This recipe comes from the International Culinary Institute in New York City. The recipe uses the metric system for its weights and measures so you'll need a kitchen scale that weighs in grams and kilograms.
Makes 5 loaves
- 1250 grams bread flour
- 275 grams water
- 125 grams milk
- 275 grams eggs
- 20 grams instant yeast (or 50 grams fresh yeast)
- 150 grams sugar
- 25 grams salt
- 400 grams butter (cold but pliable)
Step 1: In a stand mixer mix together all of the ingredients except the sugar, salt, and butter.
Step 2: Mix on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes until some gluten is developed. Don't worry; what starts out as a sticky mess becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. The window pane test is a good method to check for gluten development. Take a small piece of dough the size of a walnut and pull it until you have a window. When gluten is fully developed, you will have a nice window that looks like latex. Because you don't want a fully developed dough, the window at this point should not look like latex and will not be totally clear.
Step 3: After some gluten is developed, add sugar and salt. Mix on medium speed for approximately 3 to 5 minutes. The gluten in the dough should be fully developed at this point. Do another window pane test and this time you should have a nice window that looks like latex.
Step 4: Add the butter on low speed and continue to mix until it's fully incorporated.
Step 5: Form the dough into a ball, place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl, and it let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This is called the bulk fermentation process. This process is necessary for the flavor to develop.
Step 6: Divide the dough into five 450 gram pieces. Shape them into round balls and let rest for 15 minutes.
Step 7: Shape into batards or braided loaves. Place the shaped dough into greased pans and egg wash immediately after shaping. Cover lightly, and let rise for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until it's doubled and looks very puffy.
Step 8: Egg wash again before baking. Place the pans into a preheated 350°F oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Brioche should be a deep brown when done, should sound hollow when tapped, and will read 190°F at the center using an instant-read thermometer. Remove the brioche from the oven, and after 10 minutes remove it from the pan to cool completely on a rack.