The Fresh Loaf

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[2017-10] My First Brioche

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

[2017-10] My First Brioche

I mentioned in an earlier post that my wife was not so enamored with "artisan" bread. For this loaf, I did a complete 180 and baked something that was far, far outside of my wheelhouse. Actually, my wife was specific about it, after I pressed her on why she wouldn't eat my bread for the fourth time that day.

"I want brioche" she said. "Make me brioche and I will eat it."

"How hard could it be?" I said, foolishly, and not for the first time.

So for my first attempt at brioche, and having no idea what brioche is really about, I turned to the interwebs for help. I came across (and discarded) a bunch of recipes that said things like DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES UPON PENALTY OF DEATH and other such foolish things. It's as if the brioche process were some sacred indoctrination rite, like fetching a bucket of steam or a sky hook.

Finally, I stumbled on a recipe that seemed accessible, had informative pictures, and generally didn't make such a fuss about how Julia Child would have wanted it done.

It went well, actually. I don't use the stand mixer very often (mine sounds like a two-stroke engine with a broken crank, actually -- but it still works) so it was a nice change of pace.

The dough behaved mostly like the recipe said it would, and after an overnight rest in the fridge, I had no problem forming the dough into balls and making the pseudo-braid in my very large hearth loaf pan, using all the dough for a single loaf instead of two smaller loaves. 

It baked as it was supposed to as well, though I had to cook it longer to get the internal temp up to 190°, as per the instructions. It wasn't until it had cooled off and I took the first bite that I realized what I had done wrong.

No salt.

Darn it! I forgot the salt! I could tell right away, even though all the butter and eggs kicked in enough flavor to make it somewhat less of a tragedy than it would have been for one of my regular loaves. In fact, my wife still liked it, and my MiL loved it. She's been asking me to bake another brioche loaf ever since.



PalwithnoovenP's picture

That is lovely despite the absence of salt which I read can affect gluten development which is essential for brioche. It is a difficult bread and you made it well!

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

Thanks! I will have to read up a bit about salt's effect on gluten.

dabrownman's picture

Who could not possibly like this bread!  Nicely done.  I think the main reason I do an autolyse - it make sure the salt gets added in top of the dough ball so I don't forget it later:-)  Mise en place also works.  It is OK to be Tuscan for a day - every once in a while!  Well dine and happy baking

Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

Having spent more than a little bit of time in and around Firenze, I knew immediately what was wrong with my bread when I bit into it. For regular bread, in fact, I think I can spot the Florentine variety on sight, before even biting into it.

drobble's picture


The Brioche looks awesome.

I have this on the list for one of the next breads I make
(my wife is similar, She doesn't like my Artisan bread :-( )

I'm hoping I can convince her with a Brioche, actually I'm sure I can.

I made in the past a few times a bread (from my bread maker recipe book) called "egg enriched white bread".

That comes close to a brioche (she likes that).

A new challenge is waiting.

Thanks for posting.



Modern Jess's picture
Modern Jess

It was actually pretty good. Much, much different than sourdough, but yeah -- definitely good for people who aren't fond of crusty bread.