I’ve found several recipes that include brioche bread so I decided to try out the artisan style brioche dough from “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”.  It is really easy to make and once you have the dough you can make it into anything you want.  I made the sweet dough but there is also a savory variation.  I had in mind french toast and bread pudding so I made loaves that I can slice or cut into pieces to fit my recipes but you can also make cinnamon rolls or individual rolls; really anything is possible.   We toasted a couple slices and slathered some pumpkin butter on top.  Umm, really good!

To make 2 loaves you’ll need flour, water, yeast, kosher salt, honey, butter and eggs.  I mixed everything by hand in a 5 quart ice cream bucket but you can mix it with a stand mixer if you want.

Start with 3/4 cup lukewarm water and add 3/4 tablespoon of salt and yeast.

Next add the beaten eggs and melted butter.  Give that a good stir.

Stir in 1/4 cup of honey.

Begin blending in the flour a little at a time until all the flour is incorporated.

That looks good.

Secure the lid (not airtight) and allow to sit at room temperature until doubled in bulk, around 2 – 3 hours.

Once the dough has risen, chill the dough in the fridge for at least 3 hours.  The dough will be easier to handle once it’s chilled.

I floured a large cutting board so that I can easily knead the dough.

I made a large mound which I will divide in half.

I used a pastry cutter to divide the dough but a large knife will work as well.

I’m going to then divide each loaf into 4 pieces that will give my bread some shape and look pretty.  Take each piece and knead them to fit into the loaf pans.

You can variate the design however you like or you can make plain loaves too.

Cover them with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise.

If all goes well your dough will double in bulk and will rise to the top of your loaf pans.  Beat an egg and add a tablespoon of water.  Brush it over the tops of your loaves to make them golden brown and pretty.

Pop them into a preheated 400 degree oven for 25 – 30 minutes.

Let them cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

It smells so wonderful right now!

Brioche Dough (adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

3/4 cups Lukewarm Water
3/4 tablespoons Yeast
3/4 tablespoons Kosher Salt
4 Eggs, beaten
1/4 cup Honey
1 1/2 sticks Unsalted Butter, melted
3 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour

Mix the water, yeast and salt in a 5 quart lidded food container.  Let the yeast begin to foam then add the eggs, melted butter and honey; stir well.

Begin to add the flour a little at a time until all the flour is incorporated.  Cover the container with the lid and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 – 3 hours.

When dough has doubled in bulk, place in refrigerator at least 3 hours.  Dough will be less sticky when chilled.  Shape the dough into loaves and place in 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pans.  Make an egg wash with 1 beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water.  Brush over loaves  and place in a preheated oven at 400 degrees to bake for 25 – 30 minutes.

Makes 2 loaves