Make your day better…with yeast…

It’s been a pretty somber mood around here, with my Flames making an early exit. Between that and some stress I have been dealing with lately that only means one thing….yeast breads. I don’t know what it is about yeast breads that make me feel better. It’s not like they remind me of my childhood, my mother is not much of a yeast baker, though she is vowing to start this year. I will gently nudge her to make sure she does. Yeast breads are one of those baking things that people really shy away from. I admit that they can sometimes be stubborn and temperamental…getting all picky about the weather and what not. I think that brioche is a great starter yeast bread for virgin bakers. I can’t really think of a recipe for brioche that I have made that hasn’t turned out well, if not fabulous. Seeing Helen make brioche the other day steered me in that direction. I chose to make this a sweet bread so that I could send it as a snack for my hubby at work. He was definitely a fan. You could roll just about anything you want up in this bread and it would probably be super tasty…well, maybe not duck beak, but lets be realistic here people.
Round two of the playoffs start in a couple of days and depending on how the Sabres do there could be much, much more yeast based products coming your way.

Golden Brioche

The big bowl and tireless motor of a standing mixer take the heavy work out of preparing these tender brioche loaves.

1/3 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
1/3 cup warm milk (105°F to 115°F)
2 envelopes dry yeast
3 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
3 large eggs
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, each stick cut into 4 pieces, room temperature
1 egg, beaten to blend with 1 tablespoon water (for glaze)

Place 1/3 cup warm water, warm milk, and yeast in bowl of standing heavy-duty mixer; stir until yeast dissolves. Fit mixer with dough hook. Add flour and salt to bowl; mix on low speed just until flour is moistened, about 10 seconds. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl. Beat in 3 eggs on low speed, then add sugar. Increase speed to medium and beat until dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add butter, 1 piece at a time, beating until each piece is almost incorporated before adding next (dough will be soft and batter-like). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until dough pulls away from sides of bowl, about 7 minutes.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until almost doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Lift up dough around edges and allow dough to fall and deflate in bowl. Cover bowl with plastic and chill until dough stops rising, lifting up dough around edges and allowing dough to fall and deflate in bowl every 30 minutes, about 2 hours total. Cover bowl with plastic; chill dough overnight.

Butter and flour three 7 1/2×3 1/2×2-inch loaf pans. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Cut each dough piece into 4 equal pieces. Roll each into 3 1/2-inch-long log, forming 12 logs total. Arrange 4 logs crosswise in bottom of each prepared loaf pan. Place loaf pans on baking sheet. Cover pans with waxed paper. Let loaves rise at room temperature until dough almost fills pans, about 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Gently brush top of loaves with egg glaze. Bake until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn loaves out onto racks; cool at least 1 hour. (Can be made ahead. Cool completely. Wrap loaves in foil; place in resealable plastic bags and store at room temperature 1 day or freeze up to 1 month. Rewarm room-temperature or thawed loaves wrapped in foil in 350°F oven about 15 minutes, if desired.)

Makes 3 loaves.

Bon Appĩtit
February 2003

What I did different. I gave the original recipe if you want to make it that way. I left my dough in over night and did not preshape my bread. In the morning, I took out half of the batch and made cinnamon apple rolls(recipe on another post to come) and used the other half to my my hubby some chocolate chip brioche. I simply rolled my dough out, as if I were making cinnamon rolls. I sprinkled a little over a cup of semisweet chocolate chips(wasn’t really paying attention). Rolled it up, cut it in half and placed it into two greased mini loaf pans. I let those rise for an hour. I bake them at 375F for about 25 minutes(it is best to watch it starting at the 15 minute mark).

Just a reminder, Livestrong Day is coming up. See what you can do to participate in this special cancer awareness day!




  1. Awww, I want a stand mixer :( Man, I keep seeing these golden brioches but I have no mixer to make them with, and all my cookbooks say that it’s too sticky to mix by hand *sniff* What am I meant to do?

  2. danielle says:

    looks beautiful!!!!

