The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brioche, suggestions on improving

dwfender's picture

Brioche, suggestions on improving

I baked the PR BBA middle class brioche yesterday with somewhat of a success. I felt the texture was incredible, I enjoyed the crumb and the shape was decent. The thing I'm missing in a deep rich flavor. I feel like I could have coaxed more flavor from possibly another flour or something. I used very good quality buerremont butter  and am looking for suggestions. I'll post the recipe and some pictures. 

thomaschacon75's picture

I find the BBA brioche to be less than ideal, although you might find the Rich Man's brioche a lot better.

One thought: Of all the times I've made brioche (any recipe), it's never resulted in a "mouth explosion of buttery goodness". It always tastes less buttery than I expect it to considering the amount of butter that goes into it; but, I'm in bad shape if I dare eat more than a slice or two at once, it having so much fat.

Thomas Keller's books have a recipe for Jean-Louis Palladin's brioche that's second to none. Here it is, copied from the internets:

The following is from Thomas Keller’s book Bouchon, recipient of a James Beard Book Award in 2005.

Jean-Louis Palladin was a close friend and one of the greatest chefs I’ve ever known. And he made some of the best brioche I’ve ever tasted. This is his recipe. Start it a day before you want to make it, as the dough has to rest overnight.

1/3 cup very warm water (110°–115°F)
One 1/4-ounce package active dry yeast (not quick-rising)
101⁄2 ounces (21⁄2 cups) cake flour
10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
21⁄2 teaspoons fine sea salt
6 large eggs, at room temperature
20 tablespoons (10 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, 
at room temperature, plus butter for the pans.

Combine the water and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes, then stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. Set aside.

Sift together the flours, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the 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 machine, scrape any dough off the hook, and beat for another 5 minutes.

Add about one-quarter of the butter cubes at a time, beating for about 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 and gently work the air bubbles out by folding the dough over 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 or use in another recipe. Generously butter two 81⁄2-by-41⁄2 inch loaf pans. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. With floured hands, divide the dough in half and shape it into two rectangles that fit in the loaf pans. Place the dough in the pans.

Let the dough rise uncovered in a warm place until it is about 1⁄2 inch above the top of the pans, about 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake the brioche in the center of the oven until it is well browned on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the brioche from the oven and immediately turn out onto a wire rack.

If serving immediately, let the breads 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 bread in foil and promptly freeze. The bread can be kept frozen for up to 1 month; when ready to use, reheat (without thawing and still wrapped in the foil) in a 250°F oven until heated through, 20 to 25 minutes.

If using the brioche for croutons, let sit at room temperature uncovered to dry for a day.

Makes two loaves

Excerpted from Bouchon, Copyright 2004 by Thomas Keller. Used by permission of Artisan, a division of Workman Publishing Co., Inc., New York. All Rights Reserved.

thomaschacon75's picture

It has more butterfat and is much richer (and a lot more expensive) than American butters.

You can usually find it in your grocer's "gourmet section" (near the cheeses, etc.)

Oops, missed the part where you said you used good butter.

dwfender's picture

Recipe and Pictures as promised. 


dwfender's picture

This recipe is directly from Peter Reinhart's Bread Bakers Apprentice and I am by no means taking credit for it.



2.25 oz Unb Bread Flour
.22 oz  Instant Yeast
4 ounces whole milk, warm


Mix the sponge and allow to ferment at room temperature until at least doubled in size and collapses when tapping the bowl

5 Large Eggs
13.75 oz UnB Bread Flour
1 oz Gran. Sugar
.31 oz Salt
8oz Unsalted Butter (I used Beurremont)
1 Egg for wash


After the spong ferments whisk in the eggs. Stir togther the dry ingredients and add the sponge/egg to the mixture. Beat on low using a paddle attachment to combine. Add the butter in several installments allowing it to emulsify before adding the next addition.

Turn the dough out onto a sheet tray lined and put it in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Remove from the fridge and shape immediately. Proof until 3/4 filling the loaf pan, brush with egg wash and allow to continue to proof until the loaf fills the pan. Bake at 350 until done.


So, as far as flavor wise, I'm thinking maybe I could have cold fermented the dough for a while longer. I only did four hours. I used kosher salt by volume not by weight and maybe my measurement was a little skewed. I'm thinking the maybe I could have taken the sponge quite a bit further.


Any suggestions on the recipe would be greatly appreciated.  

smh126's picture

I used the above recipe Jean-Louis Palladin and for some reason my dough was extremely wet I ended up working more flour into it. Anyone have any idea's why this happened? I weighed my dry ingredients as opposed to measuring.