Brioche recipe - Julia Childs. Variations

Dave Pawson.  link

Brioche recipe - Julia Childs. Variations

This is an attempt to capture some small part of the variations I've encountered seeking a brioche recipe.

The sponge

My list


2 envelopes of dried yeast. Whats an envelope?

1oz fresh yeast. 1 tblespn dry yeast.

2 tblesp honey!

4 oz flour

Milk and warm water together.

Add orange water (?) to the mix

Mix the flour, eggs, etc, then add the dry yeast!


Julia Childs (the indirect source of my interest in this) likes to tie things down in a recipe. I think she's right. The yeast mix. The video shows her mixing in the bowl of her electric mixer - some call this device by another name. It's necessary since all the other ingredients are added on top of this. Another detail worth noting at this stage. Some say wait for the yeast to dissolve in the milk prior to adding the other ingredients. Some say wait till it starts bubbling. Others skip this step or assume you know it? Julia Childs covers the mixed ingredients with a second cup of flour, as an indicator as to the state of your yeast? The flour surface cracks due to yeast activity! Neat. It also isolates (short term) the salt (added later) from the yeast which may or may not react badly together!


Add the flour and salt at the same time!

The main mix

My list


3 large eggs. 4 eggs (same thing?). 2 eggs!

Mix for 7 minutes. Mix for 15 minutes.

First rise. Wait till doubled in size, around 30-40 minutes. Around an hour.

Knock back. Either move around, take out and knead for a while or Lift up dough around edges and allow dough to fall and deflate in bowl.

Second rise (in the fridge). Keep lifting up dough around edges and allowing to fall and deflate in bowl every 30 minutes, about 2 hours total. Or 4-6 hours. Or overnight. Or until doubled in size. One even said - If you want to use it earlier, let rise at room temp.

Another warns that if it rises at too warm a temperature the butter will leak out of the dough! Another suggests < 75 degrees F (24C)


Add the flour, salt, sugar to the mixing bowl containing the yeast mix. Using a dough hook, mix slowly at first till all incorporated.

Butter needs to be same consistancy as the dough (What!). Your prep should have taken this out of the fridge ages ago. I chopped it into chunks, spread out on a baking tray and used a palette knife to spread it and soften it. Don't use your hands or it gets too warm.

Add the butter one tablespoon at a time whilst mixing. Let one blob be fully incorporated before adding more. Once it's all in, mix for about 5 more minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time. Suggested by two recipes. Any guesses why?

Making .....

Since plain old brioche (pob?) seems somewhat out of fashion, or perhaps it's just that the dough is so flexible that it has found as many uses as bread perhaps, I simply won't go into the final steps. As far as variations go though, at least one site offers freezing as part of the last step! Roll out to 11x14", butter, fold, chill. Roll out again (as per Mille Fuille?) then roll up into a log... then freeze for 45 minutes. I skipped that, as with filling the logs with pecans and sugar. As of now I'm waiting for the dough to rise on a rolled, buttered, folded, chilled, rolled and cut option. Due for the oven in about an hour I guess.


Glazed with egg yoke and a few drops of milk. Try not to get the egg on the tin. Two recipes said this, without explanation. Possibly just due to the difficulty of cleaning?

375 deg F (190 C)... Except mine is a fan oven so I dropped it to 175 degrees C

15 mins. The top was getting nicely dark brown so I covered it in tin foil to stop it becoming black

15 mins further with a slightly lower temperature. I dropped it to 160.

Test for done? Mine was to tap the top. Others said use an 'instant' thermomenter to probe into the loaf. Yes? Better is to tap the bottom of the loaf (when out of the tin) which is more indicative. Your guess is as good as mine.


The sponge (US). The active ingredients (UK). The yeast mix. Or the 'pre-ferment'!

Packet of dried yeast(US). 2.25 teaspoons (UK).

Cup of flour(US). 5 oz(UK)

All purpose flour(US). Plain flour(UK)

Kosher salt(US). Koshering salt (UK). I used rock salt.

Kitchen aid? That's my Kenwood mixer I think - though a 'stand up mixer' is quite sensible when compared with a hand held one.


There isn't one. Just to say I found this quite an interesting chase! I'll post a simplified version of this, with just the recipe and options I chose.


These are the ones I found searching for the mix of Julia Childs and brioche. In no particular order

Keywords: baking

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