The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


d_a_kelly's picture

Hi Everyone,

time for my second post! Unfortunately I don't have any "work-in-progress" photos of this one - the battery on my camera was flat when I made it and I couldn't find the charger. This is a 3 strand braid, filled brioche.

The brioche recipe is from Pierre Hermé's book "PH10". As you can see, it's very rich in butter (like nearly all his recipes). 

The brioche dough (500g) is as follows:

strong flour 176

sugar 26

egg (whole) 132 (approx. 3 eggs)

instant yeast 2.5

salt 4

butter 158


The original recipe calls for fresh yeast, but that's not that easy to find in the UK (at least not for me) and I don't really think it makes that much (if any) difference. I halved his yeast quantity to take into account the fact that I was using instant. I imagine that 5g of fresh yeast would work if that's what you are using. The dough was quite sticky but not overly greasy. I put it in the freezer for about 30 while making the filling. The filling recipe is (heavily) adapted from one found in "non solo zucchero vol. II" by Iginio Massari.

ground almond 150

icing sugar 150 

yolk 40

water 10

vanilla 1/2 a pod

butter 26

zest of 1 unwaxed orange.


Mix this all together to form a paste. The original recipe called for whole egg rather than just yolk, but I wanted a nice orange colour running through my brioche. 

When the brioche dough was firm I took it from the freezer and divided it into 3 balls. While working one, I kept the other 2 in the fridge. I rolled out the dough into a rectangle and then piped a line of filling down one long side before rolling it up to form a tube. I sealed the ends and put it back in the fridge. Same thing for the other 2.

When the dough was nice and cold again I braided it. As this was an experiment, I kept it to a simple 3 braid (1 over 2, 3 over 2 etc). This done, I popped it into a loaf tin and let it prove. This took about 4 hours at c.28 degrees C. Pierre Hermé doesn't give a cooking time or temperature for his dough so I guessed at 200C for 20 minutes. I think the photo shows this wasn't quite right, as the crust is a little too thick and brown for my liking. The brioche itself was also just a tiny little bit drier than would have been ideal. 

To finish I made a sugar glaze (110 icing sugar, 20 water and a few drops of orange blossom water) which I poured over the top while it was still fresh from the oven, and then sprinkled some flaked almonds and pearl sugar on it to finish it off. 

If I were to do it again, I think I'd make more of the filling (you can see in the photo how little there actually is) and experiment a bit more with the cooking temperature or time. The flavour was lovely and orangey, with a strong aftertaste of butter. 



Chiesa_Dan's picture

Help needed: brioche

February 7, 2013 - 6:45am -- Chiesa_Dan


i made an attempt at brioche yesterday, and the result is not quite what i would like.

The recipie is Ciril Hitz's, not very different than others i have (like Hamelman's).

I used a w330 flour, 13% protein content; all ingredients cold on a cold winter day; mixed for about 30min. overall with a final dough temperature close to 30º celsius.

Dough was very soft, but also very smooth and silky; i could stretch it very thin.

letrec's picture

It's Carnival Time Again!   And, as I've been on a roll, baking everything I want (ok, I haven't tried Filo dough yet, but come on...)

So, for our Super Bowl party, I decided to attempt an Almond Brioche 'Bostock' inspired King Cake using my homemade Buckwheat/Rye Brioche dough.

The King Cake is light and fluffly, and has a great flavour of almonds from the paste and extract with a hint of citrus from the Meyer Lemon and a subtle nuttiness from the buckwheat. I don't like large amounts of icing on my cakes, so I went with a finishing glaze of lavender honey.

The next time I make it I may include more cinnamon to evoke more of the classic flavor, maybe even incorporating it more heavily into the almond creme, or making a cinnamon creme, or rolling it into the dough before flattening it out. Any suggestions are welcome!



