Buttery, soft and airy….this bread is “weak in the knees” good. The Very Best Brioche recipe is a labor of love but your time is rewarded with the best loaf you’ll ever put in your mouth.
It’s here….election day is finally here and I still have an unsettled ickiness about it. I don’t ever talk about politics here and I’m not about to start but I’m so glad we’re almost near the finish line. I’m getting ready to go vote in the next couple hours and I’m so thrilled that I won’t have to watch those horrid campaign commercials any more. I stopped turning on the television the past few days because it’s all just so depressing….I’m ready for holiday commercials, Christmas movies and baking season. Who’s with me?
In an attempt to get rid of the ick…..I decided to bake up a buttery loaf of the Very Best Brioche. If you’ve never had brioche, you’re in for a real treat. It does take some time to make but it’s mostly waiting around impatiently while the dough rises….and then rises again, overnight in the fridge. Well, it’s really like a curing process but then you need to wait…yet again….for another rise. But it’s all VERY worth the wait. And when you’re baking your Very Best Brioche the smell will reassure you that your work is going to pay off in a VERY big way. I thought this classic white bread was amazing but this brioche just squashed it…literally. It is off the charts amazing.
And to ensure that your brioche is, in fact, the Very Best Brioche you ever make…be sure to use the very best ingredients. For starters, I always use Fleischmann’s yeast…not a rapid rise…just the standard, from the jar, yeast. It’s never failed me, unless I kill it with water that’s a tad too hot. Be sure your water is like a warm bath…not too hot, not too cold…just right. I, also, am in LOVE with Bob’s Red Mill Superfine Pastry flour, it’s light, fluffy and silky…perfect for fluffy, bubbly bread loaves. And lastly…since this bread is of the buttery type…you’ll need a great butter. I’ve been going for this Land O Lakes European Style Butter and it’s silly amazing….definitely use the best butter you can for this recipe because the results will be outstanding.
Once your brioche is done baking…and rested…and ready to eat I recommend slathering a bit of that butter all over a slice while it’s still warm. Then smearing a bit of this jam on it. Then…just go to town. Heck, I’d call this dinner if I were you. But if you’re a proper person and need a proper dinner maybe you’ll want to whip up this bread pudding….or a healthy Monte Cristo. It’s your dinner. And I bet, about now, you forgot all about the election. 🙂
The Very Best Brioche Recipe
Prep time includes rise and overnight refrigeration.
- 1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (not rapid rise)
- 2 1/3 cups super fine pastry flour or cake flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 large eggs
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch cubes, at room temperature
- Whisk the water and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes until completely dissolved. Set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sift together the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt.
- Turn the mixer on low and add the eggs to the bowl 1 at a time beating well after each addition.
- Slowly add the yeast and continue beating at low speed for 5 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer on low and beat for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the butter cubes 1/3 at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Once the butter has been added, beat for 10 more minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 3 hours.
- Turn the dough out on a well floured surface and gently knead out the air bubbles. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide the dough in half.
- Shape the dough into 2 rectangles and place into two buttered 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 inch loaf pans.
- Allow the dough to rise, uncovered, in a warm place until it rises about 1/2 inch above the top of the pans, approximately 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the brioche until it is golden brown on top, approximately 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the bread out of the pans and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- If not serving immediately, wrap the hot bread in foil and set aside at room temperature for up to 2 days.