to use a rolling pin to get the dough’s thickness as even as possible. Flatten to the size of the pan, wrap with plastic, and freeze for 6 hours. Then transfer the dough to the fridge to chill overnight.

Tips:

*All the liquid ingredients should be cold, taken out of the fridge just before scaling and mixing. Also, don't throw out your vanilla pod! Add it to a container of granulated sugar to make some vanilla sugar!

*It is best to use European butter for this recipe because it has a higher fat content. This allows you to essentially make the butter bendable while it is still cold. Plasticizing it before adding to the mixer helps it to properly mix into the dough.



Peach Compote Filling

340 g sliced frozen peaches, thawed

50 g granulated sugar

20 g lemon juice


Instructions:

  1. Add the peaches and whatever juice they may have produced after being thawed to a medium saucepan. To this, also add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla bean (both seeds and pod) and bring it to the stove.

  2. Cook over medium-high heat until it begins to boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then using a fork or potato masher, mash the fruit into small pieces. Continue to cook for 5 more minutes until the mixture thickens.

  3. Transfer the compote to a bowl to cool and remove the vanilla bean pods. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

Side note: feel free to customize the filling! Marina and Ellie made their envelopes with a cherry and cream cheese filling. You could fill them with just about anything, just make sure that it is not too runny, otherwise it will be difficult to pipe into the center and may leak out when baking.


Assembly and Baking

  1. The next day, remove the brioche from the fridge and transfer it to a floured table. Let the dough rest for a minute to soften, then roll it out to 1/8th of an inch thickness. It should be approx. 18" wide and 14" tall. Cut several 4.5" x 4.5" squares and place them on a sheet pan and chill for 15 minutes in the fridge.

  2. Taking 2-3 squares out at a time, begin shaping the envelopes. Do this by turning the square so it is a diamond and folding the left and right sides in and them together to stick. Fold the bottom up so that it makes a small triangle just below the center point, then fold the bottom left and right corners in and press. Then take the whole bottom piece and fold it to overlap the center, pressing and pinching to help seal everything together. Liberally use egg wash throughout this process to ensure that everything sticks together.*

  3. Transfer the envelope to a pan with parchment or a silpat, cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let proof for 1-1.5 hours. You’ll know it’s ready when you lightly press your finger into the dough and a small dent remains.

  4. Once proofed, gently open the envelopes and make sure the folds are still sealed. Pipe the filling into the envelope until it is just peeking through. Brush some egg wash on the lid and fold over to seal the envelope. You’ll want to gently press down to ensure that it sticks. Let the dough proof for another 5-10 minutes, meanwhile set the oven to 375 F.

  5. Brush the whole envelope with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven, cool completely, and decorate with chocolate wax seals.

Tips:

*Be patient when shaping these, they will take some practice. It helps to work with chilled dough and plenty of egg wash. When attaching the folds, be sure to press and pinch them together as tightly as possible to ensure that they don't open while proofing or baking. If you see some opening after it is proof, try pinching it back together without affecting the overall shape. As you can see with my envelopes, they may still open in the oven.

 

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