I love brioche!! How can you beat the oh so soft and rich interior of a bread that is made with so much butter? Well, I think spread a bit more butter on a slice and add a touch of fresh raspberry jam! This dough is hard to work with and I recommend making the dough by stand mixer, because you will get unbelievably frustrated if you try to make it by hand. It takes a very long time to knead by machine and you can use either the paddle attachment or the dough hook. I say start with the paddle attachment and if you feel it becomes too hard for the paddle switch to the hook towards the end. This recipe is adapted from Peter Reinhart’s: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice
- ½ cup (2.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
- 2 tsp. (.22 ounces) instant yeast
- ½ cup (4 ounces) whole milk, lukewarm
Final Dough Ingredients:
- 5 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 cups (13.75 ounces) unbleached bread flour
- 2 TB (1 ounce) sugar
- 1 ¼ tsp. (.31 ounce) salt
- 1 cup (8 ounces, 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Add the eggs to the sponge and whisk or beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir until all the ingredients are hydrated and evenly distributed. Let this mixture rest for 5 minutes so that the gluten can begin to develop. Then, while mixing with a large spoon, work in a quarter of the butter. Turn the dough out onto a counter and knead the dough by hand or mix with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer. This dough will be particularly sticky but resist the urge to add more flour. When the dough begins to smooth out and become tighter it is time to add another quarter of the butter. Allow the butter to assimilate into the dough before adding more butter. Add in the last quarters of butter one at a time and allow to fully combine after each addition. The finished dough will be very soft and smooth.
- Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and mist lightly with cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the sheet pan, spreading it to form a large, thick rectangle measuring about 6 inches by 8 inches. Mist the top of the dough with cooking spray and cover the pan with plastic wrap. Place the pan immediately into the refrigerator and allow to rest overnight or for at least 4 hours before shaping.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape it into mini brioche a` tete or larger loaves. Mist the tops of the dough with cooking spray and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Proof the dough until it nearly fills the molds or loaf pans, 1 ½-2 hours for smaller shapes and longer for larger shapes. Gently brush the tops with egg was. Cover the dough with plastic wrap that is lightly oiled and continue to proof for another 15-30 minutes or until the dough fills the molds or pans.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degree with oven rack on the middle shelf for the small brioche shapes or 350 for the full loafs.
- Bake the brioche for 15-20 minutes for the small brioche and 35-50 minutes for the larger loaves. The internal temperature should register above 180 degrees for the small ones and about 190 for the larger shapes. The bread will sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
- Remove the brioches or loaves from the pans as soon as they come out of the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes for the small brioches and 1 hour for the larger loaves before serving.