Brioche is a bread with high egg & butter content. It is flaky and rich with a thin buttery crust and beautiful to eat hot right out of the oven. It also makes wonderful French toast. This recipe comes from my absolute favorite recipe book for breads: “Bread Baking” from 1975, Lou Seibert Pappas, Nitty Gritty Productions. These little 5×7 Nitty Gritty books are found occasionally in thrift stores and I have a collection of them. I think this was an early cookbook for Ms. Pappas, who went on to be food editor for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and work as home economist for Sunset Magazine. And thanks to my friend Google I discovered her public bio and she now lives in Palo Alto, travels extensively and still food writes. Looks like cooking and writing about cooking agreed with her!
I’ve made this recipe many times and I consistently use about 3/4 cup flour more than listed. So, I have altered this recipe slightly based on my experience.
If you see “Bread Baking” at a thrift or garage store, snap it up. It has wonderful recipes for bread. But mostly — buy it for the cover font.
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 C warm water
1/2 C milk
1/2 C butter – room temperature
2 T sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
4 C all purpose flour
Egg glaze: 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 T milk
Sprinkle yeast into warm water. Stir until dissolved. Heat milk until warm. Beat butter until creamy. Add sugar, salt whole eggs & egg yolk. Beat well. Add milk & yeast mixture. Gradually add just enough flour to make a soft dough. Beat well after each addition. Turn out on a lightly floured board. Knead until smooth & satiny. Place in a greased bowl & butter top of dough lightly then cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size (about 1 to 1.5 hours). Turn out on floured board & knead lightly. Divide into three pieces and roll each piece into a rope about 14″ long. Braid on a greased baking sheet or silpad and allow to rise again until doubled – about 45 minutes. Brush with glaze, bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until golden brown.