Champagne Yeast Brioche Bread Recipe
Brioche was most likely the cake to which Marie Antoinette was referring when she said, "Let them eat cake." Brioche is a bit of a hybrid: yeast raised like a bread and rich with eggs and butter like cake. The loaf by itself is not overly sweet, but it lends itself well to both sweet or savory pairings. Using champagne yeast to make the dough ups the celebratory factor and makes this champagne yeast brioche bread perfect for your New Year's Eve Extravaganza!
- 3 oz water
- 2 oz whole mik
- .15 oz dry champagne yeast (available online or from your local home brew store)
- .15 oz sugar
- 4 oz bread flour
- All the sponge
- 12 oz whole eggs (6 or 7--weigh them out of the shell)
- 1.75 oz sugar
- .33 oz kosher salt
- 11 oz bread flour
- 3.75 oz all purpose flour
- 1 pound, 1 oz butter, softened and beaten with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixer until smooth
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and stir well to combine.
- Cover and let rise in a warm, cozy place until the sponge is very bubbly. This could take 2-3 hours.
- Add all the dough ingredients except the butter to the sponge.
- Place the bowl on your mixer and fit it with the dough hook.
- Mix on low speed for about 3 minutes until the dough comes together. Then knead on medium speed for 3-4 minutes.
- Turn the mixer speed to medium low and begin adding the softened, whipped butter a bit at a time--no more than 2 tablespoons at a time, allowing one addition to get completely incorporated before adding another. Scrape bowl as necessary. This whole operation should take about 15-20 minutes.
- Once all the butter has been incorporated, knead an additional 3-4 minutes at medium speed. The dough should magically clear the sides of the bowl. Once you turn the mixer off, the dough will flow to fill the bowl. Remove and scrape off the dough hook.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8-10 hours (overnight is easiest).
- When ready to shape the dough, prepare 2 1½ pound loaf pans by spraying lightly with pan spray. Set aside.
- Scrape the chilled and firm dough out on a clean work surface. Divide in half (I generally weigh the total amount of dough and divide by two so my loaves are almost identical.) Press each half out into a rectangle and then roll up to make a smooth cylinder slightly longer than the length of your pan. Tuck the ends under just a bit and fit each shaped loaf into the pan. There will be a lot of room in the pan, but worry not. The dough will rise to the occasion.
- Spray the tops of the loaves lightly with pan spray and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow to rise at cool room temperature until the dough completely fills the pan and the dough is about even with the top of the pan, anywhere from 5-7 hours.
- About 45 minutes before baking, place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 400F. If you have a baking stone, place it on the rack to heat.
- When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap from the loaves and place on the rack. Bake for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to 350F, and bake an additional 25-30 minutes more until well-risen and deeply golden brown. When done, the internal temperature should be right around 200F, give or take 4-5 degrees. If the loaves seem to be browning too much before they're done, loosely tent them with foil.
- Remove to a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Loosen sides with a small spatula if necessary and turn out on racks to cool completely.
- Enjoy in almost any manner you can think of.
I know there are a lot of steps and a ton of waiting around time, but you will be rewarded with 2 champagne yeast brioche loaves you will be proud to serve. Or eat alone without sharing.
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I used a mixture of both the champagne yeasts listed. Feel free to use one or the other, or stick with bread yeast. That will work just fine as well.
Since brioche dough is so rich and heavy and takes a very long time to knead, I'm recommending a KitchenAid with all-metal gearing and a direct drive transmission so there will be no chance of quieter yet not as robust nylon gears to strip out.
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Enjoy the champagne yeast brioche bread, friends! We certainly are. I have plans to turn some of it into bread pudding while I eat the rest with a ton of butter and honey and jam.
Here's a long pin for you, too, in case you'd like to save this recipe. Enjoy!
Thank you so much for spending some time with me and the Progressive Eats gang today! I hope you enjoy the holidays. And this bread!
Take care, and have a lovely day.
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