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There is nothing like a loaf of buttery rich brioche bread. And this sourdough brioche bread recipe is perfect for French toast, or just to simply slather with butter and jam.
If you have been hanging around lately, then you know I’ve been on quite the sourdough terror lately. My sourdough starter has found a new home on my counter.
Bags of flour have found their purpose. And we have enjoyed way too many sandwiches, slices of toast, and now the best ever French toast thanks to this sourdough brioche bread recipe.
After making my Sourdough Bread Recipe and this whole wheat sandwich sourdough bread I made this sourdough brioche my next adventure. And I’m so glad I did. Best. Bread. Ever.
What makes brioche bread different than other breads?
Brioche is different than other yeast breads, because it’s an enriched dough. Enriched doughs, or rich doughs, are “rich” because of the addition of ingredients like milk, eggs, and butter.
It’s these ingredients that makes literally a rich bread. It’s soft and fluffy, like my Traditional Challah Bread Recipe.
What does brioche bread taste like?
Ok so we have established that this bread is rich. Soft. Fluffy. It has a flaky exterior and this buttery fluffy interior.
It’s airy and light. Basically it’s like a bread pillow.
Getting Started With Sourdough
If you are new to sourdough then you will want to check out my other sourdough posts so you can be on your way to making sourdough bread, like this sourdough brioche recipe.
- How To Make Sourdough Starter From Scratch
- How To Feed And Maintain A Sourdough Starter
- My Favorite Sourdough Bread Tools and Resources
- Sourdough 101: What Is Sourdough?
How Can I Tell When My Sourdough Starter Is Ready To Use?
You need your starter bubbly and active before you use it in the recipe. The trick I’ve picked up is to take a small piece of starter and drop it into a glass of water. The starter should float if it’s ready to use.
If it doesn’t, then it may need another feeding before using.
Ingredients For This Sourdough Brioche Bread Recipe
- Bread flour – This flour has a higher protein content than all purpose flour which is great for bread where you want the gluten to form. But AP flour would still work. You can read all about the different Types Of Flours here.
- Salt – Salt plays an important role in bread baking. Salt helps to strengthen the dough.
- Bubbly, active starter – You want to make sure it’s bubbly and active first so you get a good rise.
- Eggs – Large eggs to be exact. Bring to room temperature quickly in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
- Milk – Whole or 2% is best
- Butter – You want to use cold unsalted butter.
How To Make This Sourdough Brioche Bread Recipe
Make the brioche dough
To make this sourdough brioche bread recipe, start by making the dough. You want to combine the flour, sugar, and salt. And then add the starter, eggs, and milk, The dough will be very shaggy at this point. And you want to let the dough rest for 30 minutes, before adding the butter.
Once the dough has rest for 30 minutes, it’s time to add the butter. You want to use your dough hook attachment at this point. You are going to add the cubed butter, one piece at a time. Allow each piece to be incorporated before adding more. Be sure to wait about 10 to 20 seconds.
When all the butter has been added, you want to then knead the dough for about 5 minutes. The dough will come together to form a smooth, shiny ball. At this point, the dough needs to rise. Place the dough into a lightly buttered bowl and cover with a damp towel.
The dough needs to rise for 5 to 8 hours. And then cover the bowl with oiled plastic wrap and let the dough rise overnight. The dough should be doubled in size by the time we are ready to shape.
Shaping The Brioche Bread
The next day it’s time to shape the bread. You want to turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough will be firm because of the chilled butter.
You can always roll the dough into a log, but I chose to go a different route. I cut the dough into 4 equal portions. And rolled the dough into smooth, round ball. To do this I bring the edges of the dough into the center. And then flip the dough over, and cup the dough with my hand and roll it around until it forms a ball.
Second Rise And Bake.
Then place the dough into a greased loaf pan. The dough will fit snugly together.
And then let the dough rise again, for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. At this point the dough should take up the entire loaf. Then egg wash the top of the bread and bake for abou 40-45 minutes in a preheated 400°F oven.
Timeline For Making This Sourdough Brioche Bread
This timeline, from Artisan Sourdough Bread Made Simple, is based on you making this bread on the weekend. But you can adjust the timeline based on when you want to make it.
Now if you feed and maintain your sourdough starter at room temperature you can make this bread at the drop of a hat. If you’re a part-time sourdough bread baker, like me, then you will need to take your starter out of the fridge a few days earlier to get it bubbly and active before you can use it in the bread.
Thursday night: Remove Starter from Fridge and Feed
Friday: Feed twice (once in the morning, and one at night)
Saturday morning: If starter is bubbly and active, then I make my dough and let it rise for 5 to 8 hours. If not, I will do one more feeding and make the dough around noon.
Saturday evening: Make sure after the 8 hour rise, I wrap the dough and place in the fridge to rise overnight.
Sunday morning: Shape and give the bread it’s final rise. Bake.
Tips For Making This Sourdough Bread Recipe
- Make sure your starter is active before you start. Drop a small piece in a bowl of water to see if it floats. It it does, then it’s ready! If not, then it may need 1-2 more feedings.
- Use Bread Flour. Yes you can use all purpose flour, but bread flour gives the best texture.
