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Posted on: Saturday, 21 June 2014 04:04

If you've ever tried brioche bread, you would know its beautiful buttery aroma, its golden crust and its soft and fluffy texture. Mmmmmm. Makes my mouth water every time just thinking about it! I’ve always wanted to try and bake this beautiful bread but the fact that it must be made more than a day in advance put me off every time the thought came to mind.

However, the thought of the bread’s famous cloud-like texture won me over and I gave in.

I finally decided to make it and used a basic brioche recipe found here --> Brioche Recipe. It turned out quite nicely and I’m pretty pleased with the result! I would have liked the bread to be slightly sweeter and I wish I had a stand mixer to make the job easier but overall, it ended up looking really impressive. Even though this bread was a little troublesome to make and tested my patience, I would definitely make it again (maybe adding chocolate chips to the dough next time)! Here’s a slightly edited version of the recipe I followed!



- 500g (4 1/2 c) bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 4 eggs (at room temperature)
- 150 ml (2/3 c) warm milk
- 85g (3/4 c) sugar
- 175g (3/4 c) softened butter
- 1 tsp of salt
- 7g (or 1 sachet) of dried yeast
- 1 beaten egg with 1 tbsp milk or cream for glazing (egg wash)

optional extras
- 1 tsp orange flower water
- grated zest of orange or lemon
- 150g dried raisins, mixed fruit soaked overnight in brandy
- 150g chocolate chips
- fleur de sel, to top
- cinnamon
- 150g nuts



   In an electric mixer bowl, combine all dough ingredients (everything but the egg wash and the optional ingredients)
2.   Mix slowly with the dough hook attatched to the electric mixer for at least 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. The dough will be very weak and moist which is just the way you want it!

      This is quite a wet dough so a mixer makes the job easier, however, if mixing by hand, mix everything in the bowl except the butter until it comes together and tip it onto a clean surface. Crumble the butter onto the dough and using the heel of the palm of your hand, gently push the dough and butter together until the dough is formed. 

Refrain from adding extra flour to make it come together quickly as that will reduce the quality of the loaf - a little light dusting of the surface is okay however.

3.   Allow to prove in room temperature for at least 1 hour covered loosely with cling wrap and on top of that, with a damp towel to let it rest and rise.
4.   Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface when it has doubled in size. Punch holes in it to deflate it, and knead it again for a minute or two, lifting a section of the dough and then letting it fall back.

      Add any optional flavourings at this stage. Zest of an orange can add a tang to your bread that nicely compliments the sweetness. Cranberries, chocolate chips, or nuts work well, too. But a plain brioche is definitely classic et très Français!

5.   You want it to reach double in size again so, using a loosely covered container with cling wrap and a damp cloth, put the dough in the refrigerator. This may take up to 8 hours, or overnight as brioche has been known to rise very slowly, depending on the warmth of the dough and freshness and variety of the yeast. To be safe, just throw it in overnight.
After this stage, you can freeze your dough if you need to use it at a later date. Just wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer.

Assembling and cooking:


   Place your dough onto a lightly floured board and divide it into three individual balls
2.   Roll out one ball of dough into a long, thick strand. Do this with the remaining two balls of dough making sure each strand is the same length
3.   Pinch the top ends of the strands until they stick together and start braiding away until you reach a point where you can’t braid anymore.
4.   Pinch the ends of the strands to seal the braid. Tuck that pinched section under the base of the bread. Do the same with the other side of the bread loaf to neaten the look of the bread.
5.   Cover the dough once more with your cling wrap and damp cloth and let it proof (for the final time!) until it has doubled in size (1-3 hours at room temperature).
6.   Lightly brush the top of your loaf with a lightly beaten egg and a bit of milk to make your egg wash. This will make your brioche have that golden crust and beautiful finish.
7.   Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). If your oven cooks over or under, be sure to adjust because an overcooked brioche creates a bitter taste in your palette.
8.   Bake until golden and cooked through for 30-40 minutes. Check with a skewer like you would test a cake when you think your brioche is finished. The dough will make a dark red-brown crust but if this is undesirable, cover loosely with foil after the crust is the colour you want to prevent it from browning any further.
9.   Serve as desired. Brioche is best served warm with jam or butter, tea, coffee or hot chocolate but it's still just as delicious plain too! Keep the bread in an air-tight container for storage.

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