Rich and buttery, yet amazingly light and elegant, Brioche is one of the crowning glories of traditional French baking.
Making delicious, boulangerie – quality brioche at home is actually a ways simpler than you’d think. With this Brioche recipe, you’ll by no means have to settle once more for the pricey and bad imitations from the stores!
You can also try my recipe of Hot Cross Buns I’m sure you’ll love the recipe.
In case you’ve ever wondered what makes Brioche exclusive from most other breads, the answer is butter. Unsurprising definitely, given the French origins of this scrumptious bread!
Enrichening bread with butter and eggs is what offers Brioche its croissant-like flavour, its uniquely tender crumb and its signature crust that’s paper-thin and a beautiful, burnished mahogany.
Store-offered Brioche isn’t always simplest luxurious but greater often than no longer a faded example of what a first-rate brioche have to be like. industrially produced Brioche regularly skimps on butter for fee reasons for one. It’s additionally produced without the care needed to bake a genuinely great brioche.
Making your very own Brioche alternatively is not nearly as tough because it sounds and infinitely rewarding. Incomparable taste aside, when you bake your own Brioche, the smells wafting via your property are genuinely intoxicating. The sweet heady scent of butter, sugar and toasty bread will instantly teleport you to a cosy bakery in a old fashioned village with cobblestone streets, someplace within the French nation-state. It’s …. simply … magical!
So, are you ready to bake the maximum superb bread of your existence?? Oui? Then let’s do this!!
Source of this Brioche Recipe
For a recipe this iconic I desired to make sure I did it justice, making it the conventional, real-deal French manner. So this selfmade Brioche recipe is one I created together with a classically-skilled French chef residing right right here in Sydney, Jean-Baptiste Alexandre.
We created this recipe with information we gleaned from well-respected French cookbooks to arrive at what we think is the quality feasible Brioche a domestic cook dinner could make. The exquisite books we used are:
Escoffier’s Le guide Culinaire; and
French Patisserie master Recipes and strategies from the Ferrandi school of Culinary Arts.
Brioche is an All-day Project and Worth Every Second
Permit me be prematurely: Brioche isn’t a 30-minute shake-n’-bake job you can whip up after work. Brioche is a venture for one of those homebody days while you plan to potter across the residence all day doing chores or relaxing. this is as it takes eight 1/2 hours from begin to finish:
Making dough: 35 mins mixing + 10 minutes prep = 45 mins
upward push #1: 2 hours
Refrigeration: 1.five hours
upward push #2: three hours
Baking: 35 mins
Cooling: 45 mins
general = ~8.5 hours
The substantial majority of this time as you can see is in fact completely passive, ie. ready round – for the dough to combine, proof, rest, bake, cool and so on. The lively time is clearly a tiny share of the general system. and i promise you the end end result makes it more than really worth the time investment. Brioche in reality is the most tremendous home made bread I’ve ever made. however make no mistake, it does require dedication!
What You Need to Make Brioche
Other than the fact that there’s a large amount of butter referred to as for – unsurprising given the beautiful buttery flavour of this bread – there’s no unusual substances in any respect in brioche. The specific part is within the making!
Plain / all-motive flour – An thrilling fact is that Brioche is fluffier, rises better (approximately 15% taller) and has a softer crumb whilst made with simple / all-reason flour rather than bread flour (ie. high protein flour). The latter normally yields a better result for maximum breads which includes Artisan bread, Naan and Pide, to call a few. yet no longer for Brioche. We realize due to the fact we tested bread flour vs plain flour variations of Brioche aspect-by way of-side!
Handiest got bread flour? Brioche remains simply worth making. It’s just even better with correct old plain flour!
On the spot / speedy-rise yeast – immediately / fast-upward push yeast is referred to as for on this recipe. The recipe additionally works with preferred active / dry yeast, however the brioche does no longer rise quite as tons and the crumb isn’t quite as tender.
Butter – plenty of it … the amount of butter is appreciably greater than maximum breads, and is what offers Brioche its signature excessive, buttery flavour. 150g / 10.five tablespoons of butter to 300g / 2 cups of flour right here, which is at least 5 times as plenty as a mean white bread recipe! (high 5!)
