Joined Mar 13, 2002
I tried to make the Rich Man's Brioche from the Bread Baker's Apprentice. it was a disaster - so greasy from all that butter that i just oozed fat and was almost hollow and inedible. what did I do wrong or are the proportions wrong?
Joined Dec 30, 1999
There are many factors which could have affected your results...

How did you go about measuring your ingredients?
Joined Mar 13, 2002
I measured carefully - haven't had this problem with other recipes from the book.
I store my flour in the refrigerator (south Florida = bugs) so it tends to be drier than when it is stored on the counter or in a cupboard so I use a tad more water to compensate and that has worked with other recipes.
The dough, after being refrigerated overnight was harder than puff pastry dough and cracked when I cut it to shape.
Joined May 29, 1999
here is my formula, you can cut it in half to fit a 5 quart mixer:

bloom toghther and allow to sit for 30 min:
1/4 cup milk, warm
2 TBL water warm
3 Tbl Sugar granulated
3 tbl flour (take from the 7 cups)
2 TBL instant dry yeast

add and set over pot of hot water whisking all the while to warm the whole bowl:
10 whole ex large eggs

put on mixer with dough hook and add:
7 cups flour ap is fine
1 pound large dice butter unsalted
1 Tbl salt

let develop and slap around the bowl until it looks like silk!
allow to rise for 20 min
punch down and
allow to double for 45 min.
form into shapes and allow to proof 35 min.

bake in 400 degree oven until golden brown, egg wash is optional.

I try not to refrigerate my dough but if you must try to do so after the dough has had first rise .

you can double the butter, but I find it too much, greasy even.
Joined Mar 13, 2002
I must start wearing my reading glasses when baking. I used 2 pounds of butter instead of 2 cups!
Joined Feb 7, 2001
Instead of adding all the butter in with the flour and salt, try cutting it into pieces and adding a few softened (but not melted)pieces at a time. Fully incorporate the butter after each addition. What happens is the butter is a shortening agent, so called for its affect on the gluten strands. Butter surrounds flour particles and prevents them from grabbing onto eachother in the dough. Too much butter all at once will not allow for enough gluten formation (protein structure) to hold all the fat in.

Also, when you stored the dough overnight did you wrap it?
Joined Nov 29, 2001
I know what you mean about mis-reading something. I hate when that happens!

Ever try the brioche out of Baking With Julia? Incredible stuff and the descriptive instructions are a huge help. For instance, I'll paraphrase because I remember it somewhat accurately.

After the instruction to add the butter, the author says, "This is where you will think you have made a huge mistake. The dough you worked to hard to make smooth and elastic will look like a mess. Be patient and keep kneading with the machine and it will all come together." And boy is she ever right! I totally DID think I had made a mistake.

Also, when I made a buttercream out of The Cake Bible the icing came together with my second-to-last addition of butter. Talk about near panic!
Joined Mar 6, 2001
I also use the recipe out of "baking with Julia". It's amazingly easy (she gives great instructions), it freezes well (so you can make a large batch and save some effort) and it tastes great! I use her recipe for all of my sweet rolls.

If you ever want to try another recipe I think you'll really like the one from Julia.
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