This brioche bread is soft, buttery and fluffy. We braided it and then placed in a loaf pan, topped it an egg wash and sesame seeds for a perfect sandwich bread.
There is something magical about making bread at home. And Brioche bread has to be among my favorites, for 2 reasons:
- it’s super simple to make
- there is a eggy and buttery taste you can only get from Brioche bread
The dough of brioche is enriched with lots of butter and eggs. This gives the bread a very fine, very soft crumbly and an almost flaky texture, in addition to turning the crust a dark golden color after it bakes thanks to the egg wash.
IS BRIOCHE HARD TO MAKE?
As buttery and flaky and delicious as this bread is, it is surprisingly easy to make. There are few things to keep in mind however before beginning.
The first thing is you want to use room temperature eggs and butter. I keep the butter out overnight to soften and the eggs are out for a few hours as well.
Remember that this dough gets refrigerated overnight so plan accordingly. If you want to make this for a brunch be sure to start the night before.
If you have a stand mixer, eggs, flour, yeast, butter and water you can make bread!
MY DOUGH DIDN’T RISE!
When bread doesn’t rise, it can be for one or more reasons:
- The yeast was dead before you used it. When you open a package of yeast, it should smell earthy and “yeasty.” If it doesn’t, you can test the yeast’s liveliness by combining it with some of the warm water and a pinch of sugar. If the yeast is active, it will produce a bubbly mass within 10 minutes.
- The water used was too cold or too hot. Water below 70°F may not be warm enough to activate the yeast. Water that’s too hot can damage or kill yeast. All yeasts die at 138°F.
- Salt was added too early. Adding salt before the yeast has had a chance to multiply can dehydrate it. Remember yeast THRIVES in sugar, salt INHIBITS it. Add the salt TO the flour instead of directly to the yeast when proofing.
- The dough was not punched down. After a few hours (or overnight) the dough needs to be ‘punched down’ and let rise again.
WHAT MAKES IT DIFFERENT FROM CHALLAH?
Brioche is a French bread so it’s made with lots of butter. Challah is a Jewish tradition and eaten kosher so it does not have any dairy or butter in it.
Brioche comes in many different shapes and sizes.
- You can bake it without braiding it in a loaf pan,
- you can braid it NOT in a loaf pan, just casually on a baking sheet,
- you can make small hamburger buns,
- you can bake the bread in small molds for brioche a tete.
- 1/4 Cup Warm Water (110-120°F)
- 1 tsp Dried Yeast (1/2 pkt)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 3 Large Organic Eggs, room temperature
- 2 – 2 1/4 Cups Unbleached Flour (I use Bob Mills)
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Stick Organic Butter, room temperature
- 1 Egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon water (for egg wash)
- Sesame Seeds (optional)
- Combine the water, yeast and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with either the paddle or dough hook. Stir with a spoon and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and beat on medium for 1 minute.
- Turn the mixer to low and slowly add half the flour and salt. Mix until combined, approximately 2 minutes.
- Increase speed to medium and add softened butter one tablespoon at a time. Do not rush this step. This can take several minutes until all the butter is incorporated. The mixture will be very sticky. Add the remaining flour. Continue to mix for another 3 minutes until dough is shiny and smooth and starts to ‘slap’ around the mixer.
- Scrape the dough into a large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray or lightly oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day allow the dough to come to room temperature (approx. 1 hour). Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately a minute or two until it is pliable.
- Divide the dough into 3 sections and roll into a long rope about 10-12″ long. Pinch all 3 ends together and braid, pinching the bottom as well.
- Place the bread into a loaf pan that has either been sprayed with cooking spray, lightly oiled or lined with parchment paper.
- Cover the pan with a clean towel, place in a warm place and set aside for 2 – 2 1/2 hours to rise.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Gently brush the egg wash over the dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if using.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cover with a piece of loosely tented foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
- The crust should be a rich reddish-golden brown. Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool.
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