Softened / room temperature butter is wanted. The butter ought to be softened and no longer fridge-bloodless, so it includes more without problems into the dough. goal a temperature of 20 – 22°C / sixty eight-71.5°F (if you have a thermometer).
But the butter should now not be so soft that it is melting, otherwise the dough will grow to be greasy. It have to be firm sufficient so you can pick it up along with your fingers but tender enough that you could handiest simply accomplish that, and may squish it pretty without difficulty;
Sugar – Brioche is technically a Viennoiserie, a class of wealthy, sweet breads and pastries that includes Danishes and croissants. The quantity of sweetness you come across in Brioche can vary. For me, i love it on the less candy side, straddling the road among sweet and savoury. I feel this way it’s not too sweet when spread with say, jam (a conventional French accompaniment for brioche), and still also suitable for savoury meals (eg. for burgers, sliders, breakfast rolls and many others);
Half cup (a hundred twenty five ml) eggs, at room temperature – This recipe very especially requires half of cup (a hundred twenty five ml) of eggs which is approximately 2 1/2 eggs. I attempted rounding up to three (it was too eggy and it dried out the crumb) and rounding down to two (the crumb changed into too free).
So, sorry folks! 2 half eggs it’s miles!
A few suggestions:
– How to degree the eggs out: simply crack 3 eggs into a bowl, whisk, then degree out 1/2 cup (125 ml). we will use the closing egg for the egg wash, don’t fear!
– Use at room temperature: Eggs need to be at room temperature and no longer fridge-bloodless, so they incorporate higher into the dough.
– A brief manner to heat up fridge-bloodless eggs: area eggs in a massive bowl, cowl with warm tap water (simply warm, now not warm) and depart for 5 minutes. Wipe dry (to keep away from residual water dripping into bowl), then use in line with recipe.
How to make Brioche
To make brioche nicely, you will need a stand mixer because the recipe requires 35 mins of kneading which is what makes brioche rich and buttery, yet a really tender crumb. (Theoretically I suppose kneading with the aid of arms is feasible, however i can’t begin to consider how long it’s going to take! you will need to be both a masochist or an Olympic rower … )
Don’t have a stand mixer? Don’t worry! this could be made using a food processor in five minutes flat. It rises approximately 10% much less however the outcomes are still top notch!
Part 1: Bloom Yeast
- Mix instant yeast with warm milk and sugar: Once mixed, leave it for 10 minutes to bloom, ie. become foamy. This is not a typical step you see in bread-making when using instant yeast. Usually the whole point of instant yeast is that you can add it straight into dough without mixing with warm water or milk and letting it foam first.
But when creating the Naan recipe and also Pide, we found that blooming instant yeast in a warm water and sugar solution first makes flatbreads fluffier and softer. The same also applies to brioche.
Blooming the yeast first is also a valuable insurance policy to confirm the yeast is alive and well before baking. Imagine setting aside your day to make this Brioche only to find it hasn’t risen because the yeast is dead! Don’t even go there … !
- Foam test: So we do our yeast foam test to avoid all this potential heartbreak. This is what it looks like after 10 minutes. Foamy? Good!
Part 2: Make the Dough (It’s Super Soft!)
Heads up: Yes really, the dough takes 35 minutes to mix using a stand mixer. It will look like a sticky, unusable paste for the first 25 minutes, and even once ready it will still be a very, very soft dough.
- Make dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, eggs, salt, rest of the sugar and the foamy yeast. Mix on Speed 1 just until ingredients are combined;
- Mixing – Part 1 (15 minutes): After the ingredients are combined, then mix on Speed 1 for 5 minutes then on Speed 2 for 10 minutes. Yes really, for 15 minutes!
In short, it’s because the high amount of butter in this dough inhibits the formation of gluten that occurs when we knead dough which makes breads rise. So we have to knead for much longer than typical breads for the the gluten to form.)
What should the dough look like at this stage? Super sticky and pasty, and totally un-dough-like. No way could you knead it with your hands. You’re on the right track!
