I did approach the topic few times, 5 to be honest, each of them with a different recipe, each of times I failed. I must say that brioche is one of the most difficult cakes / breads that I’ve ever baked. Since my attempts left me not in the best mood, I made myself a promise the one day I’ll succeed. I had to wait a few months (seriously, I had to), but the time for another attempt came. I decided to follow a professional - Julia of “Baking with Julia”.
It turns out that mixing a brioche dough by hand is almost impossible, so I strongly suggest to use a blender. The second fact - if you have a medium-sized bowl, some content may splash all over a wall. Well, it happens, but holding a table cloth around a bowl helps a bit.
The whole process takes some time, but it’s worth to go through it. And in the end - it worked! I made brioche! Now I can do everything!
You will need for a sponge:
- 1/3 cup warm whole milk
- 2 & 1/4 tsp dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
For a dough:
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 large eggs, lightly beaten, in a room temperature
- 1 & 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (approx)
- 170g unsalted butter, room temperature
Let’s start with a sponge. In a bowl (the bigger the better) mix milk, yeast, egg and 1 cup of the flour . When everything is just blended, sprinkle over the remaining cup of flour to cover the sponge. Leave it uncovered for 40 minutes.
After a resting time add the sugar, salt, eggs, and 1 cup of the flour, using a mixer (you can use a heavy-duty mixer bowl if you have one) mix on low speed for a minute or two, still mixing, sprinkle in 1/2 cup more flour. When incorporated, increase mixer to medium and beat 15 minutes, stopping to scrape down hook and bowl as needed. During mixing, the dough should wrap around the hook and slap sides of bowl. If this does not happen after 10 minutes, add up to 3 tablespoons flour. Continue to beat a full 15 minutes.
Now it’s time to add the butter. First place it in a small bowl and smash with a fork, then mix it until it gets soft and smooth. Decrease your mixer to medium low and add few spoons of butter at a time. When everything added, increase speed to medium-high for a minute, then reduce to medium and beat for 5 minutes.
Clean sides of the bowl frequently as you work. If it looks as though the dough is not coming together after 2-3 minutes, add up to 1 tablespoon more flour. Your dough will be still sticky, don’t worry, it’s ok.
Transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl, cover tightly with a silver wrap, and let it to rise at room temperature for about 2h (it should double it’s size).
After a resting time deflate dough by placing fingers under it, lifting a section, and letting it fall back into bowl.
Cover the bowl again tightly with a silver wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll them into balls on a floured surface. Place the balls in a buttered form, in 4 rows, each with two balls of dough. Then again cover the form with plastic and allow the dough to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 190°C.
Brush your dough with egg wash. Bake for about 30 minutes.