This Sourdough Brioche Recipe is the easiest brioche recipe that you will ever make. I've been making Brioche for a couple of years now. And you know my obsession with naturally fermented bread.
This recipe is my version of Sourdough Brioche. I have tried to make it slightly healthy by cutting down on the butter. And like always, this is an eggless bread recipe.
In this post, I have included some super useful tips on how to handle this super sticky bread dough with confidence.
Trust me, there is nothing like homemade brioche bread!
Let us start with, a basic question.;
What is Brioche?
Brioche is a classic French bread known for its rich and tender crumb. Traditionally Brioche is made what lots of butter and eggs. Brioche is a highly enriched bread.
Key characteristics of Brioche Bread
- It is fluffy, tender, and rich.
- Highly decadent and flavorful.
- Sweet and buttery.
- It has a dark brown, glossy, and crispy crust.
- Highly versatile bread. Sweet or savory, perfect for everything!
With all these attributes, brioche is great bread in itself. Just some butter and brioche makes a perfect breakfast. And if you could care to make Brioche French toast, nothing better than that!
Origin of Brioche
Are you curious about the origin of brioche?
The origin of brioche is traced back to 1400s France. This luxurious bread has highly evolved over the centuries. From plain bread, it became a rich and sweet bread enriched with eggs and butter. It further went the savory route as it came under the influence of more and more pastry chefs.
Even today we are evolving recipes like eggless and vegan brioche.
So, I guess this is all the usual course of evolution for any conventional recipe.
What makes brioche different from most bread?
Brioche has a very high-fat content as compared to any other conventional bread. In traditional Brioche recipes, the ideal flour to butter ratio should be 2:1. Also, eggs are added to the dough to further enrich the flavor and make it protein-dense. So you can well imagine how rich this bread is! Brioche is at the top of the list of rich bread.
It has a very rich and tender texture that makes it perfect to use as a base for any dessert or savory dish.
How is Brioche eaten?
Brioche is a highly versatile bread. You can use it for literally anything that you want to make. Either sweet or savory.
- Traditionally it is made sweet so that it can be used as a base for various desserts or puddings.
- It is filled with jams or jellies or fruits or cream fillings to make decadent desserts or sweet sandwiches.
- It can be used as a normal bread for any kind of sandwich or hamburger buns. Also, it can be made with raisins, chocolate chips, or other dried berries and serves as an excellent snack.
- It makes up for an excellent savory base. Also, you can make it into any savory base. Just reduce the quantity of sugar that you add to the dough. It is soft, fluffy, buttery, and flavorful!
Anything sweet and savory that calls for a slice of good bread, Brioche is an answer! And this sourdough brioche recipe will certainly satisfy all your bread needs.
Have you tried our other sourdough recipes?
Hokkaido milk Bread made with Sourdough has amazing light and fluffy texture. Made with Tangzhong method that keeps this bread softer for extended storage life.
Can you make brioche with the sourdough starter?
Well yes, you can surely make Brioche with a sourdough starter. This recipe is all about how you can easily make Brioche bread with a sourdough starter. It might take more time for bulk rising and proofing.
Patience is the key when baking with sourdough. You can make any kind of bread with sourdough. This blog is all about that!
Are these brioche buns vegan?
This is not a vegan recipe, but you can easily modify it into a vegan recipe, by substituting the butter with margarine or plant-based butter and replace milk with your preferred plant-based milk. I have never made vegan brioche buns so cannot ensure anything. But if you try them I would love to hear about your experience.
Is this a Healthy brioche recipe?
Well, brioche is not supposed to be healthy when you see it in terms of carbs. It is a rather rich and decadent bread. I have tried my best to make it slightly healthier by cutting down on butter and eggs. Also, being a sourdough bread, it has added benefits.
The resultant bread is still very close to the conventional Brioche. It is tender, rich, buttery, flavorful, fluffy, everything brioche!
How can I make this Brioche bread without sourdough?
