Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The perfect French brioche

Still looking for that brioche with a light , fluffy, cotton wool like texture. Search no more, here it is. I tried to keep instructions to a minimum, I really don t like lengthy recipes. Bear in mind the dough rest overnight and needs 3 hours proofing the next day.

The perfect French brioche

150g bread flour
150g all purpose flour
7g dried active yeast (one packet)
145gr eggs (1 egg + egg yolks - 6 in my case)
60 ml lukewarm milk
100g unsalted butter softened
70 gr sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 loaf tin

1/ Delay yeast in a jug with the lukewarm milk with 80gr of the flour, leave to rest for 1/2 hour or until doubled in size

2/ In a big mixing bowl, sift what is left of the flour, then add eggs beaten with the sugar, the salt. Incorporate the yeast and milk mixture. Mix well and let rest for 5-10 min

3/ With a wooden spoon or by hand knead the dough for 10 min. It is hard work! Try to stretch the dough when doing it.

4/ Add butter cut into bits, mix well and knead again (should be 20 min, but I gave up after 10). At this point you will probably need to add about a tablespoon of flour to get everything together. shape in one big ball to sit in the bowl.

5/ Cover the bowl with greased cling film, leave in the fridge overnight.

6/ The next day, punch the dough down, then put it on a lightly floured surface. Flatten in a rectangle shape, and fold each side towards the center, Turn parcel by 90º, flatten again, and fold sides towards center, repeat again. shape into a roll a bit shorter than your loaf tin. Cut in four equal pieces

7/ Put the four pieces side to side in a loaf tin, leaving some room in between. Brush top very slightly with beaten egg.

8/ Cover loosely with greased cling film, let rise in a warm place for 3 hours (it should triple in size)

9/ Brush with beaten egg all over, with a pair of scissors do a 1 inch incision along the length of the brioche (ie the top of each risen dough ball cut in 2)

10/ (about 30 min in oven) Preheat oven at 200º with an oven proof bowl with water at bottom. bake for 10 min , then turn oven down to 180º, cover brioche with aluminum foil if needed, bake for another 20 minutes.

What do i do with the 6 egg whites?
I made a quick victoria sponge, very nice texture, recipe:
150g all purpose flour
6 egg whites
200g sugar
125g melted butter
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 vanilla pod or 1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat egg whites stiff, finishing by adding sugar (it will look shiny like a meringue)
Gently fold flour mixed with baking powder, melted butter and vanilla extract

Pour in a spring form tin, sprinkle with flaked almonds and bake 30 min at 180º

Submitting this post to Yestspotting @ http://www.wildyeastblog.com/ :-)


  1. Beautiful brioche. I made some a few months ago and it was very dense... I'd love to give this recipe a shot!

  2. @whisk-kid Thanks :-) Yes the brioches I made before had also a dense , cake like texture :-(
    After research this recipe is the best so far. Apparently the egg yolks help in getting the nice cotton wool effect, also the long rising time I guess. Gimme a shout if you need more details on the recipe. Charles

  3. I am looking forward to baking this! But I have a question on amount of eggs...so basically you add one whole egg (white and yolk) plus 6 yolks only??? Please let me know. Thanks!

  4. Hello, Sorry for delay in replying! Yes one full egg and 6 egg yolks. You can use the extra 6 whites to do the sponge cake described at the end of the brioche recipe. Happy baking :-) Charles

  5. If it's the perfect one, ı will have a try!

  6. i just made it. the dough was incredibly wet and runny, completely unmanageable even though i used not 6 but 5 yolks to prevent this from happening. i wonder how it wouldve been if i had put all 6. i have some experience with wet doughs, i know how to handle them, but this one was liquid, like cake batter so i had to add more flour to it

  7. Thank you for this. I had brioche in Paris 3 years ago and have not been able to find it anywhere in San Francisco that is as good as the Paris one. I tried making it twice already, both times came out pretty bad. I will try this, maybe the egg yolks are what make them taste different