The weather has been pretty rainy and gloomy here lately. It makes me want to grab a book and cuddle up with a blanket. It also makes me want to bake. That’s definitely the less healthy option. I love making my own bread and rolls, so today I decided on a French classic: sweet and buttery brioches. These are perfect for breakfast when served warm with a pat of butter. However, I doubt that you want to get up at 4 am to finish them for breakfast, so I would recommend making them ahead of time.
These brioches would also be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner since they look so elegant. They take nearly 5 hours to make due to the multiple times they need to rise. Don’t worry, it’s not 5 hours of constant work. However, that gives you a lot of time to work on other dishes or maybe read that book!
This was a difficult recipe to write. Finding the right words to describe cutting, shaping, rolling, and pulling dough was not easy. Because of this, I decided to take step-by-step photos of that process. Hopefully that will take the guesswork out of this recipe.
Shaping the Brioches:
After the first two rising periods, separate the dough into 5 equal pieces. Set one piece aside.
Cut each piece into fifths and roll into balls (excluding that one you set aside of course). You should have 20 smaller balls of dough.
Place the dough into prepared fluted brioche tins or the cups of a muffin pan (to prepare, just rub a little butter into the cups). You can even use these inexpensive Silicone Brioche Molds. Using your index finger, press down into the center of each ball of dough to create a deep indentation. Set these aside.
Cut the remaining ball of dough into 20 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Using your index finger and thumb, pull one side of the dough to a point. The shape should resemble an ice cream cone or teardrop. Repeat with remaining pieces.
Place the point of each cone-shaped piece of dough into the deep indentation of the larger balls of dough made by your pointer finger. Let rise until they have doubled in size, then brush with the egg yolk mixture and bake in the preheated oven.
- 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup butter, softened
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 4 eggs, medium
- 1½ tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 2¼ cups of the flour, salt, and softened butter. Stir to combine.
- In a separate glass bowl, warm the milk until it becomes lukewarm. Add the yeast and allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk in 3 eggs and the sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture in the stand mixer bowl. Knead with the dough hook for 5 minutes. Slowly add the remaining half cup of flour while it's kneading. The dough should be tacky, but workable when done. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel. Allow to rise for 2 hours.
- After rising, knead the dough again for 5 minutes, then allow it to rise for another hour. It has finished rising when it has doubled in size.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface. Cut the dough into 5 equal pieces. Set one piece aside and divide the 4 other pieces into fifths. You should have 20 equal balls of dough and one large piece of dough. Place the 20 small pieces of dough into prepared fluted brioche tins or the cups of a muffin tin. Using your finger, press down into the center of each ball to create a deep indentation.
- Cut the remaining piece of dough into 20 small pieces. Shape the pieces into balls and pull one side of the ball out to a point (it should be the shape of an ice cream cone or teardrop). Place the point of the dough into the deep indentation created by your finger. Repeat with each brioche. Cover and let rise for 50 minutes, until the brioches have doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Separate the egg yolk in the remaining egg. Beat the yolk with 2 tablespoons of water and brush over the tops of the brioches. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
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