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My brioche

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I think a brioche should be just a rich white bread and act as a canvas for colorful toppings, both sweet and savoury. In the morning with home-made jam, or in the evening with pickles, Leberwurst and a glass of beer. I’ve tried numerous brioche recipes and most of them were too eggy or sweet for my taste. If there’s too much sugar, it will burn too quickly in the oven and give an unpleasant crust. That’s why I ventured intor creating “my own” brioche recipe. It employs a 2-hour-poolish and actually starts with a rather warm dough, which is then put into the fridge overnight. The next day it will have completed its bulk fermentation and can be shaped as desired.

I think this recipe is constructed according to the rules of ‘Slow Baking’, which states that yeasted white breads must include ‘pre-ferments’ such as the poolish.


:-) Nils’s Brioche

  • 250g strong white flour
  • 125g butter, softened, slightly warm
  • 100g cool water
  • 1 egg
  • 25g milk
  • 20g sugar
  • 7.5g fresh yeast
  • 5g salt

Mix 80g of the flour, the water and the yeast to make a yeasted batter also known as ‘poolish’. Let stand covered at room temperature for 2 hours. Add all the other ingredients and mix vigorously with a strong fork. Do this for 1-2 minutes. Let the dough rest for about 5 minutes, then mix shortly again as if you were trying to wind up the dough, always going in circular movements and in the same direction. Let rest for another 5 minutes and mix again. The dough will be wet and batter like. There will be thin strands of gluten showing but it will remain a rather sluggish mixture. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.

The next day, let the dough warm up at room temperature for 30 minutes. It will still be cool and rather hard. The dough will have risen slightly. Then quickly shape the brioches, the warmth of your hands will make the butter melt quickly making the dough very sticky again, and put them into buttered tins. Proof for 90 minutes at room temperature. Brush with egg-wash if you like and bake at 190°C with steam for 20 minutes for 12 invidividual brioches or 30 minutes for 2 loaves.


Written by theinversecook

4 September 2009 at 19:54

7 Responses

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  1. Might try these tomorrow, looks very good. And i second the crust problem that most recipes have.
    Daft question it might be not that refined but it is hard to get good butter here. I have taken to using olive oil instead (don’t laugh) I make a very good olive oil lemon cake thes days. Any idea if using oil (besides not having “that’ taste) might work? Don’t have a nice tin collection here, would a tart tin suffice? Or the small ceramic chinese bowls?


    5 September 2009 at 13:34

    • You could use and tin shapes or even make a braid, if it is the right consistency. Substituting a fat such as olive oil will transform a brioche into something completely different, I guess, since butter will be quite hard at cool temperatures. I once made a very oily focaccia from a recipe by Peter Reinhart. It was not bad, but somehow I could not get rid of the feeling that I had just eating something very very fat and oily. Why I don’t have that impression with brioches, I am absoloutely clueless :-)


      6 September 2009 at 02:16

  2. Interesting, I’d never seen a brioche recipe including water, I must try this.


    5 September 2009 at 13:58

    • Oops, didn’t know it was made with milk only. I might have gone one step too far .-)


      6 September 2009 at 02:18

  3. Mmm, I have just had a slice of this, my first ever attempt at brioche, it was almost painless making it. I must admit I have always been put off by those images of hands cloaked in butter, but this method is really neat, and no kneading, which I like a lot. I was a bit dubious when I took the dough out of the fridge this morning, but it behaved beautifully and I am ridiculously pleased with it. I put one half in a tin and the other half I attempted to plait and put that in a tin too. I put a strip of baking parchment in the bottom of the tins but they popped out quite easily. Thanks so much! Zeb


    11 September 2009 at 15:01

    • PS I have posted a link to this on Dan’s forum hope that’s ok with you?


      11 September 2009 at 20:20

      • I found my small Brioches-Guglhupfs get a bit hard the next day, perhaps it’s the shape with a big surface. Will definitely go with tin loaves the next time. Yours look perfect.


        12 September 2009 at 11:18

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