Baking as often as I do, it’s a bit surprising I haven’t tried brioche before.  Especially considering I bought these little brioche molds back in February… Finally I decided enough was enough, it was time to try my hand at it!  Brioche is a very tender and airy yeast bread that is also rich in flavor thanks to the amount of butter in the dough.  It is heavenly.  I baked mine in these molds but you can also make it as a regular loaf which I will try next time because I think it will make a rockin’ breakfast sandwich.

I’m not going to lie, this dough is on the very sticky side so I wouldn’t recommend it for beginning bread makers.  It needs to be this way to have the delicate texture.  In fact it was so sticky that I had planned on taking step-by-step photos of the shaping process but my hands were far too messy to touch the camera.  Next time I’ll have to set up the tripod!  This recipe calls for pastry flour which is not available in my grocery store, so I used Google to find that you can use a combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour to achieve something similar.  Brioche is a delicious bread that can be the center of a morning meal or a nice accompaniment to other breakfast delights.

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Yield: 20 petite brioches or 2 9 x 5-inch loaves (obviously, I reduced the recipe for my needs)
1/3 cup warm water (105-110˚ F)
1 tbsp. instant (rapid rise) yeast
9 oz. (1½ cups) bread flour, divided
5 oz. (¾ cups) pastry flour
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces (plus more for brushing pans)
4 large eggs, cold
3 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. nonfat dry milk
1 tsp. salt
1 large egg white, beaten

To make the dough, combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 ounces of the bread flour in a medium bowl; stir until well blended.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk and bubbles appear on the surface, about 1 hour.

Combine the remaining 7 ounces of bread flour and the pastry flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add the butter, eggs, sugar, and dry milk; beat on low speed until well blended, about 5 minutes.  Add the yeast mixture to the bowl and continue beating on low speed for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle in the salt and continue to mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes more.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap; immediately place in the freezer for 30 minutes (this prevents the dough from rising too quickly).  Remove the dough from the freezer and punch the dough down in the bowl.  Fold the sides into the center, then invert the dough so the dough is smooth side up.  Re-cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 hours or overnight.

Butter 20 small brioche molds; set aside.  Divide the dough into 20 equal pieces, about 1½ ounces each (my molds are larger and were filled better by 2½-3 ounces).  Working with a few pieces at a time (keeping the rest in the refrigerator), divide each piece into two, one being twice the size of the other.

On a lightly floured surface, form the larger piece into a round ball.  Press your thumb into the center to form a deep well and then rotate to widen the hole.  Shape the smaller piece into a teardrop.  Press the tip of the teardrop gently into the bottom of the hole.  Place into a prepared mold.  Repeat with the remaining dough.

Drape the filled molds with a piece of well-oiled plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until fully doubled in bulk (1-3 hours).  Meanwhile, preheat the oven 375˚ F.

Just before baking, brush the dough gently with the beaten egg.  Place the molds on rimmed baking sheets.  Bake until a deep golden brown, 8-12 minutes.  Immediately remove from the molds and let cool on a wire rack.

(To make 9 x 5-inch loaves, butter two loaf pans.  Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces (2 ounces each).  Shape each piece into a ball.  Place 8 balls in each prepared pan in a 4 x 2 formation.  Cover loosely with well oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, 1-3 hours.  Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Just before baking, brush with the beaten egg.  Bake loaves until they sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped, about 40 minutes.  Immediately remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.)

SourceMartha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

35 Responses

  1. Great job! I love brioche and yours look magnificent. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh my, these look good. I’ve never made brioche before either…maybe I’ll give it a try!

  3. These little brioches are so cute and the perfect portion!

  4. Oh brioche breakfast sandwiches! Genius! We adore brioche (it makes one mean bread pudding) but have never attempted to make our own…we clearly need to though! And we clearly need those adorable little brioche tins…!

  5. Those are gorgeous little suckers! As Ina would say, “Who wouldn’t want THAT for breakfast?”

  6. Those look so great. I’ve never made brioche before- now maybe I won’t be so intimidated!

  7. OMG! these look amaizing. I made mine using only bread flour and it turn out lovely. I use carnation milk powder and the taste is so yummy! thanks for sharing. Your pictures are stunning. Love your site!

  8. The little molds are so adorable. Looks delicious as most of your recipes do. 🙂 Makes me realize how much I need a new camera.

  9. what a beautiful idea!

