Nothing is better than a fresh homemade Braided Brioche for breakfast. I am sharing with you today a very easy recipe.
You can make it on the same day if you want, or prepare it the day before, and bake it the following day.
A few tips to have the best Braided Brioche
You need to properly knead your Brioche so it is soft and with the good consistency.
At the end of the kneading process, the dough should not stick to the bowl anymore, it should clap on the side of the bowls (you should hear a tap tap sound).
To try the dough to see if the gluten formed properly, stretch a piece of dough with your hands. It shouldn’t tear.
You can chill the dough on entire night, so it has time to develop. It slows the fermentation process and chill the butter, making it easier to shape. If you want to do everything on the same day, chill it at least 30 minutes (see recipe).
When it comes to the second proofing step, make sure you don’t let it overproof. It is actually better to bake a Brioche a little under proofed than the opposite. That is because it will deflate in the oven like a souffle if it has over proofed and you will end up with a tortilla instead of a Brioche.
Preheat your oven with a baking sheet inside and bake your Braided Brioche on the hot baking sheet. It helps the yeast to develop, and you will have a nice chubby Brioche.
Ingredients are important
Make sure to use good quality ingredients. Your Brioche will be all the better this way.
Butter: it is very important to use good quality butter, if possible 84% fat. We usually use 50% of the amount of flour for the butter. The butter will help having a Brioche that melt in the mouth.
Flour: in France, we use Gruau flour which I haven’t been able to find in the US. You can use all purpose flour or pastry flour.
Pearl Sugar: I love Pearl Sugar on my Brioche. It gives a nice crunchy texture to it. It is not easy to find on the US but you can order it online (see here). Its advantage is that it doesn’t melt when baked so you keep the crunchiness.
How to have a golden Braided Brioche ?
We use an egg wash to have that nice golden look. Whisk an egg with a little bit of water and apply with a brush on your Brioche. We apply it twice: once before proofing (it seals the Brioche, so it doesn’t form a crust on top) and a second time before baking.
We add the sugar right before baking, after the second egg wash, so it doesn’t absorb the egg.
How to store your Braided Brioche
The bigger your Brioche is (braided brioche for example versus individual ones the longer you’ll be able to keep it fresh. If you want to have fresh Brioche a few days in a row, make a big one instead of small ones. The store-bought Brioche keeps fresh longer due to preservative. Homemade one will dry out pretty fast. A few tips will help you keep it fresh longer.
When you take it out of the oven, let it cool down on a rack (to avoid condensation).
Once cool down, wrap your Brioche in a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to slow down the drying. Don’t slice it in advance or it will dry out faster.
You can freeze your Brioche very easily. Just wait for it to completely cool down, wrap in plastic and freeze. Take it out of the freezer the night before to have Brioche in the morning.
Toast it or quickly warm it up in the oven to enjoy it for breakfast.
What to eat with your Braided Brioche ?
It is of course perfect by itself when fresh. But you can also eat it with your favorite chocolate spread, jam etc
I love dipping it into milk. You can also enjoy it with a hot chocolate or your coffee!
When your Brioche is too dry to be eaten, repurpose it into French Toast.
For the dough
- 165 g flour
- 4 g salt
- 30 g sugar
- 100 g eggs
- 3.5 g dry active yeast or 10g fresh yeast
- 80 g butter 84% fat
- 1 egg
- Pearl sugar
- Use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix all the ingredients except for the butter. Knead for 5 minutes on low to mix well everything, then increase the speed and knead 7 minutes to make a smooth, stretchy dough.
- Add the butter on slow and mix until incorporated. Once incorporated (a few minutes) knead on high until the dough becomes elastic. The dough should be glossy and smooth (see article for more details).
- Form a ball with the dough, put in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
- Gently remove the air from the dough, make a ball again, cover and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes (ideally all night).
- Divide in 3 equal pieces. Slightly flatten the dough one by one and roll it slowly until it gets to about 6 inches (15 cm). Chill for 10 minutes.
- Roll again until you have 3 long “ropes” of about 16 inches (40 cm).
- Pinch all ends together and braid. Place your brioche on a parchment paper and slightly tuck in both ends under the Brioche so it looks nice.
- Beat your egg with a little bit of water and brush the brioche with it. Let rise for 1h30 at 30C (86F).
- Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) with a baking sheet in it. Brush the brioche again with your beaten egg. Sprinkle the pearl sugar on top of it.
- Gently place the brioche on the hot baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.