Two Peas and Their Pod

Brioche

When we were in Illinois for the 4th of July we did some baking with my dad. My dad is the best baker in town:) He loves to bake Artisan breads, cinnamon rolls, cookies, pies, tarts, etc. Josh has been wanting to make brioche bread for awhile so we asked my dad if he would help us master brioche. Of course, he agreed to help us. We used Peter Reinhart’s Upper-Middle Class Brioche recipe. The recipe calls for three sticks of butter, whole milk, and five eggs. This is definitely a “treat” bread, not your everyday sandwich loaf.

Josh wanted to make French toast with the brioche so we made two loaves. You can make petite brioches à tête, but you will need special pans. The brioche does take some time to make, but it is not hard. You have to chill the dough for at least four hours or overnight, so make sure you have plenty of time to make this brioche recipe.

You start by making a sponge. Once the sponge rises, you make the dough. The brioche dough is very soft and moist, due to all of the butter and eggs. We shaped the dough into two loaves and let them rise. The loaves rose beautifully and then we baked them until they were golden brown. We let the loaves cool and sliced into one loaf. The brioche was rich, buttery with a soft crumb. It was well worth all of the waiting.

We saved one loaf to make French Toast for breakfast. The brioche bread is perfect for soaking up the egg, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon mixture. The brioche French Toast is extremely rich and decadent. It was the perfect vacation breakfast:) Everyone loved it, including our two year old niece. She shared with grandpa:)

I am glad we were able to spend time in Illinois with my family. I always enjoy baking with my dad. I am glad he helped us make Brioche-it is fantastic. We will have to try it on our own next time.

Check out my EVO Conference recap! There are lots of fun photos! And yes, there are photos of the baby bump. I can’t hide it anymore:)

Brioche

Yield: Makes 12-16 petite brioches à tête, 2-4 large brioches à tête, or two 1-pound loaves

Ingredients:

Sponge:
½ cup (2.25 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
½ cup (4 ounces) whole milk, lukewarm

Dough:
5 large eggs, slightly beaten
3 cups (13.75 ounces) unbleached bread flour
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) granulated sugar
1¼ teaspoons salt
24 tablespoons (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg, whisked until frothy, for egg wash

Directions:

1. To make the sponge, stir together the flour and yeast in a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Stir in the milk until all of the flour is hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 30 minutes, or until the sponge rises and then falls when you tap the bowl.

2. To make the dough, 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 (or continue to mix with the paddle attachment on low speed for about 2 minutes) until all the ingredients are hydrated and evenly distributed. Let this mixture rest for about 5 minutes so that the gluten can begin to develop. Then, while mixing with a large spoon (or on medium speed with the paddle), gradually work in the butter, about one-quarter at a time, waiting until each addition of butter assimilates before adding more. This will take a few minutes. Continue mixing for about 6 more minutes, or until the dough is very well mixed. You will have to scrape down the bowl from time to time as the dough will cling to it. The dough will be very smooth.

3. Line a sheet pan with baking parchment and mist lightly with spray oil. 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 spray oil and cover the pan with plastic wrap or place it in a large food-grade plastic bag.

4. Immediately put the dough into the refrigerator and chill overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and shape it while it is very cold. If it warms up or softens, return it to the refrigerator. If you are making brioches à tête, lightly oil or use spray oil to grease the fluted molds. Divide the dough into 12 to 16 portions for petites brioches à tête and 2 to 4 portions for larger shapes. (The size of each portion should correspond to the size of the molds; petites brioches à tête are typically 1.5 to 2 ounces each, while larger versions can range from 1 to 2 pounds. Whatever size you are making, the molds should only be half full with dough to allow for expansion during proofing.) Shape the petites brioches à tête into small balls and the larger ones into round loafs. Dust your hands with flour, and, using the edge of your hand, divide a ball of dough into a large and small ball by rolling down, but not quite all the way through, the dough. Place the large ball into the oiled brioche mold and use the tips of your fingers to indent the top and to round and center the smaller ball. Place the molds on a sheet pan after final shaping. If you are making loaves, grease two 8.5 by 4.5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and shape the dough into loaves.

