Brioche Recipe

Yields: About 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus rising times)
Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients

For the Sponge:

  • 1/3 cup warm whole milk (100-110 degrees F / 38-43 degrees C)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (one packet) active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the Dough:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten and at room temperature
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approximately)
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and cubed

Equipment:

  • Stand mixer with dough hook attachment (or you can knead by hand)
  • Large bowl
  • Loaf pan (9×5 inch is standard)
  • Whisk
  • Plastic wrap

Instructions

1. Make the Sponge:

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the warm milk, yeast, and egg. Whisk together briefly.
  • Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a spatula until incorporated.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of flour over the top to cover the sponge.
  • Let the sponge rest uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly.

2. Make the Dough:

  • Add the sugar, salt, and eggs to the sponge.
  • Using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until combined.
  • Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until the dough comes together. You may not need all the flour. The dough should be soft and slightly tacky.
  • Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes. It should become smooth and elastic.
  • Reduce speed back to low and gradually add the softened butter, one cube at a time. Make sure each cube is incorporated before adding the next.
  • Knead on medium speed for another 8-10 minutes until the dough is very smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

3. First Rise:

  • Lightly grease a large bowl.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the greased bowl.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place the bowl in a warm, draft-free spot to rise until doubled in size, about 1.5-2 hours.

4. Shape the Brioche:

  • Gently punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Here you have options! You can:

  • Bake one large loaf: Divide the dough into three equal pieces, shape each into a log, and braid them together. Place the braided loaf into a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • Make individual rolls: Divide the dough into 12-16 equal pieces and shape them into smooth balls. Place the balls in a greased loaf pan, or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

5. Second Rise:

  • Cover shaped dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-1.5 hours.

6. Egg Wash:

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg with a splash of milk.
  • Gently brush the egg wash over the risen dough.

7. Bake:

  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the brioche is a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. If it appears to be browning too quickly, loosely tent with aluminum foil.
  • Let the brioche cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Tips:

  • Room Temperature Ingredients: They help the gluten develop properly.
  • Don’t Overflour: Add flour gradually to get a soft but not overly sticky dough.
  • Patience: The long rise times are key to developing that incredible brioche texture.

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