- Slowly add butter: With the stand mixer still on Speed 2, drop butter cubes in gradually. Do this over about 90 seconds to 2 minutes, giving the dough a chance to mix most of the butter in. Don’t dump all the butter in one go as it will take much longer for the butter to incorporate;
- Incorporate butter: Keep mixing until the butter is fully incorporated – about 1 minute. At first the butter will be pushed around the sides but eventually it will mix in.What should the dough look like at this stage? Even stickier and pastier! You may start to doubt me … but have faith! The dough will firm up later to the point we can just handle it after kneading with the stand mixer (see next step).
- Mixing – Part 2 (20 minutes): After you can no longer see lumps of dough, mix on Speed 2 for 20 minutes. Yes, a whole 20 minutes! Click here to read about why it takes this long.Scrape down the sides of the bowl every now and then, as needed. I do it about 3 times at the beginning of the mixing when the mixture is stuck all over the side of the bowl. Towards the end of the mixing time, the dough will come together and the sides of the bowl will be clean;
- What should the dough look like at this stage (finished)? We want the dough as soft as possible but just firm enough and un-sticky enough to handle. Soft dough = soft brioche! The following photos show what the dough looks like before and after mixing.Sometimes it takes longer to knead the dough, depending on the warmth and humidity of the kitchen. I haven’t pinpointed exact temperatures yet, but generally the hotter a kitchen, the longer the dough takes to knead until ready. 20 minutes is the time it has consistently taken me in a ~21 – 23°C (70 – 73.5°F) kitchen.
Brioche Dough at the Beginning (Left) and End (Right) of Mixing:
And here’s another photo towards the end of the mixing time. You can see how the dough has come together and come away from the side of the bowl (ie the dough isn’t so pasty it’s stuck all on the bowl).
The “window pane test”: The “window pane” test will tell you if your dough is also sufficiently elastic which means it has been kneaded enough. Take a walnut size piece of dough and stretch out into a thin film using your fingers. If you can see light through it and do this without the dough breaking, then it has been kneaded enough. If not, keep kneading!
Sometimes it takes longer to knead the dough, depending on the warmth and humidity of the kitchen. I haven’t pinpointed exact temperatures yet, but generally the hotter a kitchen, the longer the dough takes to knead until ready. 20 minutes is the time it has consistently taken me in a ~21 – 23°C (70 – 73.5°F) kitchen.
Part 3: Rising and Shaping the Loaf
Dough made, it’s now time to let it rise and to form the loaf.
- Rise #1 (2 hours): Shape the dough into a ball, put it back into the stand mixer bowl. Cover with cling wrap and put it in a warm place for 2 hours until it has doubled in size.When seeking a warm place to let the dough rise, remember that the warmer it is, the faster it will rise. Do not put it in direct sunlight. The heat is too strong and will dry out the dough.CHEEKY TIP: Use your dryer! Run it for a few minutes to warm it up, then place the dough in and close the door. It’s a draught-free, warm and cosy environment your dough will love!
- How the dough looks after Rise #1: It has doubled in size.
- Divide the dough into 3: Punch the dough dough to release all the air. Scrape out onto a lightly floured work surface. Fold the outside of the dough in 6 times. Shape into a log then cut into 3 equal portions and shape into a ball (~225g / 7.9oz per piece);
- Optional: Place in fridge (1.5 hours): Line a deep container or roasting pan with baking/parchment paper that’s been lightly sprayed with oil. Place dough on paper, cover with cling wrap or a lid, lightly sprayed with oil. Refrigerate for 1.5 hours.This step makes the butter in the dough harden which in turn makes the dough firmer and easier to handle. This makes it easier to shape into a braid and makes the surface of the brioche smoother.It’s an optional step because you can proceed straight onto forming the loaf and Rise #2. If you skip it the inside of the brioche will come out exactly the same, but the surface of the brioche will be slightly more streaky (like the crust of croissants). It’s also a little harder to handle because the dough is very soft.To be honest, I love the crust of brioche that hasn’t been refrigerated because it flakes like croissants. But in pursuit of perfection, I’ve included the refrigeration step!
- Braid the dough: Remove dough from fridge. Place on a lightly floured work surface and roll each piece into a 35cm/14″ logs. Braid the logs, and tuck the ends under to make them tidy.
