Tasting Table DC: Brioche

To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, Tasteful Tribute, in our Washington, D.C. edition. 

Adapted from "Jean-Louis: Cooking With the Seasons" (Thomasson-Grant)

Brioche
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Brioche from "Jean-Louis: Cooking With the Seasons" (Thomasson-Grant)
Servings
2
loaves
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup very warm water
  • 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 ⅓ cups cake flour, plus extra for rolling dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2½ sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1-inch cubes, plus extra for the pans
Directions
  1. Combine the water and yeast in a small bowl. Let set for 10 minutes, then stir until the yeast is completely dissolved. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, sift the flours, sugar and salt. Attach the dough hook, then add the eggs and beat for 1 minute at low speed, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed. Slowly pour in the dissolved yeast and continue beating at low speed for 5 minutes. Stop the machine, scrape any dough off the dough hook, and mix for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the butter cubes, about ¼ of the batch at a time, beating for 1 minute after each batch. Once all the butter has been added, beat until the dough is smooth and silky but very wet, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dough (it will be very soft) into a large floured mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 3 hours.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface and gently work out any air bubbles by folding the dough several times while lightly pressing down. Return the dough to the bowl, cover again with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  6. Generously butter 2 8½ -by-4½ -by-3-inch loaf pans, including the lids. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. With floured hands, divide the dough in half and shape it into 2 rectangles to fit the loaf pans. Transfer the dough to the pans and let the dough rise, uncovered, in a warm spot until it has reached about ½ inch above the top of the pans, about 3 hours.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°. Bake the brioche until it is well browned, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and turn the loaves out onto a wire rack. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve.
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