Sunday, 13 May 2012


I decided to bake a brioche on a whim. I had just prepared a Levain de Campagne sourdough loaf from Emmanuel Hadjiandreou's How to bake bread when I happened on the recipe for brioche, beautifully photographed as ever.

The recipe calls for fresh yeast which you mix with a little warmed milk in a large bowl. You add a couple of beaten eggs and then the dry ingredients - flour and salt. It makes a wet sticky dough. There are a number of steps involving kneading and resting before you add the butter. By now it is very messy and it seems infeasible that you are going to get a manageable dough but you just have to have a little faith. An hour in the fridge also helps to solidify the butter before shaping into three balls and placing in a buttered loaf tin. 

I left it to rise and probably should have left it a little longer as once placed in the oven the loaf did rip down one side (so, okay, I didn't photograph that side!) I was a little disappointed when i took it out of the oven but it felt very light as it came out of the tin and smelled lovely.

The crumb was okay and had a  melt-in-the mouth texture. Delightful. Andrew Whitely has another version of brioche which i may have a go at next weekend. As enriched doughs go, I much prefer this loaf to the flaky buns I attempted last month.

Meanwhile, the sourdough rises slowly in the kitchen...


  1. Nice glossy crust. Melt in the mouth texture. You must be pleased. Although a close relative of challah I've not made brioche to date - whilst waiting for my sourdough today I made some lowly crumpets.

  2. Thanks Mal, I was pleased as this was my first attempt at a brioche at it was hand-made - no food mixers for me. Plenty of room for improvement though, so will experiment further. Certainly, the option of leaving overnight once the butter is incorporated is worth investigating. I have just had a look at channel 4's River Cottage bites - there's an episode on brioche and croissants............ I loved the look of your braided challah - i had not realised it was so similar to brioche - i used to live above a jewish deli in south manchester in my student days and would often eat this loaf.

    ... yet another challenge to try :)