Homemade brioche

My husband makes bread, when he has time, from his starter. He does sourdoughs, etc, using Flour Water Salt Yeast. But the first book I got him was Tartine Bread, which I think is a horrible starter book, and he had mostly disappointments using it. I use it to make brioche bread, which the books say is a very forgiving dough, which is good because I think their recipe sucks. But here is my version.

You first must make a polish, which the books says you can tell is ready when it floats. I have NEVER gotten it to float. Just wait four hours. Then start recipe.

It also says to put dry ingredients into standing mixer first. DON"T. Put wet ingredients first!

You have to scrape and scrape the bottom if you put dry first.

The next giant omission in the recipe is when they tell you to add butter, an inch at a time, of a pound of butter. It takes around 30 minutes, which they neglect to tell you. Put a comfy mat under your feet! I have only had it pull away from the bowl, the way the recipe says, a few times. This was one of them. It is also supposed to be silky. This doesn’t look silky to me. But again, it doesn’t seem to matter. I think I had it look silky once.

I let it rise and and knead or turn the dough in this plastic container we got at Surfas.

I used to freeze some of the dough, because it makes at least! five loaves. Now I freeze the cooked bread because I found the rise after the freezer was never as good as when it was fresh. Friends kept telling me they froze my bread so I finally tried it, and it’s now my preference.

Turned out and ready to be cut into individual loaves.

I’m still in the very early learning stages of shaping dough. I used to just cut and drop it into the molds. Now I at least attempt to shape it. Don’t know if there is any noticeable difference.

Since it makes 5 loaves and I didn’t want to turn on my large gas oven, I proofed these two loaves in my steamer over, which cuts the proofing time in half.

Post proof.

Now these loaves are baking. Another advantage of baking all the loaves at once is the egg wash. You only have to make it once, and it’s a hard recipe to half, since it calls for one egg. Well, it calls for one egg yolk, but I just use one duck egg, since I only buy duck.

Nice, glossy tops, out of oven. Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, says the brioche.

The other molds, or pans that I use are these.

They make for a prettier loaf.

Made dinner with one loaf. Had to taste test.

Making grilled cheese with bacon and porcini sandwiches in my compact car of a sandwich press.

Forgot to get the after pic, but they were great sandwiches! Also, this bread makes the best french toast. It soaks up all the batter.

I use the book but I found this online. Same recipe.


OH WOW!!! Those are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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Thank you! I consider myself still a beginner w/ bread, but I, for the life of me, CANNOT get the Tartine sourdough recipe to turn out. I get a soggy, overproofed mess. Much prefer the Ken Forkish recipe.

I think it’s “poolish,” BTW. :wink:

And my starter likes 75 deg water. Yeah, I know that makes absolutely NO sense.

I’ve recommended the Ken Forkish book to folks and everyone who uses it makes amazing bread. We only keep the tartine book around for the brioche recipe. Somehow or another, they’ve left out key steps. A butcher friend once told me chefs do that deliberately, so you can never quite achieve the same results as theirs. But with bread…?

I was very foolish for not checking the spelling of poolish! I’ll ask my husband about his starter. The starter is his baby, and he even makes my poolish if I make bread.

great bread @Xochitl! Personally don’t find either of those starter recipes from those books helpful. Lots of waste too using so much dough and discard. My success comes from using a rye starter and I only keep about 25-50 grams of it around. The most helpful starter site for me was theperfectloaf.com


I read or watched somewhere the Ken Forkish uses a gigantic amount for the starter (the part that’s directly added to the bread dough; I guess the “preferment” according to the King Arthur website, but I thought it was levain) b/c it allows for more wiggle room if you measure incorrectly. That makes perfect sense, but I also find it to be really wasteful, so I think I halve it (or something like that).

theperfectloaf.com is a like a black hole for me (in a good way), so I don’t read it often. :wink:

Ohmigod, don’t worry! It’s one of the few things I can do to prove my bread mastery, since my loaves are so inconsistent. :frowning:

I used the (master) starter recipe from Vatinet. It look FOREVER for the starter to show some action and it’s only now after 2 yrs that the starter seems pretty (but not amazingly) vigorous. I put the starter in the fridge b/c I’m too lazy to feed even weekly, so the consolidated age of the starter is probably more like a few months. The last loaves I made (6 mos ago for my b-day) were AWESOME. But the last few b/f that were very hit or miss.

I think where I’m getting tripped up is the final rise. I still don’t think I’m doing the finger dent test correctly. My dough is super sticky, and so I can’t really tell if it’s denting. I’m pretty sure they’re really underproofed, but I’m making them for the holidays and have to leave for a party, so…

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This thread just makes me want to bake. Going to have some free time coming up soon. Guess this maybe the hobby to fill my time. I hope I know enough people I can share my experiments with. Thanks, @Xochitl for sharing!


Wanted my husband to reply to the issue of waste with the Ken Forkish starter recipe -

We don’t make bread that often, so I usually feed the starter every 10-14 days, sometimes I let it go longer than that. When I feed it and it has been about 10 days between feeding, I pretty much follow his recipe. If I have let it go longer, then I will save only 80-100g of the starter, wash out the container, then start again with 300-500g of whole wheat, the remainder to make up 500g is white flour. This is all using 400g of warm water. If we are going to make bread, then I just feed it 2 days before, the night before and in the morning of use. It works just fine and I’m not throwing out pounds of flour each week.

Sorry for the late reply to my own posting, but wanted it in his words. I don’t know if this helps, but just another way!

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People love this bread! Almost better than the bread are the gifts I get in return - persimmons, duck confit, etc. It’s a happy world of sharing! :grinning:


Beautiful @Xochitl. Ahem, paging @maccrogenoff!

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