I've knocked a few big things off my baking bucket list as of late. First it was Morning Buns, and now it's Brioche Bread. They both require a bit more time and patience than my usual baking conquests. Hence, the bucket list placement. But the time spent waiting is well worth it. I'm sure you know exactly what I mean if you've ever made any type of home made yeasted bread before.
It's really nothing to be afraid of. It's not that it's any more difficult than other home made baked goods. It's just that they require time to develop. So if you're looking for instant gratification, look elsewhere. (Maybe something more along the lines of Small Batch Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies is what you're looking for).
This bread came together easily in the stand mixer. It just needs to be mixed a bit longer than other breads. Then it sits to rise for about an hour, and then you refrigerate it over night. The next morning, you just pull it out, braid it, let it rise in the loaf pan, and then bake it! The amount of work really is minimal. It's just the planning ahead and patience it requires.
If you've never had Brioche, let me tell you about it. What makes it special is that it contains a high egg and butter content. It browns a deep, dark crust on the outside, and the inside is a beautiful yellowish color. This makes it super rich and delicate. It's dense, with a fine crumb. It's decadent and delicious. It makes amazing french toast [coming to a blog near you this week :)]. It's something you need to make, trust me on this one.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 T. sugar
- 1 1/4 tea. salt
- 1 T. instant dry yeast
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 10 T butter
- In a stand mixer or bread machine (programmed for dough), mix together all of the ingredients to form a smooth, shiny dough. It will take about 20 minutes to come together.
- Form dough into a ball, and place in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise at room temperature for 1 hour.
- After dough has risen for 1 hour, refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
- After dough has chilled, divide dough into 3 even balls to braid. (If not braiding, form into a small oval loaf shape).
- Roll balls into ropes a few inches longer than the loaf pan. Braid the ropes, pinching ends together and under the braid.
- Place dough into greased loaf pan, cover lightly, and let rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until it has doubled and looks very puffy. Dough will come to just under the top of the loaf pan.
- To bake, place pan into a preheated oven of 400 F, and bake for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350 F without opening the door. Bake for another 30-35 minutes.
- Check Brioche after 15 minutes, and tent with foil if the crust appears to be browning too quickly.
- It will be very brown when done, and sound hollow when knocked on. The inside should read 190 F.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pan to cool completely.