The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

8/20/10 - Brioche Attempt (Done)

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

8/20/10 - Brioche Attempt (Done)

Hi All,

Just wanted to share with you my attempt.  It is loosely based on foolishpoolish's Brioche au Levain: and the Brioche With Liquid Levain recipe on page 204 of Daniel T. Dimuzio's book: Bread Baking: an Artisan's Perspective.  I am doing this completely by hand...


Liquid Levain:

100g AP (King Arthur)

100g Water

50g Sourdough Starter (100% hydration)

250g Total


Final Dough:

650g AP (King Arthur)

280g Whole Milk (scalded and cooled)

225g Unsalted Butter (2 sticks @ room temp)

112g Eggs (2 XL)

75g Caster Sugar (extra fine)

18g Kosher Salt

1.4g Instant Yeast (1/2 tsp SAF Gold)

250g Liquid Levain

1609.4g Total Dough Yield


Method (at least what I did)

Day 1 (8/20/10)

2:35pm - Mix liquid levain, cover let rest for 3-4 hours.  Scald milk and let cool.

6:00pm - Measure out all ingredients.

6:15pm - In a large 15L stainless steel mixing bowl, add the milk, eggs, about 1/3 of the caster sugar, all of the liquid levain, salt and yeast.  Mix well with a wire wisk until well combined.  Next, wisk in about 1/3 of the flour, mix until smooth.  Then, add the remaining flour, mix with a spatula until combined well, cover and autolyse for 25-30 minute covered.

6:40pm - Knead in remaning sugar by hand.  Sprinkle sugar lightly around the dough and onto the sides of the bowl, and knead dough by picking it up slapping and folding it to either the side or bottom of bowl using 1 (right) hand (left hand holds and rotates the mixing bowl).  Continue kneading and adding sugar until all sugar is used and dough begins to develop strength and stop shredding.  About 10 minutes.

6:50pm - Cut butter into small chunks and begin kneading butter into the dough.  Reserve the butter wrapper for greasing the plastic container for rising.  Method for kneading butter: smear 1 chunk of butter along the sides of the bowl, then slap and fold the dough on the sides of the bowl using 1 (right) hand (left hand holds and rotates the mixing bowl).  This will take about 40 minutes and your arm/hand will get tired.

7:25pm - Transfer dough to buttered plastic tub, cover and let rise for about 1 hour on counter.  Turn dough 3 times at 15 minute intervals.

8:30pm - Turn dough and transfer to refrigerator.

9:45pm - Turn dough, let rise in refrigerator overnight.

10:50pm - Take picture of dough in progress for TFL...  My tub is about 4L.

11:23pm - Turn dough (because I felt like it...)

To be continued tomorrow morning...


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Day 2 (8/21/10)

9:10am - Take dough out of refridgerator, take pictures, divide in 2 equal pieces, butter pans, shape into loaves, place in pan, proof for 2 hours.

10:20am - Place baking stone on 2nd from bottom rack.  Preheat oven to 400F with convection.

11:00am - Prepare egg wash using 1 egg and a little bit of water, place loaves in oven on baking stone.  Close oven door, turn convection off and turn oven down to 380F.  Bake for 40 minutes or until internal temp reaches 190F.  Rotate 180 degrees halfway through bake.

11:40am - Take loaves out of oven and check temp.  Cool on wire rack...

12:00pm - Cool and try not to eat it until has cooled completely.  Crumbshot will follow later...


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Now for the crumbshots that you have all been waiting for:

These were toasted, slathered with butter and blueberry caviar from Maine...  Yum!  The best brioche I have ever made...  Ever...  Enjoy!!!

lief's picture

Sounds like a very intensive method of incorporating the butter and sugar, but your loaves look beautiful!  I have never made a brioche type bread... how important is this sort of gradual incorporation to the overall result?

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks.  Yes, the method of incorporating the butter is very intensive, especially because I am doing it by hand.  It's the same method recommended by Daniel T. Dimuzio in his book, however he does it by machine...  I think the gradual incorporation is very important, and you can see the effect from the crumbshots...  This, by the way is my most successful attempt at making bread this rich with milk, eggs, and butter.

belfiore's picture

These look very nice and I had to laugh at your "cool and try not to eat it until has cooled completely" sentiment.



tempe's picture

Beautiful looking brioche, bet they tasted good! I have only made brioche rolls before, so I may give your recipe a go, but and here's the but I don't know if I can do the 40 minutes of manually working in the dough, my arthritic wrists might not make that, do you think I could do this by machine?

 Coincidentally I had brioche this morning that my local sourdough bakery had sliced, added a layer of jam, then the almond paste and flaked almonds (like an almond croissant) then baked again.  It was soooo good.

Thanks for a great post, lovely step by step photos


breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks.  i used the same method as Daniel T. Dimuzio in his book "Bread Baking", where the instructions are given using a mixer.

I have never made brioche like this, and it was simply amazing that I got such a result.  It was a lot of work, and my right hand/arm are still recovering from the kneading.  It was totally worth the effort.

I just wish I took some pictures of the working of the dough...  I'm thinking of making a video about making this brioche recipe.  We'll see if I get around to it...

tempe's picture

Ok that's great there are instructions in his book for making it with a mixer, thanks for that, I will have to put his book higher up on my book wishlist!

Your crumb shots are great, I see what you mean about being totally worth the effort!! I wish I could just pick up a piece right now it looks that good.

Enjoy your brioche and look forward to a maybe seeing a  video one day, also thanks for replying to my question.

rayel's picture

Hi Breadbakingbass, I think your photos and bread are wonderful. I surely admire your patience/work with the hand incorporating process. I baked brioche using a conventional recipe and method, and the results were quite good, for the amt. of, or lack of hard labor. More recently I tried a recipe that utilized a food proccessor to incorporate a frozen small dice of butter,into the flour, sugar salt, before the liquid ingredients were added. The dough spent overnight in fridge, and the rest is pretty straight forward. My curiosity was piqued by how similar to pie crust this was. Anyway to make a short story long, this bread came terrific, and was hardly any work at all.  Ray

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

Thanks!  I really didn't know where to start with brioche so I consulted my bread books.  I think if you have high sugar content between 10-15% you want to develop the dough strength without the sugar first.  At least that's what they say.  I have pondered rubbing in the butter when it's cold like pie crust, but decided against it for this try.  Also, I refuse to buy a Kitchen Aid mixer or food processor.  They are expensive, and I tend not to use any machinery when I cook or bake except for the oven/stove...

breadbakingbassplayer's picture

So the loaf of brioche is pretty much done for...  Here's how it met its final fate:

rayel's picture

Your sourdough Brioche is out of sight. No pun intended. Really beautiful. Little wonder it is nearly gone.The flavor had to be exquisite. Ray

Segale's picture

I'll definitely try this receipe. My only doubt is: when you say "turn the dough" you mean S&F or just simply turning upside-down?