I was asked several times if I have a sourdough brioche recipe and unfortunately I had to reply with a very polite NO and it didn’t feel right. So here it is! I am thrilled to finally write this down and so grateful for the encouragement I receive from many of my followers on IG and this blog.
So, long story short, I bought a brioche loaf (not a sourdough one) from the whole foods for breakfast last Saturday. I know, I bake all the time and still run out of bread every now and then. But I don’t usually buy super-market bread except when I’m in a hurry or at a loss of ideas, like that Saturday. And that’s not even the worst part. The worst bit is, that it really hurt when you have to buy bread, ever since I started making my own bread. I felt like I’m cheating or betraying something or someone. As funny as it may sound, it is true.
We made some nice french toast with that brioche and I knew at that moment ” we are so going to eat home-made sourdough brioche next weekend”. So here it is, my homemade sourdough brioche.
I made it as indulgent and rich as I could, with all the butter and eggs, pushing the limits really.
Make the stiff starter, several hours before (preferably overnight) making the dough. It is as easy as mixing everything together and kneading into a smooth dough ball. This is how its inside is going to look once fermented.
Next step is to make the dough. To start with, weigh everything except butter into a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with dough hook. Mix on low speed until everything comes together. Scrape down with a spatula to encourage.
Once everything is mixed, increase speed a notch and mix until a smooth dough is developed. Scrape down the bowl as necessary. Use the extra 2 tbsp of milk as you go to loosen up the batter if it feels too stiff.
This will take about 4-5 minutes.
Once the dough is developed, then add the softened butter, a bit at a time and continue to mix. The dough will end up very sticky but looking silky like shown in the picture. Empty the dough into a greased bowl. Cover and let ferment until almost double in size.
This may take roughly about 4 – 6 hours depending on the room temperature
This is the dough doubled in size. If you put this is a smaller bowl, it will be easier to judge. Next picture is a better one.
Once it has doubled, we need to punch this down before chilling it in the refrigerator.
Easiest way to punch down the dough is to drop it on to a floured bench and use a scraper to fold it. Avoid handling it with your bare hands as it is extremely sticky.
Once the dough it punched down, place it back in the same bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or over night.
We need the dough to be chilled to be able to handle it, but as soon as you take it out of the fridge, it will be too hard.
Let the dough thaw for about 30 minutes or until it is malleable but still cool. Dump the dough on to a lightly dusted bench and roll into a log.
If the dough becomes too sticky, place it back in the fridge
Divide the log into 8 equal pieces
Remember the dough should remain cold and still firm all the while
Shape each dough piece in to a nice smooth round ball, as if you are making dinner rolls. Use flour to stop dough from sticking. Use the scrapper to help release the dough.
Use as little flour as possible when dusting. We don’t want a thick flour coating around the outside of the dough.
Grease a loaf pan and place the dough balls like shown in the picture. Pack them snug, so they will rise upwards as they proof.
Now egg wash the tops lightly. You can use a bit of milk too. this is to stop it from drying.
Cover and leave in a warm place to proof
In a cool temperature (19 C), the proofing will take up to 8 hours. In a warm atmosphere, this will be around 5 hours.
But keep an eye, you can clearly tell when it is ready. The loaf will fill the tin and expand into a fluffy wobbly thing
Next step is to egg wash and bake the loaf. Be very gentle while egg washing, no to deflate or damage the fragile skin.
Bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. Then another 20 – 25 minutes at 350F.
If the top is going too brown too quickly, reduce the temperature earlier than mentioned.
Let the loaf cool off in the pan for about 10 minutes and then slide it off on to a cooling rack. Let the loaf cool completely before cutting into pieces or storing away.
By all means, feel free to dig into it while still warm, if you like it that way.
You can use the brioche for anything. I mainly use this for french toasts.
This brioche is softer on the day it was made and tend to get a bit dry the next day. But it doesn’t really matter if you toast it or made french toast with it like I do. The slices has more body and will hold nicely, so it is perfect for french toasts, which is the main purpose behind me making brioche.