6. Mist the top of the dough with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap, or slip the pan(s) into a food-grade plastic bag. Proof the dough until it nearly fills the molds or loaf pans, 1.5 to 2 hours for petites brioches à tête and longer for larger shapes. Gently brush the tops with egg wash. Cover the dough with plastic wrap that has been lightly misted with spray oil. Continue proofing for another 15 to 30 minutes, or until the dough fills the molds or pans.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with the oven rack on the middle shelf for petites brioches à tête, or 350 degrees F for larger shapes.

8. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes for petites brioches à tête and 35 to 50 minutes for larger shapes. The internal temperature should register above 180F for the small ones and about 190F for the larger shapes. The bread should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom and be golden brown.

9. Remove the brioches or loaves from the pans as soon as they come out of the oven and cool on a rack for at least 20 minutes for small brioches and 1 hour for larger shapes before serving.

Recipe from The Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

If you like this Brioche recipe, you might also like:

Sugar & Spice Brioche Buns from Buns in My Oven
Light Brioche Burger Buns from Smitten Kitchen
Brioche Raisin Snails from Brown Eyed Baker

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60 Responses to “Brioche”

  1. 1
    Rosa — July 13, 2011 @ 3:31 am

    This brioche is beautiful! Perfec t fro making decadent French Toasts.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  2. 2

    Wow, Maria, you totally outdid yourself!

    The last shot with the french toast…oh, wow!

    And I saw those pics of you at Evo and thought, nope, she can’t hide the bump anymore :)

  3. 3
    Amanda — July 13, 2011 @ 4:46 am

    I’ve been wanting to make brioche for a while now, especially because it lends itself to killer french toast! Your post might be that extra push I’ve needed to tackle it…

    Next time you should try topping your french toast with caramelized bananas. They serve it like that at a restaurant called Extra Virgin in NYC and it’s possibly one of the greatest breakfast concoctions ever.

  4. 4
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — July 13, 2011 @ 6:33 am

    Wow, I didn’t know bread existed with that much butter:-) I don’t think that is a bad thing!

  5. 5
    Katrina — July 13, 2011 @ 7:35 am

    This sounds lovely! Great recipe.

  6. 6
    Barbara @ Barbara Bakes — July 13, 2011 @ 7:42 am

    Such a gorgeous loaf. I’m sure it made a fabulous French toast.

  7. 7
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — July 13, 2011 @ 7:45 am

    i have wanted to learn how to make brioche for FOREVER! i can’t wait to try this!

  8. 8
    Blog is the New Black — July 13, 2011 @ 7:47 am

    I’ve always wanted to make brioche!!! LOVE!

  9. 9

    Yummmmm! This looks like a MUCH better french toast that what I had this morning. :-)

  10. 10
    Tracey — July 13, 2011 @ 8:35 am

    Brioche is my favorite, it’s so rich and makes the best french toast!

  11. 11
    The Café Sucré Farine — July 13, 2011 @ 8:54 am

    I love brioche not just for how delicious it is on it’s own but I enjoy all the fun recipes you can use it in. Love your French Toast – it looks amazing!!

  12. 12
    Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking — July 13, 2011 @ 9:09 am

    I’ve heard that Brioche makes the best French Toast. Will definitely have to make some now.
    Great family times.

  13. 13
    Bev Weidner — July 13, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    DEAR babies, that looks so good. I have yet to master the art of baking bread, but I’m gern give this a go!

    congrats on the bebe!

  14. 14
    Erica — July 13, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    whoa! I bet this bread is ridiculous good. Three sticks of butter? I bet the slices just melt in your mouth! So cool that your Dad is an awesome baker. You are just keeping that family tradition alive!!

  15. 15
    Urban Wife — July 13, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    I didn’t realize how much effort (and ingredients!) went into making brioche. Thanks for sharing with us! p.s. Loved the EVO post…your bump is sooo cute! :)

  16. 16
    Estela @ Weekly Bite — July 13, 2011 @ 9:51 am

    We love french toast!! Looks delicious Maria :)

  17. 17
    Jenny Flake — July 13, 2011 @ 9:54 am

    How perfect would this be for breakfast right now?! Lovely!!

  18. 18
    brandi — July 13, 2011 @ 10:00 am

    that loaf looks perfect – I haven’t made brioche at home yet, but it’s on the list!

  19. 19
    Cait's Plate — July 13, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    YUMMMMMM!! Brioche french toast is the BEST!

