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If you’re a bread fiend (much like us), you probably have heard of the term Brioche when you visit a bakery or cafe in Singapore.
But, what is brioche bread exactly? What makes brioche bread different from other bread?
To answer your questions about this French bread, we will uncover all about brioche bread here. This is by no means comprehensive, but we hope it offers you a beginner’s understanding of Brioche.What Is A Brioche Bread?
Using Brioche bread in an Apple-Cinnamon Bread Pudding
France is notable for its rich culture in pastry. The French have created dozens, perhaps hundreds of pastries and bread. One of the famous French breads is the brioche.
Brioche bread is, in layman terms, an enriched version of regular plain white bread. Thanks to its richness in flavour, brioche bread is fantastic on its own, or paired with other components to create a dish. If we are going to be completely honest, the main (and sometimes only) difference is the amount of fat (butter) in abrioche dough.
Texture-wise, brioche bread has a soft inside and is slightly toasty on the outside. Brioche is more specifically known as a Viennoiserie, a baked product that consists of leavened yeast that has to be proofed twice, and contains other common ingredients found in pastries.How To Pronounce “Brioche”
As foreigners to French, it’s very common for us to mispronounce the names of French pastries. Croissants, anyone?
In British English, “brioche” is pronounced “bree-osh”. The French pronunciation is however, “bri-yosh”, almost like bye with an R, and yosh like Bosche. Just a little fun fact before we get the bread rolling.
Just like any other breads, French brioche bread is made with regular ingredients that you find in most breads. What differentiates brioche from other bread is that brioche is made with a higher proportion of butter (fat), and also sometimes milk, honey, and sugar.
The higher proportion of butter is the key to soft, golden, and fluffy brioche. Another key factor to get a pillowy and soft texture from brioche is by letting the dough proof twice.
It is quite simple to make brioche bread, and with the correct technique, proper ingredients, and a little patience, the final results of this special French bread will be immensely satisfactory.
Not a brioche, but our Milk Bread Loaf is incredibly fluffy, soft, and the addition of milk gives it a richness similar to brioche.
From French toasts to sandwiches, brioche will complement any meals that go well with bread. You can even eat it with a knob of butter slathered across a piece thanks to its richness and slight tinge of sweetness.
If you need extra flavour, you can top it with fruity jam, fill it in with cream, or dip it in sweet or savoury sauces — the different ways to enjoy your brioche bread are aplenty.How To Make Brioche Bread
Compared to making regular white bread, making a perfect brioche bread requires a little more.
Brioche bread is characterised by a fluffy structure, rich flavour, and a golden brown top.Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature
The first step to making brioche bread is that your ingredients need to be at room temperature. One exception is your milk — keep your milk warm in order to bloom the yeast.Not Cold, Not Hard, Just Softened
Make sure the butter is softened. Softened butter will be easier to mix with the dough and ensures an even spread.Blooming Your Yeast
After that, you can let the yeast do its job. With instant yeast, it’s not necessary to bloom it — however, we like to take that extra step to make sure that the yeast is working.Add Butter Gradually
When adding butter, try to add the butter gradually. This helps to make sure that the dough and butter get evenly and completely incorporated. A sticky dough will tell you that the butter has been mixed well. As you knead the dough, it will get a little tacky but become less sticky.Gluten development
If you are using an electric mixer, you can increase the speed to medium and keep kneading the dough for ~10 minutes to let the gluten develop in the dough.
During this stage, the dough will smoothen and won’t stick to the bowl like it did in the previous step. How do we test to make sure that the dough is ready for proofing?The Windowpane Test Proofing The Dough
Let the dough sit inside a covered bowl for at least ~1 hour. The dough should double in size. In other countries where it's colder and less humid, they may suggest proofing for ~ 2 hours. In Singapore, ~1 hour is sufficient. Just make sure that it doubles in size.
After the first proofing is done, you can go for the second proofing. This process will take more time but will grant you a flavourful brioche bread. You can proof for another hour, or let the dough rest in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours to allow even more flavour to develop.Shaping Bread
Now, you can finally split the dough and shape it. We like to keep things simple, and shape them into buns. Simply portion out your dough evenly, and shape them into balls. Once it’s shaped, you may finally bake the dough.
And that's it! If you made it through this article, we know you're serious about your baking.
Want to try a brioche bread recipe with a twist?
Read Next: French Brioche With An Italian Twist: Ultra Soft Tiramisu Maritozzi
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