Ode to the Golden Brioche Loaf

 

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I can’t believe that I lived almost 28 years without eating a loaf of brioche. Okay, I didn’t actually eat an entire loaf, although I was tempted to. I have had brioche rolls before, but never the actual bread. I was seriously, seriously missing out. This brioche dough was a component of the Brioche Raisin Snails that was made for this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie, however only half of the dough recipe was needed. I used the other half to make a loaf of Golden Brioche. One and a half sticks of butter in one loaf of bread? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why this bread tastes so amazing!

First, let me thank Dorie for providing such amazing direction in all of her recipes. It’s like she’s standing right next to you, telling you exactly what you should expect at every stage of the recipe. And she has been dead-on every single time. It’s quite reassuring to know that things are moving along as they should. Using my KA to pull this dough together was fairly easy, although incorporating all of the butter did take some time, as it took awhile for each piece to fully meld into the dough/batter. By the time I was done my KA was smoking hot (okay, she didn’t really smoke) and I could only touch the top with a towel! The first rise took just a bit longer than Dorie’s estimates (we keep our house pretty cool), and it stopped rising in the fridge somewhere between an hour and an hour and 30 minutes.

After resting in the fridge overnight, I took the dough out and wow was it dense and hard. I feared that it wasn’t going to budge during its next rise. It certainly took some time, but after 2.5 hours my four little rolls had grown into each other and puffed up to fill the loaf pan. I just love the seemingly magical qualities of yeast. Does it amaze anyone else? It is so neat to me that you mix all this stuff together and it just puff and grows. Baking with yeast is a very fulfilling activity for me :)

A quick egg wash and into the oven for 30 minutes… and then, oh the golden buttery glory! I actually restrained myself and let this cool for the full hour (confession: I was actually waiting for my camera battery to charge) and then sliced into it. One bite and I was hooked. I managed to restrain myself for the rest of the day and then made myself an egg, bacon, and cheese sandwich on it for dinner. I quickly sliced, wrapped, and froze it to ensure that I didn’t actually consume 1.5 sticks of butter in one day.

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Do you see that crust? You can see the buttery, flaky goodness. The ends were like eating croissants… mmmmm… Go make one!! You won’t be sorry!

Golden Brioche Loaves

Yield: 2 (8x4-inch) loaves

Prep Time: 12 hours

Cook Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours

Ingredients:

2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch water
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

For The Glaze:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

Directions:

1. To Make The Brioche: Put the yeast, water and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt, and fit into the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one. Toss a kitchen towel over the mixer, covering the bowl as completely as you can- this will help keep you, the counter and your kitchen floor from being showered in flour. Turn the mixer on and off a few short pulses, just to dampen the flour (yes, you can peek to see how you're doing), then remove the towel, increase the mixer speed to medium-low and mix for a minute or two, just until the flour is moistened. At this point, you'll have a fairly dry, shaggy mess.

2. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, set the mixer to low and add the eggs, followed by the sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about 3 minutes, until the dough forms a ball. Reduce the speed to low and add the butter in 2-tablespoon-size chunks, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding the next. You'll have a dough that is very soft, almost like batter. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue to beat until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 10 minutes.

3. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl (or wash out the mixer bowl and use it), cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40 to 60 minutes, depending upon the warmth of your room.

4. Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall with a slap to the bowl. Cover the bowl with the plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours, then leave the uncovered dough in the refrigerator to chill overnight.

5. The next day, butter and flour two 8 1/2-x-4 1/2-inch pans.

6. Pull the dough from the fridge and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cut each piece of the dough into 4 equal pieces and roll each piece into a log about 3 1/2 inches long. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in the bottom of each pan. Put the pans on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat, cover the pans lightly with wax paper and leave the loaves at room temperature until the dough almost fills the pans, 1 to 2 hours. (Again, rising time with depend on how warm the room is.)

7. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

8. To Make the Glaze: Beat the egg with the water. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze.

9. Bake the loaves until they are well risen and deeply golden, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the pans to racks to cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the pans and turn the loaves out onto the racks. Invert again and cool for at least 1 hour.

(Source: Dorie Greenspan "Baking: From My Home to Yours" pages 48-50)

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37 Responses to “Ode to the Golden Brioche Loaf”

  1. Gretchen Noelle on March 19, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Funny, the taste reminded me of croissants also! Delicious! I baked some extra up as rolls in a jumbo sized muffin tin. Yum!

    Reply

  2. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 7:48 am

    Gretchen – Oh rolls in a jumbo muffin tin sound awesome! I am definitely going to find every reason imaginable to make brioche often ;-)

    Reply

  3. Amber on March 19, 2008 at 7:53 am

    This looks absolutely amazing!! What a buttery little loaf of heaven. I neeeedddd to make some brioche.

    Reply

  4. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 7:54 am

    Amber – Yes, you totally do! It’s seriously amazing, I could have eaten the whole thing. Although I probably would have had a stomach ache ;-) I’m thinking it’s going to be PERFECT for leftover ham sandwiches next week!

