Saturday, January 26, 2013

Brioche Braid

I had a hard time deciding which bread to bake for a dinner party last weekend. Does this every happen to you? So many recipes to choose from, right? Eventually, I settled on a recipe I had baked once before for the ABC baking project: Overnight Brioche Braid from The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge. My guests loved it and raved about it. I immediately got recipe requests. And then after posting pictures of the bread on Facebook, I got more recipe requests.

I respect copyright laws and so I decided to ask Abby if she'd be OK with me posting her recipe on my blog. As sweet and gracious as she always is, she said Yes. I highly recommend getting a copy of her book. Years ago I borrowed it from the library, baked from it, loved the baked goods, and went ahead and got my own copy. I never regretted that purchase!!

Golden brown brioche on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside

Overnight Brioche Braid
from The Weekend Baker by Abby Dodge
(printed with permission from the author, Abby Dodge)

I made changes to this recipe which I have highlighted in blue.
I like to make bread dough in the bread machine using the Dough Cycle so I've added instructions for that as well.

3-1/2 cups (447 gr) all-purpose flour (I used bread flour)
1/4 cup (50 gr) granulated sugar
2-1/4 tsp instant yeast (I used 1-3/4 tsp which is about 5 gr)
1-1/4 tsp salt (I used 7 gr)
3/4 cup (175 ml) warm whole milk, between 115F and 125F (I used 1% milk)
3 large eggs
8 tablespoons (113 gr) butter, softened (I used 56 gr butter + 28 gr vegetable oil)

Egg glaze:
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water (I used orange blossom water)

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. whisk until well blended.
Fit the mixer with the dough hook. With the mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture and add the eggs. Beat until the flour is completely incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough begins to pull away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes. If the dough climbs up the hook, stop the mixer and scrape the dough back into the bowl. Don't venture too far away while the dough is mixing, as the mixer might dance around on the counter because of the large amount of dough. With the mixer running, gradually drop the butter pieces into the bowl. Continue mixing until the butter is incorporated and the dough is smooth and satiny.

Scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease the bowl and pop the dough back into it. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. You can use a large rubber band to hold the plastic in place. Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until double in size, about 45 minutes.

In the following order, add milk, eggs, oil, salt, sugar, flour, and yeast to the bowl of the bread machine. Turn on the Dough Cycle. After running the Dough Cycle for 10 minutes, open the door, and little by little drop the butter pieces into the bread machine bowl while it's running. Close the running and let it finish the Dough Cycle.

Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking liner (like a Silpat). Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface (there's no need to flour; the dough is soft but not sticky) and press down gently to deflate it. Using a bench scraper or a chef's knife, divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. [I weighed my dough and equally divided it into 3 pieces of 305 gr each]. Roll each piece into a 20" (51 cm) rope. Position the 3 ropes side by side on the prepared cookie sheet. Pinch the ropes together at one end and braid the ropes together loosely by alternating lifting the far right roper over the middle rope and the far left rope over the middle rope. Repeat the process until you reach the end. Pinch the bottom ends together and tuck both ends under the braid. Lightly grease the braid and cover loosely but completely with plastic wrap. Let the braid rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. If you've never braided bread dough before, you might want to check out this quick 90 second YouTube video.

After a nice rise, my brioche is ready for the oven

Preheat the oven to 400 F (= 205 Celsius) and position an oven rack in the middle rung. In a small bowl, make the glaze. Stir the egg and water with a fork until blended. Using a pastry brush, evenly coat the top and sides of the braid. The original recipe says to bake the brioche at 400 F for 30 minutes, but I made the following changes: bake the brioche for 10 minutes at 400 F (= 205 Celsius), then reduce the temperature to 375 F (= 190 Celsius), cover it with aluminum foil, and continue baking for 15-20 minutes, until the brioche is well browned and has a hollow sound when tapped. Transfer the cookie sheet to a rack and slide the braid onto the rack. Let cool completely.

After baking the brioche, you can freeze it. I like to slice it first and then freeze it, that way I can take out however many slices I need at one given point.

Options for refrigerating the dough overnight (optional):
- you can make the dough and only let it rise for 30 minutes and then refrigerate it for up to 12 hours. It will rise slowly in the fridge. Shape, rise and bake the dough the next day.
- you can shape the braid and let it rise half for only 20 minutes, and then refrigerate it for up to 12 hours before proceeding to bake it.

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  1. Very nice Hanaa! The interior of your bread looks so fluffy, and your braid is perfect. I have that book too and love it.

    1. Thanks Karen. I have yet to bake a dud out of that book. Glad you like it too :o)

  2. It's gorgeous Hanaa. I love how nicely brown it is. So nice of Abby to let you print this recipe. I also love your using your changes in blue. Great idea!

    1. Thanks Jenn. If you're ever in the mood for Brioche, definitely give this recipe a try!

  3. Hi Hanaa,
    Yes, I loved this bread, it is on my top list from our baking from Abby's book. I have recently baked the Warm Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberry Cake, it was so good!

    1. Hi Joyce. Yes, this recipe is definitely worthy of baking again. Oooh, I've been eyeing the Cinnamon-Spiced Blueberry Cake. Will wait until spring/summer when we have good blueberries.

  4. Hi Hanaa,

    I remember baking this when I was baking with ABC last year. This recipe is indeed fantastic! Sad that I can't post the recipe in my blog when I was baking this with ABC.


    1. Hi Zoe. I'm glad you have fond memories of this recipe. Please feel free to go back to your post and add a link to this post.

  5. Thank you for printing this recipe and also for putting in metric weights for the ingredients. I see so many recipes that I like and then find that they are in volume measurements which I hate! Thank you also for putting in the instructions for doing it in a breadmaker, very useful. Jeannette.

    1. Hi Jeannette. I'm a big fan of weight measurements too. I hope you give this recipe a try sometime. It's a good one! Thanks for stopping by :o)

  6. hi hanaa , I love all of your breads and I have made this Brioche Braid and it's so ÿummy"...p.s. yours looks better then

    1. I'm sorry hanaa but I have real made this two times and still taste great...

  7. Your bread looks so soft and cotton!!

  8. I think this is the best looking loaf of brioche I've ever seen. Cookbook worthy!!

    1. Thanks Patricia :) I've made it several times since. Never disappoints.


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