The Fresh Loaf

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Sourdough Brioche

_vk's picture

Sourdough Brioche

Hello. This is my first try with an enriched dough. And it turns out very well


I got this recipe from this post (it's Bertinet's recipe) and adapted it to use my starter. There is also this youtube video of him making the brioche that was very helpful.



My adaptation:


  • Bread Flour*      - 1000g  (100%) (75g in levain + 925)
  • Sugar                - 100g    (10%)
  • Salt                    - 20g      (2%)
  • Eggs                  - 700g    (70%) (around 12 eggs)
  • Butter                - 500g    (50%) 
  • Water                 - 75g      (7,5%) (all the water in lavain)
  • Levain á 100%  - 150g    (15%) (flour and water already accounted above)

(I end up adding more 30g of flour. The dough was very wet and as I added 75g of water to the formula I thought it makes sense. But not sure if was necessary.)

To make it clear. I used 150g of my 100% levain. No more water added.

*Flour used 50% Manitoba, 50% Bagatelle T65.

Method (or what I did:) :

Mixed flour, salt, sugar. Then the levain, Then the eggs. Incorporated the eggs, first with scraper, then with hands. The dough was lumpy and very sticky.


Let it autolyse for 30 minutes.

Then french knead for 40 minutes in more or less 8minutes intervals. The dough got fully developed. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures at this stage. 

Then I added the butter. In cubes and cold. The dough was at 26º, and I wanted it cooler so the butter won't melt. So I kept the butter in fridge. 

Some work to incorporate the butter. Folding and pressing the dough, then some more french kneading and more folding and pressing. It incorporates. I kept doing more french kneading to improve the dough structure. At this point the dough was very slack. But soft, smooth, silky and very beautiful.

A S&F in the bench with dusting flour, formed a ball and to the fridge, covered.

It was in the fridge for 21 hours. I had some appointments to attend. So I let it there.

After those 21 hours the dough had shown no rising at all. So I took it out. Did one more S&F in the bench and let it rise at room temperature (+- 24ºC) for 13 hours.

Next day it has almost tripled. Was nice and fluffy. I made another S&F, and put it back in the fridge for one hour. To cool the dough making the shaping easier and to keep the butter cold.

After one hour, I divided the dough in 75g lumps. Shaping was easier than I thought. Just did it like in the video. It worked well. The Brioches a Tete, the ones with a little ball in the top. I used a little different method that I have seeing somewhere. You make the "split" just like in Bertinet's video, and than poke a hole in the bigger ball and stick the little one trough it.

So I made 2 pans with 12 balls each and 7 more that I baked in some little pans I had. To little. But it worked anyway.

 I brushed some eggwash and let it rise again until almost double (2hrs).


Brushed once more and baked it. Oven pre heated at 180º. No steam. The big pans baked for 40 minutes, the smaller ones for 30 minutes. Both with a turn to bake evenly.

When I took them out I brushed the top with melted butter. And let it cool in the rack.

The result was amazing. Fluffy, soft, tasting very good. The sour flavour added by the sourdough goes very well with the sweetness of this bread. Family loves it


HansB's picture

Well done.

Danni3ll3's picture

From the pictures, it looks very much like the crumb of brioche in France! You did a great job!

_vk's picture

Thanks very much for your nice words guys. It's a big honor coming from such good bakers. 

The Brioches... I gotta say... I'm proud of them :)

Baking a successful batch is a special kind of pleasure, that, perhaps, can only be shared with others bakers.

Of course the bread it self can be shared with everybody.


happy baking

ArthurRingaud's picture


Thanks for posting this. I’ve been baking brioche for a while now and wanted to try a different version, maybe a bit more European. I’m a bit confused at your instructions, though. You say that the only water you add comes from the levain, but then you mention adding 75g of water, but then repeat that no water was added. which one is which? My dough came out very slick (I’m about to bake it now, but I’m not hopeful as it looks more like cake dough than brioche dough), I wonder what went wrong. I never let my brioche dough sit for that long, and you mention in your post that your dough didn’t rise in the fridge but did outside of it, for me it was the opposite, it rose in the fridge and kind of deflated outside of it. Usually when I bake brioche I leave it in the fridge, take it out after 12 hours, shape it and let it rise for a couple hours before baking. In this case I didn’t go as long as you did, leaving it in the fridge for about 10 hours then outside for another 10, but it feels like it’s over proofed (but I don’t know enough about baking to know for sure). Then the one hour spent in the fridge wasn’t enough to make the dough tight enough to shape, so it got quite messy as I tried to shape balls (but it just made slumps instead). 

