Brioche Dough

Brioche Dough

In Germany Brioche doughs get used as a base for a lot of fruit cakes. Kind of like a pizza base, you just line a rectangular baking sheet or a wide round cake tin with a flat rolled out piece of brioche dough and then use an abundance of fruit on top. This can be any stonefruit (careful, some plums can be very watery, but apricots are brilliant), apples, pears or rhubarb. You want to cover the whole brioche dough with a thick layer of fruit. Sometimes a crumble topping over the top of the fruit can be nice too.  

These types of cakes are best eaten still a little warm and with a lot of whipped cream.  

The possibilities are endless, which is the great thing about brioche dough. You can practice your dough skills and make ever new variations of cakes and treats.



125ml /1/2 cup warm milk
18g fresh yeast or 10g of active dry yeast
60g/ 3tsp of golden sugar 
5 large eggs  
1 yolk from a large egg  
2 tsp vanilla 
5 Tbsp golden sugar  
500g flour
1 ½ tsp sea salt 
250g unsalted butter (room temp or as soft as possible) roughly divided into four portions


Method - Day One (Making The Dough)

  1. Measure all the ingredients, in other words get you mise en place ready. 

  2. Add the milk, yeast and sugar into the mixing bowl and whisk gently to combine. Set aside for 8-10 minutes to activate the yeast. Until foamy. 

  3. Add the eggs and yolks gradually, and whisk gently to break the egg yolks.  

  4. Add the sugar, flour and salt, and mix to form a scraggly dough.  

  5. With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough on speed 2 or 3 for about 3 - 5 minutes. 

  6. Add the first portion of butter, in increments, after the first 5 minutes of kneading. Allow the butter to be mixed well into the dough. This should take about 2 minutes. 

  7. Repeat with the other 3 portions of butter, kneading the dough for about 2 minutes after each addition. Make sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl (and the bottom if needed) between kneading as well. You will have incorporated all the butter in about 9 - 10 minutes of kneading time. 

  8. Once all the butter is incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl and knead the dough for a further 5  minutes on speed 5 or 6. 

  9. The dough will have been kneaded enough when it can be lifted fairly cleanly off the bottom of the bowl when picked up with the dough hook. It will be very soft and tacky to the touch, but shouldn’t stick to your fingertips.  

  10. Flour your work surface, and turn the dough out onto the floured surface. Lightly flour your hands and the surface of the dough to prevent the dough from sticking to your palms. 

  11. Fold in the edges of the dough towards the middle and gently press them into the dough. Carefully flip the dough over, and then with the heel of your palms, shape the dough to form a tight ball. 

  12. Carefully pick up the dough ball and place it back in the mixer bowl. 

  13. Let it rise until it has doubled in size, in a warm place, for about 1 hour. 

  14. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and press down gently to deflate the dough with your hands. Fold in the edges again as before towards the middle and press them in. Carefully flip the dough over (seam side down now). Tighten the dough into a ball with a smooth, taut surface (using the edges of your palms). Transfer the dough into the mixer bowl again. 

  15. Cover and let it chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours. 

Method - Day Two (Shaping & Baking)

  1. Remove the chilled dough from the fridge. The dough will be much easier to work with now. 

  2. Butter and dust two 23cm, standard loaf pans with flour.  

  3. Keep a bowl of flour, a pastry brush and a dough scraper/cutter ready as well. 

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Deflate the dough by flattening it lightly. Measure the weight of the dough, and then divide it into two EQUAL portions, using the dough cutter or a sharp knife. 

  5. Now you've got two dough portions to make two brioche bread loaves.

Challah Brioche Loaf

  1. Divide one portion of the dough into 3 equal portions (your can try a 4 or 5 braid too, check out a Youtube video for instructions). 

  2. Flatten each portion into a small rectangle. Then tightly roll up the rectangle to form a tube. Using your palms, and a back and forth motion, roll out the dough into a 30-35cm bread rope. Apply light but even pressure to get a bread rope with even width. If the dough seems to resist, just give it a couple of minutes to relax and then keep stretching. 

  3. Repeat with the other two portions. 

  4. Now you have three 30cm long bread ropes. Bring the ends of the three ropes together and pinch to seal. Braid the dough, while being careful to avoid any loose folds and to not stretch the dough ropes at the same time. Once braided, the bread loaf should be a little longer than the length of the pan (about 25cm). 

  5. Pinch to seal the other end. Using your palms, press down the ends of the bread to flatten them against the work surface. Tuck the flattened ends to get a lovely, rounded loaf. 

  6. Carefully transfer this to the buttered and floured bread pan. Flatten slightly to fit the loaf pan. 

  7. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. 

Proofing the bread before baking

  1. Proof the bread in the covered loaf pans for about 2 hours at room temperature, or until doubled in size, and almost reaching the top of the pan. Preheat the oven to 160°C before baking the loaves. 

  2. Once doubled in size, brush the tops with an egg wash. Optionally, you can also sprinkle some Swedish sugar pearls on top for a sweet crunch. 

  3. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top and the internal temperature registers 88°C. This can take about 35 - 45 minutes. 

  4. Remove from the oven and let the bread loaf cool slightly - about 5 minutes. 

  5. Carefully flip the bread loaf out of the pan, onto a cooling rack. Let it cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

Variations & Fillings

Brioche doughs can be used in infinite ways, your imagination is the limit. You can cut the dough into circles, line texas muffin tins with it and fill it with sweet or savoury fillings.  

Try it sweet:  

  1. Custard and blueberries.  

  2. Cinnamon butter and rum raisins 

  3. Lemon curd and raspberries 

  4. Plum jam and walnuts 

Or savoury: 

  1. Onion jam and bacon 

  2. Spinach, feta and sundried tomato 

  3. Bacon & egg 

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