    Reply

  5. Deborah on March 19, 2008 at 11:58 am

    I just made brioche for the first time at the end of last year – and I’m 30, so I’ve got you beat!! I didn’t use the same recipe as you, but I loved it! Yours looks great!

    Reply

  6. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Deborah – You win! ;-) The bread is just wonderful, isn’t it?!

    Reply

  7. Caitlin on March 19, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Wow, that looks to-die-for! Now I have to make a hard decision about the second half of my brioche dough from the snails – cinnamon rolls or bread… Darnit, you had to make my life difficult didn’t you? ;-)

    Reply

  8. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    Caitlin – I am a horrible decision maker, so I am sorry to have put you in this predicament! Hehe. My vote is on the bread! But I might be biased since I’m allergic to cinnamon anyway ;-)

    Reply

  9. Erin on March 19, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    I am now in love with brioche too. I liked the snails better than the cinnamon rolls I made not too long ago. This bread looks so good. I love that there are so many things you can do with it. I still have the other half of the dough in the freezer. I just might have to bake up a loaf here soon :)

    Reply

  10. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Erin – Definitely give the loaf a try – it’s so good, especially for breakfast sandwiches! I’m thinking it will be great for leftover ham sandwiches as well :)

    Reply

  11. Lynn on March 19, 2008 at 5:22 pm

    That looks SO yummy!

    I wanted you to know that you’ve been tagged…
    http://lunchwithlynn.blogspot.com/2008/03/meme-ive-been-tagged.html

    Reply

  12. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks Lynn! I’ll have to think up some interesting things about me! ;-)

    Reply

  13. kayte on March 19, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    wow chelle. those are some gorgeous loaves. i can definitely see how buttery and flaky the crust is. i think i am definitely going to have to give this recipe a shot very soon!

    Reply

  14. Michelle on March 19, 2008 at 10:17 pm

    Kayte – Thank you! It takes a little time, but the end product is definitely worth it, I definitely recommend giving it a try!

    Reply

  15. Kate on March 20, 2008 at 12:21 am

    I seriously think bread is the most gorgeous thing ever.

    Reply

  16. Michelle on March 20, 2008 at 6:51 am

    Kate – I agree! I love bread!

    Reply

  17. Lynn on March 20, 2008 at 11:04 am

    Chelley, I am so sorry you, too, lost your dad at such a young age!!! I know each year it gets easier, but it is never really easy, so I wish you strength on 4/4.

    Reply

  18. superstaraud on March 20, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    this is late.. but i’m giving you your award right back! :)

    http://superstaraud.wordpress.com/2008/03/20/these-girls-make-my-day/

    Reply

  19. Jaime on March 21, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    i’m curious now, as to what this tastes like! i’m not a big bread person, but how could something w/that much butter not be good? ;)

    Reply

  20. Michelle on March 22, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Jaime – seriously, that much butter has got to equal great taste! And it definitely does in this case!

    Reply

  21. Ashley on March 24, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Your description and photos of the brioche snails and the brioche loaf are killing me! It sounds so insanely delicious. The ends of the loaf being like a croissant?? Yummm. I am going to have to find time to make these!

    Reply

  22. Michelle on March 25, 2008 at 8:57 am

    Ashley – It definitely tasted like a croissant! And if I made you crave brioche, then I think I have done my blogging well ;-)

    Reply

  23. Kim on February 20, 2012 at 10:08 am

    I was wondering if anyone has tried to make cinnamon raisin bread with the brioche dough?

    Reply

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  25. Ellimac on October 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Can I use fresh yeast in the recipe vs. dried yeast?

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 23rd, 2012 at 10:54 pm

      Yes, you could certainly do that.

      Reply

  26. Ariane on November 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    This is alot of bread. How can I freeze 1/2 properly? I am planning on making snails with 1/2 of the recipe and freezing the other half for later. Should I freeze this 1/2 after it comes out of the frig?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 7th, 2012 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Ariane, I would bake the other half and then freeze, vs freezing the dough.

      Reply

  27. Ellimac on November 8, 2012 at 11:27 am

    These are simply DIVINE!!!! This recipe is a keeper for sure.

    Reply

  28. Ariane on November 8, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    How to wrap and freeze?

    Reply

    • Michelle on November 9th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

      Hi Ariane, I wrap the loaf in plastic wrap, then in foil and then place in a freezer-safe ziploc bag.

      Reply

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  30. Adrienne on March 13, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Hi there,
    Got my favorite buttercream recipe from you, so I thought I’d check your site for a brioche recipe, and luckily you have one!

    I am sending a gift to the mother of a friend for her 90th birthday party. She is a big bread fan, especially brioche. I am wondering how long it continues to taste fresh once you bake it, as I have to mail it and it will take about 3 days.

    Any thoughts?
    Many thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 15th, 2014 at 10:41 am

      Hi Adrienne, What a nice idea! If you let the bread cool, then wrap it in a couple of layers of plastic wrap it should stay fresh for a few days. I would time the baking/cooling so that you can get it shipped as soon as possible.

      Reply

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