This post is all about alluring (well at least for me!) and versatile brioche dough. This is a basic dough recipe and first I decided to make a simple loaf aka nanterre. I know I have a No Knead Brioche recipe which is easy and gives beautiful loaf but like I said before I always wanted to do a traditional loaf. Well this dough took two trials but the result is sheer perfection. Lessons I learned from my first trial was the room temperature was too high and the temperature of butter (it was too soft almost greasy). Brioche for me is quintessential enriched dough which is first made with flour, yeast, milk and eggs. Then butter is added piece by piece and kneaded until it turns into a smooth, silky and shiny piece of art; sorry, dough!
I am making something called a poolish to jump-start the yeast process. It is just combining flour, milk and yeast first. Let the yeast do its magic before adding other ingredients. All purpose flour and bread flour both are used here. It will give a delicate crumb and a good height to the bread. Coming to the science of flours, all-purpose flour has less protein than bread flour. More protein means more gluten giving a higher rise needed for bread, which comes from bread flour. In a pinch, you can use 100% all-purpose flour but you will get tighter crumb.
Bread making has few stages, making the whole process a little longer but totally worth the results and the aroma, well let’s just say once you smell it there is no going back. Keep following steps in mind:
- Kneading: Dough should be smooth and elastic
- Rising: It should be double in size, best way to know is using a transparent straight edge bowl with marked edges.
- Shaping: Make sure there are no cracks
- Proofing: Final rise before baking. To check if it is proofed enough lightly poke a finger if the dough bounces back quickly it still needs some time. If the finger leaves a mark or very slow bouncing it is ready for oven.
- Baking: Bake until the bread sounds hollow when tapped or check internal temperature.
- Final step: Eating!
Coming to stand mixer, yes you will need one. If you do not have one, no fuss use the No Knead Brioche. But do not attempt to make this one without it or by hand. Do not halve the recipe as it won’t work, but you can freeze one half for about a month, just thaw in fridge before moving forward. I have explained it here in-depth because it is one of the basic recipes, which once mastered will have innumerable uses in all sorts and form, from loaf to breakfast rolls and from sweet to savory. As always if you run across any trouble comment below or on my Facebook page and I will help you the best way I can.
Makes: 2 loaves
- 55 grams/ ¼ cup milk, preferably whole at 50°F
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 60 grams/ ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 36 grams/ 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 330 grams/ 2 ¾ cups bread flour
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1-2 tablespoon milk, as needed
- 30 grams/ ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 226 grams/ 1 cup/ 2 sticks unsalted butter, ½ inch cubes and room temperature
- Butter to grease pan
- 1 egg, whisked for egg wash
- In a bowl of stand mixer whisk together milk and yeast. Sprinkle flour on top and let it sit without moving for 15 to 20 minutes. You should see cracks developing showing the yeast is activated and it’s time to mix the dough.
- Add sugar, flour, eggs and salt over the poolish. Attach the dough hook and start kneading it on slow for 2 minutes. If you feel that dough is very dry add a tablespoon of milk. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Scrape the bowl with rubber spatula, sprinkle ½ tablespoon of all-purpose flour and continue kneading on medium speed for 5 more minutes. Repeat this 3 more times. The dough should now be smooth and very elastic. Do a windowpane test (see note below), if it tears knead for few more minutes.
- While keeping the mixer running start adding few pieces of butter, wait until it is absorbed completely before adding few more. Once all the butter is absorbed knead for 2 more minutes.
- Scrape the dough into a clean bowl, cover with a plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled about 1.5 hours.
- Punch the dough to release the air bubbles, cover again and let it rise in fridge. After 2 hours punch down the dough again, cover and rest overnight. Your dough is now ready. You can use it within 36 hours or freeze the dough up to a month for later use. Thaw overnight in fridge before proceeding.
- Grease a 8.5 by 4.5 inch loaf pan with butter. To make a nanterre/ loaf divide the dough in half, about 440 grams. Keep other half in fridge for later use or other loaf.
- Make two balls of 220 grams each, put in pan side by side. Press a little so it fills the bottom of pan.
- Using a pastry brush, egg wash the surface and let it rise at room temperature. It should be doubled in size. It takes 2 to 2.5 hours to rise.
- Preheat the oven at 350°F. Place the rack in the center of the oven, making sure there is enough room above for bread to rise.
- Before putting bread in oven egg wash again but be careful as bread will be very fragile. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until internal temperature is 190°F and the top is nice golden brown. If after 15 minutes of baking you feel the top is getting brown too quickly just put an aluminum foil on top.
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes over a cooling rack. Remove the loaf carefully and cool completely.
Note: For windowpane test, take a small piece of dough and stretch it, it should not tear easily and be like translucent.