My first Brioche

September 07th, 2007  | Category: Bread, Breakfast and Brunch

Brioche

Whenever I decide to go on a diet, something comes along and makes it impossible to carry on. Last week, it was my first brioche experiment to blame. I don’t usually crave bread, so I thought I was safe. Well, so much for that diet. As soon as I smelled the yeast in the kitchen, I knew I was in trouble. How could I ever think that all that butter wasn’t going to win me over?

Oh boy.. The instant I removed the baking pan out of the oven, its smell took my breath away. I felt weak. Then I shrugged and dove right in. The temptation was just too strong. As if it wasn’t enough, I accidentally smeared homemade apricot jam on top and gulped it down. Then, a piece of brioche fell into a huge jar of Nutella and silly me ate that one, too.

But wait, what about photos for my blog? Sh*t. I removed the second batch I was planning to freeze, waited for another two hours for it to rise and baked the second batch.

At least I took the photos on a (very) full stomach this time…

For those who haven’t heard of brioche, it is a very rich French bread. The high egg and butter content provides a rich and tender crumb. If you haven’t tried it before, you are in for an amazing treat.

Below is my first brioche attempt, but I’ve made baked many others after this one. For instance, check out this chocolate brioche, which also has a different presentation. Because of its high egg and butter content, brioche doesn’t keep well, so I’ve also included some other recipes using leftover brioche. This brioche pudding is my favorite one. Lightly toasted brioche contrasting beautifully with a silky pudding… Enjoy.

BRIOCHE RECIPE

recipe from Dorie Greenspan‘s “Baking: From My Home to Yours”

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup warm milk
  • 2 envelopes active dry yeast
  • 3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1+1/2 cups (3 sticks, 12 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
  • Egg wash:1 egg, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water

Method

  1. Place water, milk and yeast in the bowl of a standing heavy-duty mixer; stir until yeast dissolves and let proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Add flour and salt, mix on low speed just until flour is moistened, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the eggs on low speed, then add sugar.
  4. On medium speed, beat until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes.
  5. Reduce speed to low. Add butter, two tablespoons at a time, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding next.
  6. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the dough into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  8. Punch the dough down to deflate it every 30 minutes until it stops rising (it will take 2 hours in total). Cover bowl with plastic and chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  9. The next day, butter and flour 2 large loaf pans (8 1/2*4 1/2 inches). Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Cut each dough half into 4 logs. Arrange logs crosswise in bottom of each prepared loaf pan. Place loaf pans on baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for another 2 hours.
  10. Preheat oven to 400F. Brush the brioches with the egg wash (be careful not to deflate, be gentle) and bake until they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 30-35 minutes.
  11. Let cool to room temperature, then run a knife around the side of the pans and turn the loaves out onto a rack.
  12. The loaves can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months.
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Comments

  1. 1 - Mandy on September 7th, 2007

    I understand your struggle :) I made the same brioche from Dorie’s book and it was absolutely irresistable!

  2. 2 - Anh on September 7th, 2007

    OMG, your first ever brioche looks sooooo good! Excellent! Well-done!

  3. 3 - selin on September 7th, 2007

    You made me laugh :) You accidentally smeared the jam on the bread, and another piece fell into the nutella jar :) And I, will accidentally find myself in my
    kitchen this sunday trying this fantastic recipe. I will hide everything around that a piece of it may accidentally fall into or that I accidentally may want to try it with. Give up going on diets, what is not okay is always what you want the most ;)

    Great pictures again.

    See you soon :)

    Selin.

  4. 4 - ayse on September 8th, 2007

    cenk, you are so cute and i soooooo understand your struggle. eline saglik, cok guzel ve yummy gozukuolar :)

  5. 5 - Cenk on September 8th, 2007

    Mandy – Dorie rocks!

    Anh, Ayse – Thank you.

    Selin – I hope you like it!

  6. 6 - Britt-Arnhild on September 8th, 2007

    I’m a bread lover! What a temptation!

  7. 7 - Guru on September 9th, 2007

    Hola!
    What a great blog! love your pictures, posts and recipes!
    As I´m also accident-prone I shouldn´t try the brioche! or well … mmmm … maybe I´ll take the risk! :)

  8. 8 - Sylvia on September 10th, 2007

    Love your brioche!!!! My mouth is watering … I try to made someday but they did’t looks yummy like yours.Maybe is time to try again ,in this time with your recipe

  9. 9 - Rosa on September 10th, 2007

    You did a good job there! It looks wonderful!

  10. 10 - Cenk on September 10th, 2007

    Britt – They were delicious. You should try Dorie’s recipe.

    Guru – Thanks so much. And you should definitely take the risk.

    Sylvia – Dorie’s recipe is fantastic. With her directions, it is impossible to fail.

    Rosa – Thank you!

  11. 11 - Shaun on September 10th, 2007

    Cenk – Your brioche turned out incredibly well, especially considering it was your first attempt. The texture is amazing – I love seeing the interwoven strands. A gorgeous job overall. And I’m sure you don’t need to go on a diet…

  12. 12 - Tartelette on September 11th, 2007

    It is not unusual for me to make a 2nd or third batch of something we enjoyed because we already ate it all before taking pictures! You did a great job! Dorie’s recipe is easy and delicious (…butter!). I love that last picture.

