I have made this loaf every year for the past three Thanksgivings – it is amazing and an absolute must. This year I am using Kerry Gold butter – quality counts because the first year I made this bread, I used cheap stuff and it didn’t taste right. Be warned: you’ll need to start making this loaf at least 3 days before you bake it off! The starter needs at least 12 hours, the dough rests for another two – but again, it’s so worth the wait! The brioche is rich, but airy; and bakes up into shiny, gorgeous mahogany loaf. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Basic Brioche – The Bread Bible
Dough Starter –
- 2 TBSP room temperature water
- 1 TBSP sugar
- 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (2.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg
*Make the starter one to two days ahead. In a mixing bowl, add ingredients and mix until very smooth. Cover with plastic wrap.
Flour Mixture –
- 5.5 ounces all-purpose flour
- 2 TBSP sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 8 TBSP room temperature butter
1. Combine first four ingredients and pour on top of the starter, cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
2. Using a standing mixer, add eggs and mix on low speed for about a minute until evenly moistened. Raise speed to medium and beat for two minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl with an oiled rubber scraper, then continue beating for five minutes longer or until the dough is smooth and shiny but very soft and sticky. It wont pull away from the bowl completely.
3. Add the butter one TBSP at a time until all incorporated. The dough will be soft and sticky. Lightly oil top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
4. Chill – refrigerate for one hour, then gently deflate with rubber spatula, then return it to the refrigerator for another hour.
5. Deflate/Chill – turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Press or roll into a rectangle, flour as needed. Give the dough a business letter turn, brushing off excess flour. Rotate 90 degrees so the closed side faces left. Make a second business turn and round the corners. Dust it lightly on all sides with flour. Wrap loosely but securely with plastic wrap and place in a large Ziploc bag. Refrigerate of at least six hours and up to two days.
6. Shape/Rise – remove from fridge and gently press down to deflate. Roll/press into a 7 1/2″ by 5″ wide rectangle. Roll down from top in three turns, being sure to brush off the excess flour. Place seam side down in a prepared 8×4 inch loaf pan pressing down firmly. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan – about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack on the lowest position of the oven and place a baking stone or a baking sheet on the rack.
8. Glaze/Slash/Bake – glaze the top of the loaf with a mixture of one egg yolk and a splash of cream or milk. Slash the top of the loaf 1/4″ to 1/2″ deep lengthwise down the loaf, making sure to leave 1″ at each end. Set on hot stone and bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees.
9. Cool – un-mold loaf to cool on a wire rack at least two hours before cutting.