2 lbs "Buckwheat-Rye Brioche Dough" (Recipe Follows) or another brioche dough would work fine, I guess

4tbsp unsalted butter

1/2 cup almond paste

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 (duck) egg

1/2 tsp rose water (or citrus water like sweet orange water)

1/4 tsp almond extract

1/4 cup caster sugar

Zest of Orange, Satsuma, or Meyer Lemon

1/2 cup of sliced unsalted almonds

egg wash (1 egg w/ 1 tbsp of H2O)

Almond Crème:

Cream butter, almond paste, flour, duck egg, floral water, and almond extract in a food processor until uniform and smooth.

Assembly of the Cake:

There are two strategies possible for assembly of the cake, and I opted on the less traditional, but possibly more visually appealing.

Traditional Method:
Form Dough into 2 balls and roll them into two rectangles of approx 24"x12" and 1/8" thick.

Smooth Almond Crème onto the rectangle of dough, and then proceed to roll up the dough from one of the longer sides of the rectangle (jelly-roll style).

Braid the two strands together and join at the ends by pinching and using a little water.

My Method:
Form Dough into single ball and then into rectangle.
Roll Into a long rectangle, approx 26" x 8".

Visually divide the rectangle into thirds, width-wise and spread the Almond Crème on the center 1/3.

Create 'fingers' on the opposing sides by cutting opposing 1/2" width strips with a pizza cutter.

Place red bean inside. (I don't put plastic in my baked goods...)

Paint inside of fingers with egg wash, and fold over each other carefully (fingers on bottom only) in a criss cross pattern to create a braid, alternating left over right, lightly pressing together as you move to next pair of strands.

Carefully bend into a round 'crown' shape and seal on edges, preferably by braiding together and using a little water and pinch.
Allow the crown/braid to rest for 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F with baking stone in center 20minutes before baking.

Immediately before baking, mix together sugar, zest, slivered almonds, and a little juice of the citrus and sprinkle over the top of the cake.

Bake without steam for 35-45 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.


Drizzle with a light coating of lavender honey and serve warm with French Roast café au lait!



Buckwheat Rye Brioche Dough


*Makes Approx 4lbs of dough


1.5 cups of 105-115F water

1.5 tablespoons of granulated yeast or 1/4 cup of sourdough starter, and adjust water appropriately given hydration level

1.5 tbsp. of Granulated Salt

8 eggs, beaten lightly

1/2 cup Local Honey

1.5 Cups melted unsalted butter

4 cups unbleached bread flour ! (or KAf, we need the protein)

3 cups buckwheat flour

1/2 cup Whole Rye Flour

Egg Wash


1) Mix starter or yeast, salt, eggs, and melted butter with water in a 5 quart+ container which isn't airtight.

2) Add flour without kneading, with a spoon or spatula or a food processor or stand mixer with a dough hook. The dough should be loose.

3) Cover and allow to rest and room temperature until the dough rises and falls. (approx. 2h at 75F)

4) Refrigerate briefly and it is now ready to use.

Use within 5 days, or freeze in 1lb portions.

Breadandwine's picture


December 25, 2012 - 5:07pm -- Breadandwine

I've been meaning to make a vegan brioche ever since I learned it could be made with olive oil instead of eggs and butter. And, with Christmas dinner coming up, I wanted to use such a dough to make a vegan haggis en croute. 

And, if olive oil could be used, why not sunflower oil?

I finally got round to it on Christmas Eve - here's the story, plus pics, on my blog:

yy's picture

Not much substance in this post. I got a new 8 inch brioche mold in the mail and decided to make a gigantic brioche a tete, along with two small ones. The photo below is kind of cute because it looks like the big brioche is cuddling against the little brioche. Please excuse the obvious technical flaws. The tete was too large - it's 200 grams of dough vs. 400 grams for the body. Next time I'll scale it down to 150 for the tete and 450 for the body. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this entirely inconsequential photo!

Knead2Know's picture

Brioche for Breakfast?

October 23, 2012 - 6:05am -- Knead2Know

Hi all, first post here. I am a long time enthusiastic cook, recently learning about bread and loving it. I am based in London and can only talk metric I'm afraid so sorry for any communication difficulties.