  10. Your brioche look fantastic! I think that it would make a great breakfast sandwich like you mentioned or even French toast, if given the opportunity to dry out a bit. (If it lasts that long!) Maybe even bread pudding? Okay, I’m getting carried away! I heard Ina had a great brioche recipe too.

  11. I recently discovered this catalog:
    I’m like a kid in a candy store! The pearl sugar is fabulous for making authentic Belgian waffles. They also carry powdered sugar that doesn’t melt when sprinkled on top of baked goods.

    • I’m aware of King Arthur, I just didn’t have time to wait for a shipment (or really feel like paying for shipping!)

  12. Wow, these look delicious! I’ve never made it before either, I’ll have to add it to my list because they seem amazing!

  13. amazing, that must be delicious!

    saludos desde España

  14. OMG, they look so delicious!!!!

  15. So light and fluffy – These look wonderful, Annie! Beautiful photos, too.

  16. I love Brioche bread…the sweetness of the bread and butter and milk – it’s like taking a bite of buttery heaven. One of my fave restaurants uses Brioche bread for a fantastic bread pudding. Mmmm, beautiful job!

  17. Oh wow, that looks heavenly! I’ve always wanted to try making brioche too. I’m glad you were able to get around buying pastry flour. I’m kind of at my limit for the number of different flours I want to store in my tiny kitchen. Can you clue me in to the ratio of cake flour to AP flour to substitute? Is it just 50/50? Or do you remember the link where you found the info? That’d be great!

  18. Ohhhh, so that’s what those little pans are for. I received some second hand from my mother-in-law and never could figure out what to bake in them. Those look wonderful!

  19. these look lovely – I’ve never tasted brioche before so i’ve been reluctant to try it ! i’d heard it was tricky enough without a mixer with a dough hook, maybe that’ll be my next investment…

  20. Per the Joy of Baking, the substitution ratio for pastry flour is:

    1 1/3 cup (185 grams) all purpose flour
    2/3 cup (85 grams) cake flour

    This makes 2 cups.

    Joy Of Baking has a substitution grid that you might find helpful for other ingredients not readily available in your area:

  21. You said you reduced the ingredients to fit your smaller baking needs…is that already reflected by the recipe? If not, can you share your reduced amounts? I’m always looking for scaled back recipes since we’re a household of 2! Thanks 🙂

    • No, the recipe posted yields the amounts indicated under “yield”. I can’t give my changes because I did a weird reduction (some variation of thirds) and I honestly have no idea what it was. I made this weeks ago.

  22. BEAUTIFUL!!! I wish I had brioche molds. When you make the loaf, you might want to make a 2nd and make the killer bread pudding we did for the Foodbuzz 24x 24 party ( I’m not much of a sweet eater but I think I’d make a weekly exception for that bread pudding. We actually had it for breakfast one day. Decadent!

  23. Wow, these brioches look so yummie…love the pictures as well 🙂

  24. Gorgeous brioche! I love the molds. One day I’ll splurge on them. I’ve tried a couple of brioche recipes and found the one in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking to be the best. It’s been a while since I’ve made it but I don’t think it was too sticky either.

  25. Your photography is beautiful! I first found your margarita cupcake recipe, then your site, which I’m enjoying – it might inspire me to step away from the boxed cupcake mix and make something from scratch.

  26. Making brioche in loaf to then have a great breakfast bread is fantastic but this little brioche are sooo adorable that I would keep them this way. Perfect for the “snack-pack” for my hubby!

  27. I have never tried or made Brioche, so this surely is new to me. I love the small molds! and perfect finger food for kids or parties. Thanks for sharing.

  28. I’ve always wanted to make brioche but I’m so lazy and impatient. I cannot wait that long for bread! ARGH! I think this has pushed me over the edge though, those look divine!

  29. Oooh. Look at how fluffy and airy those look. Amazing. I think I’d prefer making this in a loaf. It would be less tempting to keep popping them in your mouth. Individual portions are evil. I love evil. Haha.

  30. Brioche has been on my baking-list for way too long, but I want to make them in such cute molds that I don’t have! But if the dough is that sticky, it’s probably easier to make a loaf.

  31. I’ve been meaning to make brioche for forever as well. The molds alone are worth the effort. Thanks for the inspiration!

  32. Oh man this looks delicious!
    Everything here looks so yummy! And your photographs are beautiful.
    I recently launched my own blog I’d love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! Thanks and Happy Cooking!

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