- Place in loaf pan: Spray a 21.5 x11cm (8.5 x 4.3″) loaf pan well-coated with oil spray (this works better than butter to ensure it doesn’t stick), then place the dough in.Lightly spray cling wrap with oil, then cover the dough. (Oiling the cling wrap stops the dough from sticking to the cling wrap. If it sticks, it will causes the dough to deflate when you remove the cling wrap.)Different size loaf pans are fine to use, but it will affect the shape/height of the brioche. You can also bake it freeform (ie. just on a tray) but bear in mind it will spread out more so it will be wider than it is tall;
- Rise #2 (3 hours): Rise in a warm place for 3 hours or until it is just over double in size. In my loaf pan, the dough rises to 1cm / 0.2″ above rim at highest point of the dough.This rise takes longer than you might expect because the dough first needs to come to room temperature (ie remove fridge chill) before it starts to warm up and actually rise.Here’s a comparison of before and after rising in the loaf pan:
Part 4: Baking
- Egg wash: Brush the brioche gently with leftover egg. This is what gives the brioche the signature deep golden colour and shiny finish;
- Bake uncovered 15 minutes: Position a shelf so the brioche will sit in the lowest 1/3 of the oven. If it sits higher, the top goes a little too golden too quickly.Bake uncovered for 15 minutes at 200°C/390°F (180°C fan). The brioche should be a bronzed, mahogany colour.
- Bake covered 20 minutes more: Remove the brioche from the oven and cover loosely with foil. Bake for a further 20 minutes (thus 35 minutes in total).Cooked internal temperature – The internal temperature of cooked brioche is 88°C/190°F. This is slightly lower than the target temperature of 93-96°C /200-205°F of most breads because it is an enriched dough (ie. high in fat). Lower fat breads have a higher cooked internal temperature.In actual fact, brioche is cooked (done) at 82°C / 180°F but I tend to take it higher as a precaution, having experienced a few too many undercooked brioches when creating this recipe! This internal temperature is still well within the limits that yield moist, tender bread (as you will see in the video);
- Rest baked brioche: Immediately turn finished brioche out onto a rack. Don’t leave it sitting in the loaf pan as it will overcook and the crust will also go soggy.Leave the brioche to cool for at least 45 minutes before slicing (or tearing!) to serve. This is a key step for any bread to allow it to finish cooking inside and settle. If you cut bread as soon as it comes out of the oven, the inside is still doughy and wet.
And now for the best part – EATING IT!!!
Brioche Recipe: The Details
Brioche is a unique bread, and with it comes a unique production process. So in this section, I’m sharing some extra background information pointing out some of the quirks and features of brioche generally as well this recipe specifically. I hope it may interest those of you interested in the why when it comes to baking.
1. This is a Traditional French Brioche Recipe – With One Exception
This Brioche recipe is a traditional French brioche recipe with the exception of one thing: the yeast. Professional French patisseries and bakeries traditionally make brioche with fresh yeast, which is not readily available to all home cooks. Also, working with fresh yeast calls for capable baking experience.
So I’ve chosen to create a brioche recipe made with dry yeast to make this more accessible to home cooks.
2. Butter in Brioche: Go Big or Go Home
One thing that puts this brioche recipe firmly in the “authentic French” camp as opposed to most recipes you’ll find on the internet is the quantity of butter used. This recipe calls for 150g / 10.5 tablespoons of butter per 300g / 2 cups of flour which is a ratio of 1:2.
Many recipes will call for only around half the butter this recipe uses (1:4 butter to flour) which makes the dough easier to work with (because it’s not as soft as it is in this recipe). On the flip side however, it significantly reduces the richness and buttery flavour of the end result.
Butter is the heart and soul of a great brioche. In my humble opinion, if we’re going to all the effort to bake a brioche, let’s do it right!
3. Why Does Brioche Dough Have to Be Kneaded for So Long?
Brioche dough takes 35 minutes to shape using a stand mixer because of the quantity of fats inside the dough from the butter and eggs. this indicates it calls for far longer for the gluten to form via the kneading method than regular bread.