As a full time worker I have been trying to work out the best way to fit bread making into the routine without having to get up at 4am. I have had reasonable success but have hit a snag with brioche.

Franko's picture

Despite a late start we've had glorious summer weather this year here on Vancouver Island and the South Coast of British Columbia, with only a few cloudy days and no rain to speak of. Our garden has done extremely well as a result, producing Red Fife wheat, golden flax, quinoa, garlic, onions, potatoes, all kinds of herbs, raspberries and buckets of cherry tomatoes just to name a few. But by far our biggest crop is blueberries.

At the back of our yard we have two medium sized blueberry bushes that seem to produce more and more berries every year no matter how poor the growing season. That two average sized bushes can produce such a staggering amount of fruit so consistently just amazes my wife and I, challenging us to find ways to make use of them all before the cold weather sets in. I think we still have a bag or two of berries near the bottom of our freezer left over from last year's harvest. I'm not sure because now there are even more bags of berries from this year stacked on top of what's already in the freezer. If we don't use those up before next summer it may be a while before the ones below see the light of day.

Between the two of us we've made tarts,

 pies, jams, sauces, syrup and salsa, put them in salads, cereal, over ice cream, lemon sorbet and yogurt. I think Marie even blended some into her cassis that she makes every year from our black currant harvest, another one of our bumper crops. Naturally I've been planning to use them in a bread of some kind but have been holding off till the berries were at their peak of size and flavour. After checking them out this past weekend I decided it was time to get something going in that direction, deciding on a brioche loaf for this bake. The formula I used is from Advanced Bread & Pastry for “Brioche with Prefermented Dough”pg. 363 because of it's relatively lean butter content of 28%. Having made this dough before, I like that it's easy to handle and that it has enough butter in the formula to carry other flavours such as fruit or nuts without dominating the overall flavour of the finished product. The preferment helps to keep the doughs sweetness in balance, making this formula a good one to use for savoury applications as well. Blueberries being as delicate as they are, a very soft dough is my preference for incorporating them into the final dough with as little rupturing of the fruit as possible. Blue dough isn't particularly attractive or appetizing to me, so I try as best I can to be very gentle when mixing in the berries to keep smearing to a minimum. While it's no guarantee to avoiding the dreaded blue dough, if you're careful the crumb will have two distinct colours to it rather than a uniform and ghastly shade of blue.

An hour before I planned to mix, the blueberries went into the freezer to firm up, making them easier to incorporate into the dough once it was mixed without them breaking apart completely. This is a very easy brioche dough to make by hand because of the small amount of butter it calls for, but I use a mixer for brioche dough regardless simply because it's quicker to clean up afterwards. Once the dough was about 90% mixed it was finished off by hand and allowed to relax for a few minutes before gently stretching it out and laying the berries evenly over the surface, then gathering the dough and frozen berries up with a plastic scraper and slowly working them into the dough by hand until they were evenly distributed. With this mix I didn't follow the AB&P process exactly, deciding to bulk ferment at room temperature for 1 hour instead of putting it into the fridge directly after mixing. I also left it overnight for a retarded ferment of 12 hours rather than the recommended 30 minutes before shaping and final rise for scheduling reasons. The dough seemed quite healthy and I wasn't overly concerned about how it would preform after it's overnight stay in the fridge, in fact I feel that the flavour and crumb result is notably better than previous bakes I've done of this dough when I've followed the process. The 825 gram dough was divided in three, and very lightly rounded on a floured counter, placing the pieces in a 4.5x 9.5 inch Pullman tin for a final proof of 2.5 hours. The loaf came up the tin about 3/4 of the way before I decided it was ready, but could have/should have left it another 10-15 minutes longer due to a very minor break on one side. Brushed with egg wash and baked in a 385F oven for 25 minutes, then at 360F for 10 minutes and finally left to cool in a dead, open door oven for a further 15 minutes. The loaf jumped well and browned up nicely, just as a brioche should, filling the house with a wonderful aroma of eggs, butter, caramel, and cooked fruit.

