This brioche is one of the nicest memories from my childhood- yes it is an old recipe! I remember that my neighbor, already a grandma at that time, was making bread and brioches for the whole family. Always once a week. They still have this special bread oven, where you can bake bread and any kind of cakes. It was incredible to see all those foods come out of the oven. I still remember the smell and the taste of it. As you might know, brioche is very popular in France too, but the quality is on many occasions questionable. So some time ago I called my mom just to see if she could ask our neighbor what the recipe for this brioche was. Believe me or not, they still make it exactly the same way as their grandma did- she’s in her 90’s now, so she only watches her daughter and the granddaughters how they prepare the dough. Apparently she complains about it all the time. I can tell you something. This recipe probably has not changed for the last 80 years or so. When I made this brioche, I kept it wrapped with the kitchen foil for 5 days and it was still good- delicious with my morning coffee and apricot jam. This is simply an old and proper way of making food. Try it for yourself, especially if you appreciate lack of E450 or F500 in your food, as I call it. Making this brioche requires some time, but considering how long it lasts, I think it’s really worth to make the effort. I’m really happy to share this recipe with you.
Makes at least 20 servings- only a half of the original recipe, preparation time- around 2 h, time in the oven- 45-50 min, oven temperature- 180 C
Here is the original recipe. I decreased it and used only half of the ingredients, and the brioche was still enormous!
- 1kg of flour
- 1l of milk- it has to be warm but not too warm- the best way to check if it’s OK -at least that’s what I do, is just to put your finger into the pot and wait for a few seconds, if you can handle it easily it means it’s the proper temperature
- 50g of yeast- the active ones
- 5 table spoons of olive oil
- 2 eggs
- salt- 1 tea spoon
- sugar- I add 3-4 table spoons if it’s for breakfast, if you would like to use it as bread add only 1-2 table spoons
In advance warm up some milk- about half a glass. In a big glass bowl combine together milk, yeast and 1 table spoon of sugar. Mix everything very gently until dissolved. Leave it aside in a warm place for about 20 min- in my case the bathroom is good- small and warm. Here on the last picture you can see that yeast is “working” properly.
Prepare flour, eggs, olive oil, salt and sugar. Also warm up the rest of milk. Remember that milk cannot be too hot. If so you will kill the yeast- literally. The temperature will kill it.
Once the yeast mixture is ready, start adding slowly to it all ingredients. Do it gradually, add some flour, eggs and milk. Combine altogether until the consistency is smooth and creamy and then start again. Repeat everything until the dough absorbs all ingredients. Below I showed you the whole process from the very beginning until the dough is basically ready.
The key to the success with this type of dough is that you have to beat it really well for about 30 min. It’s the air coming inside of the dough, that is making it grow, when it’s in the oven. Look at the dough’s consistency below.
Beat well, until the dough has pulled out together and then leave it aside for about 40 min in a warm place. After this time the dough should look like below.
At this stage you have to start the whole process again, which means you need to beat the dough for another 15 min or so. Have a look at its consistency- that’s how it should look like after 40 min of resting.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and start kneading until it gets smooth and supple- it should take another 10-15 minutes.
Once the dough is ready, divide it into two equal pieces and form them into loaves. I usually combine them together, like on those pictures below- but it’s optional and only because the crust looks nicer. So it’s up to you. Place the brioche into the baking form. Again leave aside in a warm place for another 20 min or so. Preheat the oven at this stage.
As the last thing, brush the brioche with an egg wash. Do it gently though. Place the dough in the oven for about 50 min.