Baking your own brioche takes a little effort but it is so worth it. Light and buttery with a pillowy interior. The leftovers are perfect for French toast.
When I first started baking bread, brioche was the one thing I found completely daunting. I feel the same way about brioche as I do about croissants. I love eating them but I don’t want to make them myself.
So you’ll understand my dismay when I was forced to make brioche for a shoot recently. I tried to find short cuts and even tweeted about it but the answer was unanimous. Brioche requires TLC. Sigh. I did however use my Kenwood to mix the dough because frankly, who has time to do it by hand? After making the dough, allowing it to rest overnight then letting it prove again, I finally got the loaves in the oven. Afterwards, I was met with the most gorgeous golden brown loaves of brioche. Bubble-topped and begging to be sliced into. As I sliced into the still-warm loaf, I was met with a burst of steam with the aroma of butter and yeast. Drool-worthy stuff, I tell you. It also became obvious to me that all the hard work was completely worth it and that I would be doing this all again. In fact, since then I’ve made this brioche another 3 times.
This recipe also makes great burger buns (simply bake them in a foil ring) and smaller brioche buns, similar to the ones you find in bakeries. The loaves remain my favourite however as they are so versatile. When sliced it makes perfect toast and if you allow it to go slightly stale, it makes the most delicious French toast I’ve ever tasted.
- 125ml warm milk
- 3 tablespoons/70g sugar
- 10g dried yeast
- 4 eggs
- 500g flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 175g butter, cubed (remove the butter from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start. Butter needs to be slightly soft.)
- 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
- Combine the milk, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a free-standing mixer and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the mixture is creamy and start to froth slightly.
- Add the eggs and beat well until the eggs are well incorporated and the mixture is light and creamy.
- Slowly add the flour and salt with the mixer running until the flour has been incorporated.
- Allow to knead at medium speed for a minute.
- Slowly add the cubes of butter and knead for another 5 minutes.
- The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl and will cling to the paddle.
- Remove the dough and place in a buttered bowl.
- Cover with clingwrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
- Place in the fridge and allow to stand overnight.
- The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
- Divide the dough in half and place in greased loaf tins.
- Allow to rise for another 2 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. Brush the loaves with the egg wash.
- Bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.