 After 5 hours of cooling I took the first slice, finding the crumb to be soft and even, with a slightly open cell structure for a rich dough, and a pale yellow colour to set off the deep blue of the berries. The flavour was what I'd hoped for, just rich and sweet enough to compliment the delicate flavour of the blueberries but still with all the flavour qualities of a typical brioche.

 The bread goes well with roast chicken or turkey, the photo above showing it toasted on a plate with smoked turkey breast, Port Salut cheese, sliced pear and a green salad. Before it's all gone though I'll have to try it as French Toast with some recently made sage and ginger breakfast sausage and a drizzle of blueberry syrup. 

I thought I might as well include a few photos of some San Fransisco Sourdoughs made back in August that used fresh milled Red Fife flour from Cliff Leir's Fol Epi Bakery in Victoria. The loaves didn't quite achieve the profile I'd hoped for but the exceptional flavour of the Fol Epi flour more than made up for that. I found the flour to be quite a bit softer than other Red Fife flours I've used in the past, requiring less hydration than the formula from “Advanced Bread & Pastry” called for. Perhaps a fourth set of stretch and folds would have helped for a higher profile but for a first time using this high quality flour I was quite happy with the loaves it produced. A stop at Cliff's bakery for more of his lovely flour will be at the top of my shopping list next time we're down in Victoria.



Anonymous's picture
Anonymous (not verified)

Here's Jean-Louis Palladin's brioche, converted to metric (and BBGA format).



  • Cut the butter into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes and allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Combine warm water and yeast in a bowl.
  • Let stand for 10 minutes, and then stir until yeast is completely dissolved.
  • Set aside.
  • Stir together the flours, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • Add eggs and beat for 1 minute at low speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Slowly add the dissolved yeast and continue beating at low speed for 5 minutes.
  • Stop the mixer; scrape any dough off the dough hook.
  • Beat for another 5 minutes.
  • Add about one-quarter (70 grams) of butter at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition.
  • Once all the butter has been added, beat for 10 minutes more.
  • Place the dough in a large, floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 3 hours.
  • Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface.
  • Gently work the air bubbles out by folding the dough several times while lightly pressing down on it.
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
  • The dough is now ready to shape.
  • Generously butter two 8.5 x 4.5 inch (21.5 x 11.5 cm) loaf pans.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface.
  • With floured hands, divide the dough in half (about 665 grams).
  • Shape into rectangles that fit in the loaf pans.
  • Place the dough in the pans.
  • Let the doughs rise uncovered in a warm place until they are about 1/2 inch (~13 mm) above the top of the pans, about 3 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F (177° C).
  • Bake the brioche in the center of the oven until it is well-browned on top, about 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Remove brioche from the oven and immediately turn out onto a wire rack.
  • If serving immediately, let the brioche cool for 10 minutes, then slice.
  • If serving within a few hours, wrap the hot bread in aluminum foil and set aside at room temperature until ready to use.
  • To freeze, wrap the hot brioche in foil and promptly freeze. They can be kept frozen for up to 1 month. When ready to use, reheat (without thawing and still wrapped in foil) in a 250°F (121° C) oven until heated through, about 20-25 minutes.
  • If using the brioche for croutons, let sit at room temperature uncovered to dry for a day.



Image 1. Bacon, egg, and cheese on brioche. Only about 1,300 calories. :)

Image 2. Brioche baked in oversized (larger than recipe calls for) loaf pans. Loaves are a bit more 'stout' than usual.


  1. The formula in an Excel 2007 spreadsheet. (File can be opened with Google Docs, Open Office, etc.).
  2. The formula in PDF format.
  3. The detailed process in text format.


Source. Keller, Thomas. "Basic Preparations and Techniques. Sweet Doughs and Creams. Brioche" Bouchon. New York: Artisan, 2004. 324. Print.


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