- Use A Kitchen Scale. For best accuracy, it’s best that you weigh your ingredients and not rely on volume (measuring cups)
- Damp Towel!! When you let the dough rise overnight, be sure to use a damp towel to cover it so it doesn’t dry out and not rise.
What Can I Make With This Brioche?
Nothing wrong with just making the best toast ever. And any leftovers we love turning into croutons!
Why Didn’t My Sourdough Bread Rise?
This could be because your sourdough starter wasn’t quite bubbly and active enough. Be sure to do the “float test” before you begin.
Another culprit could be a cold kitchen! If your kitchen is cold the bread will take longer to rise. Ideally, your kitchen should be around 70°F.
Make sure your water is warm. Just like the dough likes a warm kitchen, it will also like warm water to keep it happy and keep it rising.
How Do I Store Sourdough Bread?
Sourdough bread will actually last longer than storebought bread at room temperature because of the long fermentation process. The bread will be at it’s best for 2 days, but I found it lasted just fine for up 4 to 5 days as long as I wrapped it well in plastic wrap.
Once the bread has cooled completely (you can let the bread sit out for a full day before wrapping to allow to cool) then store in a sealable plastic bag or bread box.
You can also freeze any leftover bread for 3 months. I always just store mine in a sealable plastic bag.
More Sourdough Recipes To Try
- Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
- Whole Wheat Sourdough Sandwich Bread
- Sourdough Bread Recipe (From Starter!)
Tools To Make This Sourdough Bread
You can check out My Favorite Sourdough Bread Tools and Resources.
- Sourdough cookbook – ok not necessary but it’s chock full of amazing recipes that once you master this loaf you will want to make next.
- Loaf Pan
- Kitchen-aid mixer – you could use a hand mixer but a stand mixer will make quicker work of this bread, and save you the arm workout.
- Pastry Mat
Don’t forget to enroll in the Traditional Cooking School complete Sourdough course – it will teach you EVERYTHING!!
Sourdough Brioche Bread
- 500 g 4 cups + 2 Tbs. bread flour
- 9 g 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 50 g (1/4 cup) granulated sugar
- 250 g (1 1/4 cups) bubbly, active starter
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 120 g (1/2 cup) warm milk whole or 2%
- 113 g (8 tbs.) unsalted butter cold, cut into small cubes
- 1 large egg
- 1 Tbs. water
- Make The Dough. Add the flour, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly to combine. With the machine running, gradually add the starter, eggs, and warm milk. Mix on low speed until a sticky, shaggy dough forms and all of the flour is fully absorbed about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Cover and rest the dough for 15 to 30 minutes. Meanwhile, replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, store at room temperature or in fridge.
- Add the butter. Fit stand mixer with dough hook attachment. On low speed, add the butter one cube at a time, waiting for 10 to 20 seconds before the next addition. Increase to medium speed and knead the dough until butter is fully incorporated about 5 to 7 minutes more. When ready the dough will look shiny and smooth but will not come together into a ball. It will also feel warm to the touch. Scrape down the the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Bulk Rise. With floured hands, transfer dough to a new lightly buttered bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and find a warm spot for the dough to rise. This will take about 5 to 8 hours (at 70oF, 21oC). Once fully risen, cover the dough with lightly oiled plastic and transfer to the fridge. Chill overnight.
- Shape. In the morning, lightly coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter. Remove the cold dough onto a lightly floured surface. Dough will be very firm. To shape into a loaf, pat the dough into a rectangle and roll into a log. Place in loaf pan, seam side down. Or divide the dough into 4 pieces, about 265 g each. Working with one piece at a time, gather the ends, flip the dough over, and gently roll into a ball. Stagger the dough, seam side down, into your loaf pan. The dough will fit snugly.
- Second Rise. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rise until puffy, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough is ready when it looks puffy, and has risen about 1 inch about the rim of the loaf pan.
- Preheat. Preheat your oven to 400oF (200oc). Combine the egg with water and brush the top of the dough in the egg wash.
- Bake. Bake the pan on the center rack for 40-45 minutes, covered. If the loaf starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent with foil. The loaf will be rich, golden brown and shiny when finished. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
- Adapted From Clever Carrot
- Make sure your starter is active before you start. Drop a small piece in a bowl of water to see if it floats. It it does, then it's ready! If not, then it may need 1-2 more feedings.
- Use Bread Flour. Yes you can use all purpose flour, but bread flour gives the best texture.
- Use A Kitchen Scale. For best accuracy, it's best that you weigh your ingredients and not rely on volume (measuring cups)
- Damp Towel!! When you let the dough rise, be sure to use a damp towel to cover it so it doesn't dry out and not rise properly.
- How to store: Store cooled bread for 4 to 5 days at room temperature covered or freeze for up to 3 months, well wrapped.
- Bread Timeline:
- Thursday night: Remove Starter from Fridge and Feed
- Friday: Feed twice (once in the morning, and one at night) Saturday morning: Start dough or feed again. Or start dough in afternoon if starter needs one more feeding. I like to start mine dough no later than 1 pm, so it can rise for 8 hours.
- Saturday evening: Make sure dough goes into fridge to chill overnight.
- Sunday morning: Shape and final rise. Finish and bake my bread!