  3. Oh my! Does this look FABULOUS! :)

  4. Oh yum, yum, yum! And – since my Thrashers got blown out of the series – Go Sabres! I have to cheer for someone…and with a Brioche like this? I am with whoever Peabody wants. hee hee!

  5. I’m on the brioche bandwagon too, I just made some. Your addition of chocolate makes it infinitely better though.

  6. I think it’s the smell of baking bread that just naturally makes everyone feel better. What a beautiful little loaf.

    Not to worry about the Flames … they’ll do better next season.

    Go Sabres!

  7. Any chance I could halve this?

    My mom used to make cinnamon rolls out of yeast bread.

  8. What do you say we get Ellie a stand mixer?!
    Your brioche looks like big soft pillows to rest your head onto in times of stress…which I hope goes away fast.
    I am afraid it will be gone in no time in our house!

  9. Bread and chocolate…what could be better for feeling better. The bread looks amazing with all that chocolate.

  10. Stress! Did somebody say stress!
    I’ve been carrying three bread books up and down the stairs, wanting, needing to bake some bread but another stress in the kitchen has been sucking my time. Today I must bake bread. I think Ivonne’s got some good part of it…it’s the smell of baking bread that’s wonderful but first it’s the kneading!
    That cinnamon apple sounds soooo good but then that chocolate chip filling looks pretty thrilling too!

  11. Oh wow.. that looks so good, Gracie!! I’ll bet your husband was very happy, yes? =)

    Looking forward to seeing the cinnamon apple too! *swoon*


  12. It looks spectacular! Not to mention how good it looks!

  13. Brava!! Brioche! You’re my hero this morning.:):) That looks just about perfect.

  14. I hope everything goes better for you soon. But I sure do like how you bake under stress. Bread and chocolate is a lovely combo.

  15. Could you hear me crying Sunday night? They just didn’t have it together. Brioche is everywhere all of a sudden! So glad to see it’s not as complicated as I thought. Now I can try some of The Barefoot Contessa’s recipes.

    Go Sens! Go Canucks! (Have to stay with the Canadian teams as long as possible.)

  16. It looks divine, Peabody – it’s 3pm here, perfect time for some wonderful brioche!

  17. Umm- shouldn’t this say “make your day better…with chocolate”?
    looks lovely.

  18. Gorgeous, Pea! Brioche can brighten even the gloomiest of days… I can’t wait to see the cinnimon apple rolls!

  19. Oh my. Be still my beating heart! Wow, this looks delicious.

  20. Peabody- you amaze me!

    Thanks for the reminder of LiveStrong Day. I try to live it everyday.

  21. Holy crap. Let me just quit my job…

    Let’s open a cooking (mostly me)/baking (mostly you) enterprise and make millions never doing anything…

    Ugh, not that easy?? Well, even if it isn’t that easy, this bread is the best looking thing I have seen for quite some time…yum…


  22. Peabody I now know exactly what I’m doing with the chocolate sticks I bought on my last visit to the King Arthur mothership (impulse buy). Who needs just any ole bread when they can Chocolate and sweet eggy brioche? Great loaf!!!

  23. peabody — this looks amazing. i love that awkward shape in the second photograph. i can’t wait to try this one. i’ve never made brioche!

  24. i love brioche and i know this may be blasphemy…but we don’t do white flour…what do you think using whoel wheat and spelt or something along those lines?

  25. hmmn, I haven’t had a problem with yeast yet. The first time I used it was for no-knead bread and that worked like a charm. the next was for the croissants. So I haven’t really had much to do with it yet. I’m getting into a bread making mood nowadays.

  26. Brioche is one bread I haven’t tried to make, but you can guarantee I will be soon! Looks delicious.

  27. Okay Peabody – you’re going on the “Don’t look unless you want to make what she’s making” list along with the Creampuff. Everything you make looks to good to resist to me, and that goes double for the chocolate peanut butter muffins. The fact that I don’t even have time to be writing this doesn’t figure into the equation at all.

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