Buttah makes it Bettah

Because I don’t have enough on my to-do list (haha, sarcasm!), I decided that homemade brioche would be my project for the week. Warning: The recipe is time intensive. I only recommend this project if you have a lot of time on your hands….or you’re crazy like me. Also, this bread contains a lot of butter. That’s what makes it delicious. Don’t skimp.

Homemade Brioche (makes 3 mini loaves or one 8″ x 4″ loaf)

Adapted from: The Craft of Baking by Karen DeMasco

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups bread flour (higher in gluten than all-purpose)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs (preferably organic)
  • 1 heaping tsp of instant yeast (about 1/2 packet)
  • 1/2 Tbs salt
  • 12 Tbs (1.5 sticks) chilled unsalted European butter (higher in fat) cut into small pieces
  • More butter to grease the bowl and pan
  • 3 seasoned soup cans (see note)

*I baked my brioche in 3 soup cans, but you could also bake it in an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan. Before using the soup cans, they must be seasoned. Wash and dry cans thoroughly and then bake in a 450 degree oven for one hour. This will separate the lining from the aluminum shell of the can. Once cans have cooled, rub the inside with a paper towel to remove every trace of the lining. Beware: My cans smelled really noxious as they were being “seasoned” – maybe it was the lining burning off? Uhhh, sorry about that roomie! Also – I realized this too late, but make sure your cans don’t have a lip at the top. That makes removing the baked bread veryyyyy difficult.

Directions:

  •  In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix together flour and sugar.
  • Bring 2″ of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place a heat-safe bowl on top (make sure bottom does not touch the water). Whisk together eggs and yeast in bowl for 1 minute, until eggs are warm.
  • Add warm egg mixture to flour mixture and turn the stand mixer on medium for 4 minutes. Slowly add in salt.
  • Add in butter, bit by bit. Mix with dough hook for another 6 minutes until dough comes together in a ball.
  • Take dough out of bowl and toss it and shape it into a ball with your hands for a few minutes.
  • Place in a buttered bowl, cover with a damp dishtowel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
  • Punch down the dough and allow it to rise again overnight (at least 6 hours) in the fridge.
  • Butter the soup cans and divide the dough amongst them. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 more hours.
  • Bake at 350 F for about 25-30 minutes. Immediately after removing from the oven, tap the bottom of the soup can to extract the bread. Running a knife around the edge can also help to loosen the bread.
  • Enjoy the brioche warm with (more!) butter and jam or use the bread to make french toast.

**Note: I’m not sure if it was the temperature or the humidity of my kitchen, but I ended up needing to add more flour in order for my dough to come together.

That poor little guy in the back is a tad mishapen. I blame it on the soup can.

Yay! Butter.

As far as running goes, this has been a MUCH better week than last. After cross-training on Sunday and Monday, the calf felt good enough to hit the roads. 9 miles on Tuesday evening, 9 miles on Wednesday, and 10 miles this morning (Thursday). Huzzah! Dear left calf muscle – Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for healing! You done good.

What’s the most time or labor intensive recipe that you’ve ever made?

  • Wow, soup cans! Is it common (?) to make brioche in soup cans, or are you just being all DIY clever, here? This looks SO good.

    I was hardcore into baking in high school and made all sorts of time-intensive concoctions. I remember making some ridiculous strudel and having to use the entire kitchen table to stretch the dough out thin across it. Now I stick to quick cookies and breads, due to my own laziness and lack of ambition.

    Woot to the calf for cooperating!

  • My hubby and I made beef bourgiana (sp?). It took all day and tasted great!! It made waaay too much food just for the 2 of us. I also love making stuff in the crock pot. It does take all day, but not to much work.

  • I would say my homemade pie crusts are pretty labor intensive. Definitely worth it though! Nice work with your brioche!

  • Yay for butter!! That brioche looks amazing. I never heard of making it in a can before, but it looks really cool!

  • Julia

    Your brioche look A-MA-ZING!

    My most labor intensive recipes have been, like Michele, boeuf bourguignon and, like Megan, a bread (specifically, a cardamom-spiced Scandinavian bread called nisua). Both were entirely worth the effort!

  • I’ve left all my labor-intensive recipes in the past and can no longer remember them… there was a stretch of two years when I lived by myself, though, and ate vegan and raw for part of that time, so I know I must have had a few good long-prep recipes in there. Now it’s all quick breads and cookies, as Cathleen writes. And soups.

    But your brioche looks fantastic, and I’m impressed that you didn’t get flour all over yourself (or at least not in the photo).

  • butttah reminds me of paula dean 🙂 and i don’t think i’ve ever really done a time intensive cooking project before. the most is probably 30 minutes. i am sooooo not a cook! hahah

  • Those look awesome! They remind me of pop-overs- I bet this recipe would work well in pop-over tins, too. I totally agree- butter is so important. 😉

  • I didn’t realize European butter was higher in fat! Hmm, I might have to pick up some fancy butter next grocery trip…I heart butter.

    I made curry from scratch one time and that was pretty labor intensive….pounding down all the seeds and spices in a mortar and pestle! Homemade ravioli is also up there. I’m afraid of yeast so I’ve never made bread! 🙂

  • Who knew a soup can could lead to something so beautiful?

  • How cool! John and I once made a crap load of naan. It took pretty much all day, but it was absolutely worth it

  • wow bread in cans! really interesting. i love the final result. i am soooooooooo not a baker tho. i sometimes make muffins… 🙂 bread sounds soooo good tho!!! warm w/ butter esp 🙂