Intro to viennoiseries: brioche and tartine’s bread pudding
Tuesday, November 1, 2011

After making croissants and pains au chocolat, our next viennoiserie lesson was making brioche. It’s a rich, buttery, soft bread. I don’t particularly like eating brioche on its own but when it’s used to make french toast or bread pudding, I can eat a lot of it. The addition of eggs is what makes the brioche dough different from croissant dough, and much richer.

Ingredients for brioche: flour, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, yeast.

To make the brioche dough, we follow the same procedure as croissants to combine all the dry and wet ingredients except butter. However, the butter for the brioche dough is incorporated differently.

After all the dry and wet ingredients have been combined, we roll this dough out and put softened butter inside.

Then, we seal the butter inside the dough.

After that, we knead the dough for 10 minutes with our hands just like we did with the croissant dough. Because of the butter wrapped inside, it’s much stickier (buttery) which makes kneading the dough a bit more difficult. We pick it up and throw it down at the marble table continuously you can no longer see chunks of butter and the brioche dough becomes smooth, homogenous, and not-too-sticky.

After kneading (or beating) the brioche dough or 10 minutes, we get a smooth, homogenous ball of dough with the butter evenly distributed.

We let the brioche dough sit at room temperature for about 2 hours, covered with plastic wrap, during which time it rises slightly. After rising for 2 hours, we pat the dough down slightly to release all the air bubbles (carbon dioxide gas form fermentation) and cover and rest in the fridge overnight.

This is the same ball of brioche dough from the previous day, after resting in the fridge overnight. You can see it has risen to almost twice its original volume.

Now, we turn the brioche dough out of the bowl and pat it slightly to release all the air bubbles.

After removing all of the air bubbles in the brioche dough, it is now ready to cut, shape, and bake!

We take 1/4 of our circle of brioche dough, roll it into a cylinder to cut into 8 equal sized balls to form brioche à tête which look like little muffins.

We take each ball of dough and roll it against the marble table in our palm to make sure there are no seams (or edges) visible.

A small ball of dough for the brioche à tête.

Make a neck in the ball of dough with our hand.

Now each ball of dough looks like a bowling pin.

Then, we take each bowling pin and put it in a fluted muffin tin. We press into the dough around the neck of the bowling pin to secure the dough inside the muffin tin.

The brioche à tête are shaped and rested at room temperature for 1-2 hours before baking.

Here are my brioche à tête after resting for 2 hours at room temperature.

With the remaining brioche dough, we proceeded to make some other shapes of bread.

Braided brioche loaf.

Donut looking brioche bread.

Finally, here they are. Most of my viennoiseries from last Wednesday and Thursday. On the left we have brioche and on the right we have our second batch of croissants and pains au chocolat.

Above is an example why it's important when shaping your brioche to make sure there are no seams or edges on the surface. You can see in the picture that the brioche on the left has split open slightly where there was a seam.

So what do I do with a pound of brioche bread which I don’t plan to eat? Make bread pudding of course! I followed Tartine’s bread pudding recipe and it turned out pretty good. I had a bit of trouble with my friend’s oven (it kept turning on and off) but the recipe was forgiving enough.

Here's a pound of brioche turned into a massive dish of vanilla bean bread pudding.

Of course, I couldn’t just eat the bread pudding on it’s own. So I made Tartine’s caramel sauce recipe and sauteed some bananas and passion fruit pulp with it.

Vanilla bean bread pudding with a caramel, banana, and passion fruit sauce. Even though this was the second course of dessert for the evening, my friends devoured it in no time!



2 Comments so far...
  • Martin
    September 23, 2016
    Hi! I like your recipe!! But I don't see the ingredient list with the amounts of each ingredient! Would you provide it for me? Thank you!!
  • Jeff
    November 1, 2011
    I LOVE Tartine's bread pudding!!! And now you can make it for me! :D