Whole Milk (heated to 105-110 degrees F)
Egg Yolks (for egg wash)
Water (for egg wash)
Salt (for egg wash)
In This Recipe
Make the pre-fermented dough first by combining bread flour, active dry yeast, and salt in a medium bowl. Then add the water. Combine thoroughly, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise on the counter for 6 to 8 hours.
Once your pre-prefermented dough has risen, assemble the dry ingredients for the final dough in a large bowl: bread flour, sugar, milk powder, osmotolerant yeast, and salt. Whisk dry ingredients to incorporate thoroughly.
Meanwhile, add pre-fermented dough to a large bowl. Then add warm whole milk, sugar, and eggs. Using a silicon spatula or bowl scraper, slowly mix to combine. Slowly add dry ingredients. Work dough until it comes together nicely. Then add butter, one tablespoon at a time until fully worked into the dough. This will take some elbow grease, but your patience and effort will be rewarded.
Move the dough to a flat surface (a large wood cutting board works nicely) and knead dough for about 10 minutes. Set a timer. It’s crucial to knead the dough long enough to allow the gluten structure to form. Overall, your dough shouldn’t be too dry to too wet and should spring back when you touch it. Add more flour if it’s a bit wet, and add a splash of milk if it’s on the dry side.
Divide dough into three pieces. Shape each piece into a ball and place in a buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 90 minutes in a warm, draft-free area. Dough should double in size.
For Brioche Loaf (3 loaves):
Once each ball has risen, punch dough down and shape into a ball again. Brush three 8x4” loaf pans with melted butter, then add the dough to each pan. Brush dough with butter. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draft-free area to rise for about one hour. They will double in size.
For Brioche Clover Leaf Rolls:
Once each ball has risen, punch dough down, shape into a ball again. Next, divide each dough ball into four pieces. Divide each of those into three pieces. Then divide each of those again into three pieces of dough. You will have a total of 108 pieces of dough.
Roll each piece of dough into a small ball, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Brush three muffin tins with melted butter. Place three dough balls in each muffin cup. Brush the tops of your rolls with butter, then cover with a damp tea towel. Place in a warm, draft-free area to rise for about one hour. They will double in size.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F at least 30 minutes prior to baking. Set oven rack to the middle position. Brush your loaves or rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar if you wish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, rotating half way through. Your bread is done when it has an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. To get your bread extra golden brown, place it on the top rack of your oven during the last 5 to 10 minutes of bake time. On the other hand, if it is browning too quickly, tent with foil.
Cool loaves or rolls on a cooling rack. Enjoy with butter, honey, or fresh jam.