baking adventures: brioche

by Stacy

Yesterday I woke up earlier than I wanted, so I did the obvious: mixed up a batch of brioche dough, left it to rise, and went back to bed. Two hours later I was ready to face the day, and my bread dough was ready to go in the fridge. Everyone wins!

The recipe I used was from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. The authors are both local, and the book offers a variety of no-knead bread recipes that are easy and versatile. The other thing I like is that they include recipes for dishes that accompany or complement the breads.

The brioche dough can be used to make brioche in loaves or buns, filled or unfilled (duh), but also caramel rolls, Bostock, beignets, coffee cake, fruit pastry, or bread pudding. The dough is a warm yellow color because of all the eggs.

brioche doughbrioche dough

The recipe makes “four 1-pound loaves,” so I made half the recipe and then just took out what I needed to make two small rolls. A recipe listed in the book gave instruction for chocolate ganache-filled brioche, but that seemed too rich to me today. Instead, I used apricot preserves for a lighter treat.

brioche, fresh from the oven

This was my first effort making a filled roll, and it didn’t go as well as I had hoped. The dough gets very sticky when warm, but I handled it a little too much forming the smaller buns. After leaving the balls of dough to relax for a while, they got a bit sticky which made them harder to manage. While I did eventually get all the fruit contained, it was a smaller amount than I would have liked. Lesson learned! It was still tasty.

apricot-preserve filled brioche

Next time I might make the apricot pastry in the book with a pastry cream. Yum. Or a teaspoon of cream cheese with the fruit preserves. That would also be delicious. Many of the recipes can be found on their website, Artisan Bread in Five.

Brioche Dough
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes about 2 loaves or a number of smaller buns

3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast (1 packet)
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Combine water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter in a large lidded non-air-tight container (I use a 5 quart ice cream bucket). Add in flour about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated.

Cover and let rise at room temperature about 2 hours (dough should rise and collapse slightly in the middle). Refrigerate at least a few hours or up to 5 days before using.

When you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Dust the surface with flour and pull out the amount of dough you want to use (remember there are 2 loaves-worth in the bucket). Use a serrated knife to cut off the piece you want. For two good-sized rolls, I cut off a piece a little larger than a baseball which I then cut in half.

Figure out a better way to do this, then tell me how: carefully stretch your dough into a fairly thin disk, place a tablespoon of fruit preserves in the center, fold the dough over it, seal, and roll back into a ball. Place the buns on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a clean towel, and let rise for about 40 minutes. When the rolls have almost-doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350F. Bake rolls at 350F for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Submitted to YeastSpotting

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

sara July 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm

Mmm, these look awesome! I love the idea of putting the jam right in into the bread!


Susan/Wild Yeast July 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm

I think brioche and apricots were meant to go together — so good!


stacy July 5, 2009 at 11:40 pm

Thanks for stopping by, ladies!

Sara, I am really tempted to try them again with cream cheese and preserves (like a filled danish) next! Like a less-sweet doughnut…

Susan, I’m not much of a jam/jelly fan, but apricot preserves just speak to me. Toasted crusty bread with butter and preserves? I would die happy.


TruffleMe May 15, 2010 at 5:46 am

Always appreciate a recipe that measures in cups and spoons, especially for the butter quantity as Australia doesn’t have ‘sticks’ of butter. We get our butter in multiple of 250g blocks…

I made my plain brioche today and am quite pleased with it. However, next time I’m going to try it with less salt and more honey as this was slighty salty.


Stacy May 15, 2010 at 10:55 am

I have actually been buying my butter in 1-pound blocks (which is the awkward amount of 454 grams), so I sometimes get annoyed when alternative measurements aren’t provided. Glad you enjoyed it! I always use less salt than the recipes in that book call for because I also find it much too salty.


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