I wonder what went wrong! My typical brioche is nice but not as airy and fluffy as yours (it’s usually more dense). I have to specify that I used 300g of freshmilled spelt, which is what I do for my other brioches and it worked quite well. Even here as I was doing the S&F it felt quite good, until I added the butter. Maybe I’m not using the right kind of butter? I am using american butter made with sweet cream.


Thank you, and sorry for this long post! Your brioche looks great and I hope to achieve that (one day).


_vk's picture

Sorry for the confusion. My english is not that good. 

No water added to the dough.

150g of 100% hydration levain added to the dough. It contains 75g of water.

Is that clear?

I meant I added 75g of water to the FORMULA, not directly to the dough in the mix, so I felt the flour added by feeling "made some sense".  Silly comment.

I think the dough takes some time to fully heat up or cool down. So perhaps it rose in the fridge mostly only while cooling. Have happened to me.

The dough is different from normal bread dough. Very sticky.  Looks somewhat as pasta dough, but way more wet.

I think it's very important to shape it while cold. It was not easy to shape at first. But then it just works. Have you watched the video. My dough looked pretty much as the one there. And I shaped as he did.

I proofed kind of a lot, I mean, they doubled for sure. When they hit the oven they were looking a little fragile, but they hold fine. 

I made them again. And the results were almost the same. The second batch did not rest for so long. And it was a little less fluffy. But still very fluffy.

The link between less rest and less fluffy, still yet to be verified. :)


How did yours turns out?


happy baking 






Matthew Cargo's picture
Matthew Cargo

I keep my sourdough starter--100 grams each of ww flour and water--in a plastic
bag in the fridge, folded up so that there's no air above it (thus avoiding
that black sludge that forms on top of starter in a jar).  Just before going to
bed, I add 300 grams each of water then flour to the bag, mix them in the bag,
fold out the air, clip the top, and set it on the counter overnight. (It's 19C
here at night.)

Today I woke up wanting to make colomba di pasqua, but found the recipe here.
I can't improve on it, but what I did was very easy, and turned out well:

Into my stand mixer, I squeezed out 600g from the bag, putting the remaining
200g back in the fridge for next time.  I usually add 300g more of ww flour and
then water to the desired hydration.  The recipe here has less than 300g of
water, so I used fewer eggs:

I added 120g of egg (3 small eggs), 5 grams of water, and 60 grams of sugar. I
mixed to incorporate and let autolyze. Then more kneading in the mixer (5
minutes). I added 9 grams of salt and kneaded more.  Then I added 150 g of
butter, bit by bit, and kneaded them in until the dough
was really smooth.

For fun I added finely diced zest of 1 big orange.

In summary I used

600 g whole wheat flour (actually 300g each of entire and integrale, one of which has some bran sifted out): 100%
305 g water: 51%
120 g eggs: 20%
60 g sugar: 10%
150 g butter: 25%
9 g salt: 1.5 %

I then left everything covered in the bowl for 5 hours, until it had risen

I plopped the dough on the counter, folded the outsides to the middle 4 times
to form a square and then put it into a buttered 20cmx20cm pan.  I let it rise
for 2.5 hours and baked in a 180C oven for 40 minutes.

Result: it rose very nicely in the oven, has a soft crumb and a subtle sweetness.

Elnymiel's picture

Reading this recipe, it seems no additional water required to incorpoea to main dough as 75gr water on this recipe is to be used for making Levain.

Did you add 75 gr water to main dough, thus you end up adding additional 30 gr flour ? 

_vk's picture

No water added to main dough. Just the levain. I added a little more flour as the dough seamed to wet to me. By heart.

Jay En's picture
Jay En

Your bread looks amazing! I want to have a go.

What does S&F stand for in your recipe? I can't find it in the glossary on this site.

Many thanks.

_vk's picture

Stretch and Fold





WanyeKest's picture

If I use 50% stiff starter, will the amount of starter used still be 150 grams? If I want to use the bread as a base for savarin or baba au rhum, what adjustment should be made? thanks