So, in this sourdough Brioche bread, I have used my standard sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast. If you want to use yeast, substitute the sourdough starter with 2 teaspoon of active dry yeast. And reduce the bread flour by about ⅓ cup.
Ingredients required for making Sourdough Brioche Recipe
1. Sourdough Starter
I have used a ripe sourdough starter for this recipe. If you keep your starter in the refrigerator, make sure to take it out at least an hour before kneading the dough. The starter should be foamy and bubbly before you use it. In case you don't have a large volume of starter (though half a cup is not large, but still if you have such issues ) prepare a Levain.
For making Levain Brioche,
Use 50 grams of each starter, flour, and water to prepare Levain. It will just add a few pre-ferment hours to the timeline of your Brioche recipe.
A question that has always been raised is, how do you know that your starter is ripe?
How do I know if my starter is ripe for making the sourdough Brioche Recipe?
- The ripe starter should be bubbly and airy.
- It should have a sort of dome structure at its top.
- It should pass the drop test. The drop test is nothing, but put a drop of the starter in a bowl of water. If the starter floats, it is ready. And if it sinks, maybe it needs more feeding or more time at room temperature to become bubbly and airy.
we need strong bread flour for making Brioche. Brioche is a very rich bread and there a lot of tenderizing agents I like milk and too much butter.
Can I make Brioche with all-purpose flour?
You need a flour that has high gluten content. Bread flour with more than 12% of gluten works best for Brioche recipes.
If you do not have bread flour, you can replace it with all-purpose flour. But the results will highly vary. I have made Brioche buns and brioche bread with all-purpose flour many times, with satisfactory results. The Brioche made with all-purpose flour does not rise that well and kind of stays towards the denser side. So, not something that I would recommend.
But you know what? You can certainly give it a try. It will still be a highly flavorful bread.
The ideal bread flour to butter ratio for brioche is 2:1. But I have tried to reduce the amount of butter in the bread. I was trying to reduce the total amount of carbs per slice of bread. It is still the buttery, rich, fluffy bread that we called Brioche.
The amount of sugar required in the recipe will depend on how you plan to use it. If you are trying to use it for some sweet recipe, add more sugar. But, if you want to make a savory dish, reduce the quantity of sugar to half.
I have used ⅓ Cup of sugar because I was trying to make sweet bread but, you can reduce the amount of sugar. We only want to use white castor sugar for Brioche, because we don't want to alter the bread color.
5. Vanilla Extract
If you want to make sweet bread like me, do add some vanilla extract. It really helps to brighten the flavor of the bread. And if you plan to use it for a savory dish, skip vanilla extract.
6. Whole milk and vinegar
Whole milk works best for this recipe as we are not using any eggs in this one. 2% milk can be used instead of whole milk.
Adding vinegar to whole milk create buttermilk. Buttermilk act as a tenderizer for gluten. It helps to make the bread softer. I'm using buttermilk as a substitute for eggs in this recipe.
7. Milk wash
Conventionally, an egg wash helps to obtain the glorious brown crust. But in an eggless recipe like ours, milk wash is our only option. I like to mix a little bit of honey into the milk. It gives a shiny brown crust to our Sourdough Brioche bread.
In case, you are baking the brioche for a savory dish, drop the honey.
How to make a sourdough brioche recipe?
1. Preparing and measuring the sourdough starter for Brioche
Start by measuring the ingredients. It is very crucial to make a perfect bread let them measure our ingredients accurately.
If you are using a sourdough starter, make sure that it is ripe. Ensure that the starter is bubbly before starting to make the dough.
I have not used any Levain in this recipe. Rather, I have used about ½ cup of ripe sourdough starter. If you do not have the flexibility to use this large quantity of starter prepares a Levain. Make Levain brioche as follows:
50 g flour
50 g water
Levain extends the timeline by a few more hours, but the extended Pre- fermentation enhances the flavor and texture of the bread. The overall impact on the resultant bread will be the same.