  20. 20

    I have a special thing for brioche. I had just read “My Life in France” about 3 years ago and finally decided to pick up “Mastering the art…” brioche was the first thing I made and it came out amazing. I was stoked :)

  21. 21
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — July 13, 2011 @ 10:19 am

    How delicious-looking is that?? I’ve yet to make it!

  22. 22

    I love brioche. It is such a beautiful bread. It is so great to bake with family, you are so lucky to have a dad that loves to bake!

  23. 23
    Cookin' Canuck — July 13, 2011 @ 11:19 am

    What a pretty loaf of brioche! There is nothing better than cooking with dads (my dad is our cookie king) – leads to lots of great memories.

  24. 24
    Amanda — July 13, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    Oh my, I love brioche, would love a taste of that french toast this morning! :)

  25. 25

    When I scrolled down to see that fried brioche… holy moly my tongue fell out of my mouth and left a big puddle on my desk. This looks marvelous!

    I made brioche last year and it was such a wonderful treat

  26. 26
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — July 13, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    That is a beautiful looking brioche! A must make! Especially if I want to dig into a nice plate of home made french toasts. Can’t beat that ;)

  27. 27
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — July 13, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

    I can’t wait to try this, looks fantastic!

  28. 28
    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — July 13, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

    looks fabulous!

  29. 29
    Radhika @ foodfor7stages — July 13, 2011 @ 1:56 pm

    I wish my parents knew how to bake breads. Oven was an alien concept in the place I grew up. But now that I have an opportunity to bake breads, I can’t wait to make this beautiful looking brioche. The texture of the bread speaks for itself.

    And love your cute little baby bump :) Isn’t it a good feeling.

  30. 30
    Annalise — July 13, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    YUM! If only I could reach through the computer and grab one of those slices. Looks heavenly!

  31. 31
    Sharon B — July 13, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    Your bread looks delicious. Making this bread is going on my to do list.

  32. 32
    Joanne — July 13, 2011 @ 3:00 pm

    I’ve made Julia Child’s brioche before but I think Reinhardt’s probably takes the cake for best loaf!

  33. 33
    Marianne — July 13, 2011 @ 7:36 pm

    In the recipe you say
    “If you are making loaves, grease two 8.5 by 4.5-inch loaf pans. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape the dough into loaves”

    Am I missing something? Is there something to do with the third piece, or is it a mistype?

    thanks for sharing this recipe. It looks glorious!

    • Two Peas replied: — July 13th, 2011 @ 8:12 pm

      It was a typo. Thanks for catching it. I fixed it to 2:)

  34. 34
    Elle Hyson — July 13, 2011 @ 7:57 pm

    Maria, your brioche loaves are beautiful and it really does make the best French toast around. I remember some 70 years ago when I was 19, whenever I went shopping for clothes, and it wasn’t very often, the treat of the day was a visit to a splendid bakery in the same neighborhood – the tough decision was do I get a small brioche or a croissant – so usually I wouldn’t have breakfast and would then indulge in both –

    Saw your EVO pictures and you look wonderful – and so does the baby bump.

    • Two Peas replied: — July 13th, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

      Thank you!!

  35. 35
    Dmarie — July 13, 2011 @ 8:32 pm

    oh, MY, that looks so tender. I can only imagine that the French toast made with that bread is the BEST ever! definitely need to make this…thank you!!

  36. 36
    Suzi — July 13, 2011 @ 8:35 pm

    It looks like heaven…with butter, I can’t imagine how yummy!

  37. 37
    Dana — July 14, 2011 @ 1:53 am

    That is a beautiful loaf of bread. I have been itching to make brioche – I’ve never made it before.

  38. 38
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker — July 14, 2011 @ 5:17 am

    At least once a week when i was 17/18, my friends and I would drive to the local cafe in the school lunch break and buy a monster brioche, devouring it in an embarassingly short amount of time! It has good memories, but i have never attempted it at home. Will be saving this recipe for sure, thank you :)

  39. 39
    marla — July 14, 2011 @ 7:34 am

    Brioche definitely makes the BEST French Toast – looks awesome girl! xo

  40. 40
    Carolyn — July 14, 2011 @ 10:03 am

    Wow, that is seriously gorgeous brioche bread!

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