Brioche is white bread enriched with eggs and butter, and thus perfect for the holidays. In this case I made one big loaf, but you can also make smaller loaves or buns. For the characteristic shiny top, braze the top with egg yolk after baking (when still hot).
If you’re serious enough about baking to try making your own brioche, it is best to use scales and measure everything in grams. I have provided approximate measures in cups and teaspoons, but other than with regular cooking, with baking it is better to be exact.
For one loaf
500 grams (3 1/3 cups) bread flour
100 ml (6 1/2 Tbsp) milk (lukewarm)
125 grams (9 Tbsp) butter (soft), plus more for greasing the pan
10 grams (1 1/4 tsp) salt
15 grams (4 tsp) sugar
30 grams (1 oz) fresh yeast (or 10 grams dried yeast, 3 1/2 teaspoons)
Warm up 100 ml of milk in the microwave for 10 seconds so it won’t be cold anymore. Crumble 30 grams of fresh yeast into the milk and add 15 grams of sugar.
Stir with a fork until well mixed.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 500 grams of flour, 10 grams of salt, 3 eggs, and the milk mixture.
Process at medium speed with the paddle attachment…
…until the dough comes together.
Move over to the dough hook. Knead for 5 minutes at low speed and then at 10 minutes at medium speed. The dough should become smooth and pliable.
Meanwhile, cut 125 grams of butter into pieces and allow to soften.
When the dough has been kneaded for 15 minutes, start adding the butter piece by piece.
Wait until the butter has been incorporated into the dough before adding another piece.
When you have added all the butter, the dough should be gathered around the dough hook.
Cover the bowl with a tea towel (or plastic wrap) and allow to rise until doubled in volume. In a warm spot such as the oven with the light turned on but the door closed, this will take one to one and a half hours. You could also allow the dough to rise more slowly for better flavor development.
When the dough has doubled in volume, knead it briefly on a floured work surface and shape into a loaf.
Grease a pan with butter and put the loaf in it.
Cover with a tea towel and allow to rise…
…until doubled in volume.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F (not fan forced). Bake the brioche at this temperature for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing. Brioche is best when it is still slightly warm, but it does keep well for several days. If desired, reheat for 10 minutes at 150C/300F.
One of my favorite quick Thai meals to prepare is stir fried green beans and shrimp with red curry paste.