2. Preparing the buttermilk
Make sure to use room temperature milk. Add the vinegar and mix it. I like to use distilled white vinegar as it does not have any residual flavors. You can use whatever vinegar you have in hand, just make sure that you're not using something that has a very strong flavor or color. We do not want to alter the color of the loaf.
Buttermilk in this recipe act as a tenderizer. It tenderizes the gluten and makes the bread softer. It also helps to keep the bread soft and moist for a longer duration after baking. In this recipe, I'm using buttermilk as a substitute for egg and milk.
3. Kneading the Dough
The tackiest part in making Brioche is kneading the dough. Now, this is a stand mixer recipe. I'm going to employ my stand mixer to do the key job. I start by dumping all the dry ingredients into the bowl of my stand mixer. Then I add the buttermilk and start kneading at a low speed. Continue kneading till we obtain a smooth dough. I like to bump up the speed towards the end.
Sourdough Brioche dough needs to be kneaded for a good 10-12 minutes or until the dough leaves the bottom of the bowl. Towards the end, our dough should be smooth and not at all sticky. Now, this is the point where we start to add butter. I like to cube butter into small pieces. And add one cube at a time. The dough should be smooth and supple by the end of the kneading process.
What should be the temperature of butter for making Brioche dough?
The temperature of butter is very crucial. If the butter is very cold, straight out of the refrigerator, It is going to be very difficult to incorporate in the dough. Also, if the butter is soft and melting, it will make the dough super sticky and very difficult to handle. Ideally, the butter should be slightly cold so that it does not melt quickly, but incorporate well on little working with the dough.
But that will only work in the case of a stand mixer.
If you are needing the dough with your hands. You need to go for super cold butter. Because when you're working with your hands, it will take you longer to knead the dough. And the butter will constantly come in contact with your hands and melt quickly.
4. Bulk Rising the Sourdough for brioche
Transfer the dough into a big greased bowl. Cover the bulk and keep it in a warm place in your kitchen. I like to place mine in my oven with the light turned on. Once the dough has doubled in volume, we are ready to shape the loaf.
Bulk rising the sourdough brioche at room temperature can take anywhere from 3-6 hours, depending on the ambient temperature and the vigor of your starter. It is always a good idea to go by the volume of the dough rather than the time.
My preferred way to bulk rise a sourdough brioche dough is a cold rise. For this Brioche recipe, I like to put the sourdough in the refrigerator to bulk rise overnight.
Overnight bulk rising/ cold rising.
Well, cold rising does not only benefit the dough in terms of texture and flavor, but it also makes it easier to handle. Brioche dough can be very difficult to tackle. But the cold risen dough is very, very easy to handle and shape. So I highly highly recommend cold rising the brioche dough.
5. Shaping the dough into Brioche bread
The first step is to divide the dough into equal parts using a scale. You can eyeball it. But trust me, these little steps can make a huge difference.
You can shape them into individual hamburger buns or a loaf. Sometimes I bake it in a smaller pan to retain a few rolls to make 2-3 buns for my kids.
This recipe works best for a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Divide the dough into 11-12 equal parts. I start by pulling all the edges outwards and then sealing them underneath. With the edges of my palm facing upwards, I rotate it and seal the edges under to form a smooth top.
Once all the rounds are ready, transfer them to a prepared loaf pan.
Place the rounds at a distance of about an inch, giving them enough room to rise. In case, you feel that there is not enough space to fit all the balls an inch apart. Try to roll the ball into a slightly oblong shape and place them in the loaf pan.
6. Proofing the Dough
I like to spray the shaped loaf with a fine spray of warm water. This is my little trick to prevent the dough from drying. I don't like to cover my brioche loaf with anything while rising. Brioche dough is a very tender dough. The structure is not at all firm. Now, when I keep the loaf to rise in the oven, I always keep a pan of boiling water alongside. It not only helps in rising the loaf quicker but also prevents the dough from drying out.
