Alive and Cooking

Brioche Vendeenne, Brioche Dough

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500 g plain flour, sifted
15 g or 3 teaspoons dry yeast
200 ml lukewarm full cream milk
1 egg yolk
65 g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
250 g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
egg wash (1 egg and 1 egg yolk beaten with 50 ml milk)


Put the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer with the hook attachment, make a well in the centre and add the yeast and 1/3 of the milk. Sprinkle a little bit of flour over the top and wait a
few minutes to make sure the yeast is working (it starts to
bubble). Add the sugar and salt then the eggs, one by one, mixing well each time, alternating with the rest of the milk.

Mix on low speed, scraping the dough off the hook after about 5 minutes, until it forms a consistently smooth, elastic dough (about 10 minutes in total).

Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, and mix on medium speed, making sure it is completely incorporated before adding the next amount.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and bang it quite hard onto the bench at least six times until the dough
no longer sticks to the bench (this expels any gas from the dough). Put the dough in a large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm room (about 21°C). When it has doubled in volume (at least 40 minutes), bang it again a few times on the bench so it goes back to its original size. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (see note).

Preheat the oven to 200°C and lightly grease brioche moulds (or muffin tins).

Break the dough into ten 100 g pieces and form these into balls or brioche shapes and place them in the moulds . Leave to rise, uncovered, in a warm room until doubled in volume (about 25 minutes), then brush with egg wash and bake for about 10 minutes.

Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C, turn them upside down to cook through, and cook for a further 5–10 minutes until golden brown.

To check if the brioche is cooked, insert the tip of a skewer into the top; if it comes out clean, the brioche is ready.

Makes about 1 kg
dough or enough for
8–10 brioches.

Tip: Eat your brioche warm with honey and a cup of tea, or wait until the next morning and dip it in your coffee … parfait!

Storage: Freeze any uncooked dough for up to one week.

Note: Brioche dough is easier to shape if it has been refrigerated overnight; however, this step can be skipped and the brioche made the same day.

Brioche Vendeenne, Brioche Dough

Recipe from Et Voila!
French Pastries from Choux Cafe by Emmanuel Mollois
(Fremantle Press)

Et Voila

Brioche first officially appeared on the culinary scene in 1404, but it was Marie-Antoinette, during the French Revolution, who made it famous. When the peasants were protesting in the street because they were starving and couldn’t afford bread, Marie-Antoinette is reputed to have said: ‘Let them eat brioche.’

For almost every Frenchman, brioche evokes childhood memories — soft brioche spread with homemade strawberry jam for afternoon tea. Délicieux! Then, later in life, brioche becomes a morning tradition, dipped into café au lait. In fact, it is a French custom to dip everything in coffee (croissant, baguette, biscuits). Today brioche comes in many different shapes and can even be filled with fruit. In the Vendée, where I come from, it is our traditional wedding cake and can measure up to 1.3 m long! It is served at the end of the ceremony, signalling the time to dance.