The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Brioche Dough Help!

gabolski's picture
gabolski

Brioche Dough Help!

Hi! I recently got a KitchenAid Classic mixer, and I've been trying it out on making brioche dough. I've done 6 trials so far, and the last two doughs ended up gloopy after I mixed in the butter (1 at 35%, the other at 50%), but had fine gluten development prior to the autolyse. I was able to make one batch (at 30% butter) that turned out perfect, but the rest have been failures. 

 

I am from a tropical country by the way, so could it be that the butter has started to  melt before being fully incorporated?

 

I am hydrating between 60-70%, with 500g of eggs and the rest is milk. Is it a hydration issue with the mixer, if at all? 

Also, I have been using cold butter from the fridge. Would using softened butter instead be of any help? Since theoretically it would take less time to incorporate and therefore have no chance to melt?

Any comments and suggestions highly appreciated! I just can't figure this out. 

 

Thanks!

ds99303's picture
ds99303

Letting the butter get soft before mixing it in will help.  The best way is to let the butter sit out at room temperature.  Trying to rush it by doing something like putting it in the microwave leads to mixed results.  You end up with part of the butter fully melted while other parts are still solid.  Also, the friction from the mixer will also raise the dough temperature and cause the butter to melt.  Mix the dough on low speed so there isn't as much heat build up from friction.

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

I'm not expert but I recently made the Hamelman recipe (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/58272/brioche), and that is not what he advises.  He says all ingredients must be very cold, including the butter.  The cold butter must be pounded into becoming "pliable," which means it is softened, but still very cold.

The reason for this is that the mix is very long to allow the butter to incorporate, after a substantial pre-butter addition mixing.  The coldness of the ingredients keeps the dough from overheating the butter during the mix.

ds99303's picture
ds99303

You shouldn't treat one person's opinion, whether they're a professional or not, as gospel and as being the only one that is correct.  There are many recipes for brioche.  Each one has its own unique instructions.  Some say use cold solid butter.  Others, like the one I use, say use softened.    Is one more right that the other? No.  It's one thing to have a different opinion, but don't come out say no, that's wrong just because that's not the way you do it.

Filomatic's picture
Filomatic

Sorry, didn't mean to be heavy handed.  His problem with gloppy dough could easily be from the butter being too warm.

gabolski's picture
gabolski

Thank you for your tips! I mixed another batch last night, and used an autolyse with just the flour, eggs, and milk, then added the yeast and sugar, allowed it to mix, then the salt and cold butter together. 

After the autolyse, my.dough was pretty well developed, passing the window pane test easily. But after adding the salt and butter, by the time the butter was fully incorporated, the dough was much softer than i was aiming for. It wasnt as gloopy as the previous batch, but it wasnt well developed either. They shaped decently after resting in the fridge, but still somewhat stuck to the countertop. The final product came out OK. Could it be because i added the salt and butter at the same time?

Btw, i have read Hammelman's recipe for brioche, and I can't believe I havent tried his tip about making the cold butter more pliable. Will try that in the next batch!