Brioche dough is known as an enriched dough which has higher amounts of fat (butter), sugar and dairy than regular breads. Brioche has around 5 times as much butter as a mean white bread recipe!
fats inhibits the formation of gluten which is shaped when we knead dough that’s required to make breads upward push so that they’re smooth and fluffy. So brioche dough is required to be kneaded for longer than typical to develop the gluten.
4. No Standmixer? No Worries.
If you don’t have a stand mixer you can use a food processor instead! It’s also much quicker, taking just 5 minutes flats.
The Brioche rises slightly less, but it tastes exactly the same. Below is a visual comparison of the results.
Comparison: Food Processor (5 Minutes Kneading) Vs Stand Mixer (35 Minutes Kneading)
So why I didn’t share the food processor version as the base recipe if it’s so accurate? an amazing question and my answer is this:
Brioche is an iconic recipe, one of the tremendous breads inside the world. I wanted to reveal you how it’s made properly and historically. The fact stays that the meals processor model is not pretty as accurate as making it with a stand mixer because it doesn’t upward thrust quite as well. however the distinction is marginal. So given how a great deal time you shop, no longer to say being an tremendous opportunity to the ones of you who don’t have a stand mixer, I absolutely advocate the meals processor technique as a superbly suited compromise!
5. “help! My Dough Looks Too Soft! Is This Normal?”
Relax. The dough for brioche is much softer than typical bread doughs and this is the secret to the extraordinarily soft crumb of real brioche.
In fact, the dough is so soft that for most of the time the dough is being worked in the stand mixer it will have a paste-like consistency. It will be so wet and sticky that it’s impossible to handle because it would just stick to your hands.
As you continue to knead the dough in the stand mixer though, the dough firms up. It will come to a point where it can now be handled. It will be smooth and still very soft – much softer than typical bread doughs – but shouldn’t stick to your hands.
The dough is also refrigerated partway through the making of the Brioche to aid in shaping by hand before placing into the loaf time, so we get a nice smooth crust.
You’ll find “easy” brioche recipes on the internet that have firmer doughs that are easier to work with. But you’ll also find the crumb of those breads isn’t as soft as a real brioche. Yes, we made a LOT of brioche in recent months!!
6. Inside a Perfect Brioche: “cotton Candy” Strand
One of the unique qualities of brioche is the texture of the crumb. It has an elasticity similar to soft breads (as you will see in the video when I tear it!), it looks like bread and it slices like bread without crumbling. It is for all intents and purposes, bread.
However rather than being chewy, the crumb is soft and giving like cake. Even more enticing is the distinct cotton candy-like strands of the interior that peel away when you tug at them. These strands are truly mesmerising, to both play with and eat! To me, it’s one of the features that makes brioche so special and totally unlike any other bread. Perhaps like popping bubble wrap, it appeals to the inner child within me – I find those strands irresistible!
How to serve Brioche
In France, brioche is typically served for breakfast and afternoon tea. Think warm slices of brioche with butter (because, well, you know, there’s just not enough butter in brioche as it is! ) and a good smear of homemade jam.
Traditional that may be, but in my world the applications of brioche are much broader! Here’s how else I love to use brioche:
- Breakfast, morning tea, afternoon tea, and all snacking times in between – Either slices of a warm loaf or toasted and spread with butter and quality jam. I personally find honey too sweet with brioche, but that’s just me …
- Bread on the side of meals – Apparently this is “not done” in France, I presume because it’s all a bit much. “A bit much” never stopped me though, and nor should it you! Imagine mopping up the garlic butter on a plate of Garlic Prawns or Baked Fish with brioche … Yerrrrrsss!!
- For sandwiches, sliders, burgers – Brioche buns are all the rage at trendy bistros!
- Eggs – Topped with scrambled or poached eggs (try it with Eggs Benedict!);
- The ultimate Bread and Butter Pudding; or
- The most incredible French Toast of your life.
- Serve with chicken liver parfait or smoked fish pâté – a trend you see at nouveau French restaurants these days, instead of crackers or toast.
Basically, anything you will eat with bread will be better if you replace it with brioche! You just can’t go wrong.