  13. 13 - Cenk on September 11th, 2007

    Hi Shaun – Thank you for the nice comment :)

    Tartelette – Thanks. That happens a lot with Dorie’s recipes.

  14. 14 - Gourmet Traveller on September 13th, 2007

    Love brioche but never attempted to make my own. You made it look so easy and yummy that I think I’m going to try it soon.

  15. 15 - ilingc on September 17th, 2007

    Hello, what an accident filled weekend. I’ll take your advice on not accidentally leaving things like jam or nutella lying around when I attempt this, just in case :)

    ps. Love the photos of the brioche. :)

  16. 16 - Hillary on September 18th, 2007

    Haha, love how the brioche “accidentally” fell into a jar of Nutella, and apricot jam “accidentally” made it on top of one. Looks great. I love warm fresh bread! I may have to try out that apricot jam idea…

  17. 17 - Bordeaux on September 26th, 2007

    My boyfriend once had a rocking brioche french toast at the Fountain Room and I’ve been meaning to recreate it ever since. Soon we will have an oven in our new place and then i can finally try out this brioche.

  18. 18 - melissa on September 29th, 2007

    hi! I chanced upon your blog while doing a search on Brioches. I’d love to try Dorie’s recipe but I’d like to clarify the yeast amount stated above. It says 2 envelopes. The yeast sold in envelopes at my grocery store come in 7gm (Fleishman’s) or 11gm (a french brand).
    Could you let me know the weight of each pack of yeast you use?
    thanks so much,
    melissa

  19. 19 - Cenk on September 29th, 2007

    Hi Melissa – I have used 7 gr version. I hope you like it!

  20. 20 - melissa on October 6th, 2007

    thanks Cenk! My brioche is proofing now as I type this. Can I ask if it’s usual for the “dough” to be extremely soft? Also, my butter seems to be melting, is that normal? Thanks for your help, it’s my first time making Brioche and I’m not sure what to expect :)

  21. 21 - Cenk on October 6th, 2007

    Hi Melissa – Yes, it is completely normal for the dough to be extremely soft. Make sure not to deflate at the last stage where you apply the egg wash. I wouldn’t worry about the butter melting as well.

  22. 22 - Rachael on November 13th, 2007

    I totally feel for you! I mean, if that apricot jam fell onto MY brioche, I would eat it too.

    Fab post!

    Cheers,
    Rachael

  23. 23 - betul on September 9th, 2008

    hi Cenk,
    is it possible to replace active dry yeast with
    regular yeast? if so, how much should i be using(it comes in 40gr packs)?
    if not,how much a pack of dry yeast weigh?
    many thanks:D
    betul

  24. 24 - Cenk on September 9th, 2008

    Betül – I am sure it is possible, but I really don’t know how much of it you should use. A pack of active dry yeast weighs 10 grams.

  25. 25 - inayet on September 17th, 2008

    Hi, what type of measuring device are you talking about- as we’re fro Australia

  26. 26 - Cenk on September 17th, 2008

    inayet – I am baking with American cups. You can check out the Conversion (tab below the header image) page for details.

  27. 27 - julie on September 18th, 2008

    Oh, I am excited to try this. I have been making bread for decades, but have never attempted brioche, thinking I needed a special pan. Thankyou!

  28. 28 - thezipline on September 20th, 2008

    Hi

    After reading your blog, I am encourage to try out this recipe…I have an excellent recipe from Tartine bakery in SF for Bread pudding which require Brioche.

    I will give you a note, and let you know how it come out.

    Thank you for the inspiration!

  29. 29 - Cenk on September 20th, 2008

    Julie – Hope you like it.

    thezipline – Great. Can’t wait to hear your comments. And good luck!

  30. 30 - Lynn on July 29th, 2009

    Can you freeze the dough???? or is it better to bake the brioche and freeze the bread???? Thanks so much!

  31. 31 - Lisa on August 16th, 2009

    Hello – just wanted to say that these brioches look utterly fantastic! I’m the UK and I’m wondering if you could tell me if plain flour (all-purpose?) is definitely okay for this recipe or if I should use strong white bread flour? Any info would be hugely appreciated, thank you!

  32. 32 - Cenk on August 16th, 2009

    Lisa – I use all purpose flour and it works just great.

  33. 33 - Lisa on August 19th, 2009

    Thank you so much for the info. I have my brioche dough resting overnight in the fridge at the moment… my fingers are tightly crossed that it turns out even a fraction as nicely as yours!

  34. 34 - Cenk on August 19th, 2009

    Lynn – I think it is better to freeze the dough. Make sure to thaw in the refrigerator before the next step.

  35. 35 - Scott on October 3rd, 2009

    Thank you for the great blog write-up and recipe! I can’t wait to try it. :)

  36. 36 - Talita on November 28th, 2009

    Oh, man! This is fabulous!! I really have to give it a try! Thanks for the recipe!

  37. 37 - Cassia Sigrist on September 7th, 2010

    I live in Brazil and was looking for a recipe for a bread small when I saw the photo in Google, by photo I found the recipe and decided to try. It was wonderful!!!!! Congratulations (I’ll search for more recipes your)

  38. 38 - aidel on October 30th, 2010

    This brioche is very similar to my challah. Are they cousins?

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