• Ofir Engel. Photo: Courtesy of the family.
    Ofir Engel. Photo: Courtesy of the family.
  • Ofir Engel's Favorite Brioche, made by Adi Shilon. Photo: Adi Shilon.
    Ofir Engel's Favorite Brioche, made by Adi Shilon. Photo: Adi Shilon.
Recipe

Ofir Engel’s Favorite Brioche

Their favorite dish: Ofir Engel likes his brioche with whipped cream and sprinkles. Adi Shilon made it that way just for Ofir

Ofir was dubbed “determined” by his friends. He is always determined to win at sports and to make his way from Ramat Rachel to kibbutz Be’eri every weekend to see his girlfriend, Yuval.

Ofir and Yuval met at a kibbutzim convention six months ago and have been inseparable since. It is a beautiful blooming love story, their first love, for both of them. The one that stays with you forever.

Ofir Engel is the eldest son of Sharon and Yoav and big brother to Or and Aviv. Born into a Dutch family, one of Ofir’s favorite things are family gatherings on weekends and holidays when everyone is around the table, eating fresh brioche with whipped cream and dutch candy.

Ofir’s big green eyes are a window to his big, pure heart and it is no surprise that he is always the first to lend a helping hand. A senior at Givat Gonen High School, Ofir divides his time between his two passions, Yuval, and playing basketball. After years of playing basketball for Hapoel Yerushalyim, this past year, Ofir moved to play for the Eshkol region team , to be closer to Yuval.

The weekend of Octover 7th, Ofir was visiting Yuval at kibbutz Be’eri, as he does every weekend. He and Yuval’s father Yossi Sharabi were kidnapped by Hamas and held hostage. After 54 long days Ofir returned home.

Ingredients for Brioche

Brioche:

  • 1.5 lbs (700 grams) flour with a protein percentage higher than 12 (140+560)
  • 6 oz (175 grams) milk hot (not boiling)
  • ¾ tablespoon (15 grams) honey
  • 2.5 oz (70 grams) Sugar
  • 1 slightly rounded tablespoon (10 grams) Dry yeast
  • 5 eggs Large
  • ¾ tablespoon (15 grams) Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 9.7 oz (275 grams) butter soft, cut into cubes
  • 1 egg for egg wash
  • a little more butter melted, for when it comes out of the oven

To serve with:

  • cream whipped
  • candy sprinkles chocolate flavor

Instructions

  • 1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment, place 5 oz (140 grams) of the flour, the milk, 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of the sugar and the yeast and mix. Cover and let rest for 40 minutes.

  • 2. Add all the other ingredients except the butter and knead on medium-low speed for about ten minutes while carefully helping with a spatula if you need to detach from the sides. When the dough looks perfect, the butter is added. Continue kneading on low speed and gradually add cubes of butter. Only when the butter is completely absorbed do you add another. Once all the butter is added, increase the speed to medium and knead for another ten minutes until the dough is smooth and not sticky, so that if you touch it for a moment it will not stick to your hands.  

  • 3. Turn dough out into a greased bowl, cover, and set aside in warm place to rise for about an hour and a half or overnight in the refrigerator and then another half hour outside.

  • 4. Divide the dough in half. Divide each half into three pieces, roll each piece into a snake and braid, or roll three balls. Place in a greased loaf or pullman pan (preferably pullman). You can also bake as buns of course. Leave to rise in a warm place for another hour and a half or two until everything has risen nicely and if you touch it gently with your finger, the imprint remains.

  • 5. Heat the oven to 350F (175C) degrees, brush with egg and bake for about 35 minutes until properly browned. Cool slightly and serve with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles like Ofir and his family.

Serve with:

  • 6. serve a slice of brioche with a thick layer of whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles on top.

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This recipe is part of Adi Shilon’s “Their Favorite Dish” project, which tells the story of 60 abductees through the recreation of their favorite recipe for a pastry or dessert. For all the details and additional recipes in the project.

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