Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Brioche

My mom and I made a delicious brioche for Christmas breakfast. Dorie Greenspan was right in the recipe--this was hard to make with no stand mixer! But we prevailed, 3 sticks of butter and all, and it was totally worth it on Christmas morning. Yum! This was the most delicious bread ever!

Brioche (From Dorie Greenspan's Baking from My Home to Yours)
Hand-made (no mixer) version!

2 packets active dry yeast
1/3 c just warm water
1/3 c just warm whole milk
3 1/4 c flour
2 tsp salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 c sugar
3 sticks butter, at room temperature but still slightly firm

1 large egg
1 tablespoon water

Put the yeast, water, and milk in a bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until yeast is dissolved. Add flour and salt and incorporate (may need to use your hands). You should have a dry, shaggy mess.

Add the eggs and sugar, and mix until the dough forms a ball. You may need to turn the dough out onto the counter and mix with your hands to get this to happen (we did). Add the butter in 2 T size chunks, kneading it in each time. It will look/feel really gross, like this:

But keep at it! Once all the butter was in, we put it back in the bowl and kneaded/mixed it some more there. We never did get it to "pull away from the sides of the bowls" like Dorie described, but it didn't seem to matter in the end product. Knead/mix it together for about ten minutes.

Put the dough in a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 40-60 minutes. Deflate the dough and recover. Put in the fridge (or a cold basement, in our case) and punch it down every 30 minutes until it stops rising. Leave to chill overnight.

In the morning, butter and flour 2 loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 pieces. But each piece into 4 equal pieces and roll them into short logs. Lay them crosswise in the bottom of each pan (4 to each pan). Put on a baking sheet, cover with wax paper, and let rise 1-2 hours until the dough fills the pan.

Beat the egg with the water and brush the tops of the loaves with the glaze. Bake at 400 degrees until well rised and deeply golden, 30-35 minutes. Yum!

Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Chicago Metallic.

I'm also sending this post off to the Sweets for Santa Blog Hop - check out the other tasty treats at the Hungry Australian!


  1. Yum! That looks just delicious and I can only imagine how good that would have smelt baking, too. Thanks for joining this hop!

  2. That looks amazing! I love brioche but I'm a bit nervous about giving it a try, but really should because its so tasty! Merry Christmas!

  3. How good of you to do this without a mixer! Sounds like the perfect way to start Christmas :)