| Baking with brioche dough: Beautiful, delicious, and simple variations |
Rich and buttery with a pillowy soft, airy texture, brioche is one of my absolute favorite breads to bake. This classic French bread is not only delicious, but it’s incredibly easy to work with, meaning even as a novice, baking with brioche is simple!
Brioche dough is egg-, milk-, and butter-enriched: It’s simple enough to act as a blank canvas for any flavors from sweet to savory. You can make cheese brioche buns or sweet chocolate swirl brioche loaves or jam-filled brioche knots!
Unlike other yeasted bread recipes, brioche doesn’t easily cling to the counter or snap back when you stretch, shape, and roll it. All that butter makes it nicely stick-free, which is a boon for the baker. You don’t even need to flour your work surface! It’s more forgiving than most buttery yeasted recipes — as stunning and simple to shape as challah — but richer and less lean thanks to the addition of dairy.
Start with a good basic brioche recipe (I use our simple master recipe). The possibilities for baking with brioche are endless, just like a good scone recipe or pizza dough.
Here are a few ideas for flavors and shapes for baking with brioche to get you started. Don’t stop there! Get as creative as you like, since the recipe lends itself beautifully to interpretation.
For the purposes of each idea listed here, you’ll need to prepare a batch of our brioche recipe through the first rise. A note: If you’re making a savory brioche dough variation, don’t leave out the sugar! The sugar is key for the rise and texture of the bread, but it’s not so sweet that it will fight with flavors like cheese or olives or pesto, so keep it in there.