by Emily King

bri·oche (br-ôsh, – sh) n. A soft, light-textured bread made from eggs, butter, flour, and yeast and formed into a roll or a bun. 

A running joke among culinary students taking Baking and Pastry 101 is that above all, you must anticipate your cravings. You might be ready for a cinnamon roll, sticky bun, or fresh slice of brioche on Monday, but that dough isn’t going to be ready for you until Tuesday.

For anyone who has ever made quick breads and simple yeast breads, it may come as a surprise that certain bread dough, like brioche, needs more than a few hours to properly rise.  To put it simply:  not all dough is created equal—and it’s a good thing!

Unlike the Julien Baguette discussed in a previous article, brioche is rich, dense bread with a soft crust and tender crumb. It has a buttery flavor and is perfect for slicing and toasting for canapés or croutons. It is eaten all over the world as a breakfast-bread, though a more savory version of the dough is used as a casing for pate.

The difference in texture is accounted for by the addition of butter, sugar, and eggs to the mixture. It is also important to note that all purpose flour is used instead of bread flour. This is because all purpose flour has a lower gluten (protein that exists in wheat flour and causes bread to become elastic when kneaded) than bread flour. The lower gluten content causes the final product to be softer and more apt to crumble and dissolve in your mouth.

The butter, sugar, and egg-laden dough that constitutes brioche, is called enriched yeast dough. First, the sugar, yeast, flour, egg, salt and water are kneaded together to develop the gluten.  Next, after about 20 minutes, the butter is added to the mixture. Since butter disrupts the development of the gluten that gives the bread its structure, adding it too early or working it into the dough too long ruins the final product.

The dough then goes through two fermentations; first, the dough is fermented at room temperature until it doubles in size, is punched down, re-covered, and refrigerated over night to retard the fermentation process. Refrigeration also makes the sticky dough easier to handle.  After literally “chilling out,” the dough is portioned and shaped into rolls or placed in greased, Pullman loaf-pans and then allowed to undergo a second fermentation (proofing) until it has doubled in size again. The dough is then ready to be baked…and enjoyed…finally.

Fortunately, for impatient types who aren’t willing to wait until Tuesday, bakeries like our sponsor Capistrano’s are busy anticipating your cravings. Their brioche bun is a must for anyone who wants rich, sweet, egg bun. In the true French style it is a soft, sweet dough with a thin flaky crust. It’s great for burgers and sandwiches that need a little sweetness for the finishing touch. Your pork and ham sandwich recipes were made for this bun. It also compliments a plain burger perfectly. Try it today!

Visit Capistrano’s Wholesale Bakery online by clicking here.

Click Here to read more Breakin’ Bread Features

Or, in Arizona, Capistrano’s artisan breads are available at Vincent’s Saturday Market on Camelback when it is open, at Holsum Outlets, and now at Luci’s Healthy Marketplace. Here are the locations.

  • Apache Junction – 10107 E. Apache Trail
  • Casa Grande – 823 N. Pinal
  • Chandler – 7275 W. Detroit
  • Peoria – 9210 W. Peoria
  • Tucson – 2801 S. 4th Avenue
  • Luci’s Healthy Marketplace -1590 East Bethany Home Road, Phoenix