But if you want to cover the dough cover it carefully with a greased cling wrap.
We want to let it proof till the dough rises well above the rim of the loaf pan. The Center of the loaf should have risen about an inch above the rim. This is the time to preheat the oven.
7. Baking the Sourdough brioche
In this sourdough brioche recipe, I bake my loaf at 375 0F for 35 minutes and then at 350 0 F for 10 more minutes.
Milk wash is necessary to give the characteristic dark brown glossy crust to the brioche bread. I do not wash milk directly on to the risen dough. I don't want to risk deflating the beautifully risen brioche loaf, as you know that it is a very delicate dough. Instead, I bake for 10 minutes and then take them out to give them a generous milk wash. And then letting them bake to perfection.
Now, that I have given you all the crucial ins and outs of making a perfect Brioche. Do give this Sourdough Brioche Recipe a try. And do not forget to share your experiences in the comments or tag me on Instagram with your creations. And if you find this recipe useful do share it forward.
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Sourdough Brioche Recipe
Sourdough Brioche dough
- 2 ¾ cups bread flour 343 grams
- 150 g starter
- ½ cup butter 115 g cubed
- ¾ cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- ⅓ cup sugar 65g
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon whole milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
- For the wet ingredients, take room temperature milk, add vinegar and vanilla extract to it. Stir and keep aside.
- Into the bowl of a stand mixer, add bread flour, sugar, salt, and mix well. Now add the starter and all the wet ingredients.
- Place the bowl under the stand mixer and start kneading at low speed. Keep kneading for 7 to 8 minutes or until the dough comes together. The dough will be sticky initially but will come together as a smooth dough towards the end. Feel free to add one to two tablespoons of flour if needed but abstain from adding too much flour. Instead, knead more for achieving a smoother dough.
- Now start adding butter cubes one at a time. Let it mix completely with the dough before adding another cube. Repeat till all the butter is incorporated. You should get smooth dough towards the end of kneading.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with a cling wrap. Keep the bowl in a warm corner of your kitchen until the dough doubled in size. It may take three to six hours depending on the ambient temperature of your kitchen.
- When the dough has doubled in size take it out onto a flour-dusted working surface. The dough into 11 to 12 equal pieces (depending on the size of your loaf pan). Use a weighing scale to make equal portions if possible.
- Shape each piece into a round by tucking the edges and sealing all the edges under to form a smooth top.
- Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan and transfer the rounds into it. Place the rounds at least one inch apart giving appropriate space for rising.
- Give them a spray of warm water and keep it aside for rising in a warm corner of the oven. Alongside place a pan of boiling water. It will prevent the surface of the dough from getting dry and will also provide appropriate moisture and temperature for yeast activity.
- In a small bowl combine milk and honey for the milk wash.
- When the dough has risen well above the rim of the loaf pan (about an inch above) preheat the oven to 375 0 F.
- Bake the sourdough Brioche for 15 minutes before taking them out for a milk wash. Give them a generous milk wash to cover the tops evenly. Put back to bake for 20 minutes.
- Then towards the end reduce the temperature to 350 0F. Bake for 10 more minutes or until the tops become deep brown.
- Let the brioche bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
- Brioches are best enjoyed warm!
- If you do not have the flexibility to use this large quantity of starter prepares a Levain. Make Levain brioche by combining 50g starter, 50 g flour, and 50 g water.
- The butter should be slightly cold so that it does not melt quickly, but incorporate well on little working with the dough.
- The cold risen dough is very, very easy to handle and shape. So I highly highly recommend cold rising the brioche dough.
- If you plan to use the brioche bread for a savory dish, reduce the quantity of sugar to half.
- Milk wash is necessary to give the characteristic dark brown glossy crust to the brioche bread. Do not wash milk directly on to the risen dough. There is a risk of deflating the dough. Instead, bake for 10 minutes and then take them out to give them a generous milk wash.