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No-Knead Brioche: the easiest & best brioche there is

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This no-knead brioche looks rather simple and unassuming. But, oh, this stuff makes me go weak in the knees. It is, easily, one of my favorite treats.

I hear from lots of people who are intimidated by baking anything with yeast. And brioche has a reputation for being more challenging than most breads.

But this recipe, much like Jim Lahey’s wildly popular no-knead bread, dispels the myth that baking excellent bread is necessarily complicated or difficult. This no-knead brioche is rich, melt-in-your-mouth buttery and pretty much foolproof.

No-Knead Brioche. The easiest, best, foolproof brioche. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

Before I learned about this method, if you had asked me about making brioche without a powerful stand mixer, I would have laughed.

Traditional methods require beating what seems like an impossible amount of softened butter into a ball of dough. The first time I attempted brioche, I gave up before the butter was beaten into the dough utterly convinced that the butter coating the ball of dough would never possibly be absorbed.

My mistake was not mixing it long enough, even though I felt like I had mixed it for ages. Beating that much butter in takes a long time, even with a trusty KitchenAid.

No-Knead Brioche. The easiest, best, foolproof brioche. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

But this no-knead brioche eliminates the need for a mixer and instead lets time do the work.

It comes from Aki Kamozawa and Alex Talbot’s first book, Ideas in Food, and simplifies the process down to a few steps. Mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, stir, cover, let sit for a few hours, fold the dough over itself a couple of times, let it sit overnight, fold again, and bake.

The long rest allows the butter and eggs to be fully absorbed into the dough without any kneading or serious mixing.

Aki and Alex call for melted butter, but I think it’s worth it to take the extra step of browning the butter for this. (And if you want to gild the lily add a split vanilla bean into the butter while it’s browning. Optional, but, oh man, sooo good.)

No-Knead Brioche. The easiest, best, foolproof brioche. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

The timing here is flexible. It can be done all in the space of 12 hours but can easily rise for 24 hours.

I usually let it go for 24 which both allows the flavor to develop more and tends to work better with my schedule. But you could also throw it together in the evening and bake it the next morning if that works better for you.

No-Knead Brioche. The easiest, best, foolproof brioche. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net

This is a big recipe. It makes two loaves, and it pushes the capacity of my largest mixing bowl. You can easily cut the recipe in half if you only want one loaf.

But it’s worth knowing that the dough can be frozen and later used to make not just brioche but also cinnamon rolls or sticky buns or other enriched-dough based treats. The plain loaves also freeze beautifully–when I have a sliced loaf in the freezer I know I can have the best French toast whenever I want it.

No-Knead Brioche. The easiest, best, foolproof brioche. From Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious | www.blossomtostem.net
Yield: 2 loaves

No-Knead Brioche

No-Knead Brioche

This is the easiest way to make melt-in-your-mouth buttery brioche. It's worth it to go to the trouble of browning the butter for this--it'll make the flavor that much better. I like to throw in a vanilla bean while the butter is browning, but that's a lily-gilding step that's totally optional. It's also worth splurging on a nice high-fat European butter like Plugra or Kerrygold for this, though it will still work and be delicious with any unsalted butter. Look for instant yeast and not active dry. I'm partial to SAF red label instant yeast. This recipe will work with bread flour or all-purpose flour. It's a big recipe that pushes the capacity of my biggest mixing bowl. You can easily cut it in half if you only want one loaf. But keep in mind that the dough and the baked loaves freeze well, so you'll thank yourself later if you make the whole batch.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Rise Time 1 days
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 days 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 975 grams (6 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour or bread flour
  • 100 grams (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 8 large eggs
  • 225 grams (1 cup) water
  • 130 grams (1/2 cup) whole milk
  • 452 grams (1 pound) unsalted butter, browned and slightly cooled
  • additional whole milk or heavy cream for brushing the loaves

Instructions

  1. In your largest mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast.
  2. In separate large bowl, add the eggs and whisk until lightly scrambled, then add the water and milk and mix again. Then pour in the butter and whisk until combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix with a silicone spatula until the mixture is thoroughly moistened. (Dry flour likes to hide on the bottom, so give that bottom an extra pass just to be sure you've got it all mixed in.)
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 2-4 hours. (The timing is flexible--do what works with your schedule.) After a couple of hours, do your best to fold the dough over itself a couple of times. Then cover again with plastic wrap and let rest for 12 to 24 hours.
  5. The dough will have doubled in size. Gently fold it over on itself a few more times.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease two standard loaf pans with nonstick spray.
  7. Divide the dough in half and place half the dough in each loaf pan (alternately, freeze the remaining dough for later use). Brush the top of the loaves with milk or cream and bake for 1 hour. The tops will be deeply browned.
  8. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cook completely.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 219Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 210mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 4g
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Liliana

Monday 27th of August 2018

Thank you so much for this recipe. I want to make this brioche and I am a little put off by the quantity of the flour stated. I live in Europe and anytime I use an American recipe for bread that is in cups, I use 1 kg of flour when the recipe states 8 cups (1 cup of flour being 125 g). Here, for almost 1 kg of flour, you say we should use 6 1/2 cups of flour. I, of course, use always the weighing scale, not cups. My question is: is it in this way written the recipe in the book? Or, could you tell me which do you use when making the brioche: the quantity in grams or you use the cups?

Mary

Monday 27th of August 2018

Liliana, I always use grams. (This particular conversion came from the original recipe in the book. Some conversions show 1 cup of flour weighing 5 ounces or 141 grams, which is, of course, the problem of measuring flour which can be aerated or compacted by volume rather than by weight.)

Ivonne

Friday 8th of June 2018

Do you leave the dough overnight or 24 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator?

Mary

Saturday 9th of June 2018

Room temp.

Fina Colada

Monday 7th of May 2018

Just made this over the weekend. So easy yet so wonderfully delicious, moist & fluffy. Whoever said that bread making is difficult & tedious should give this recipe a go.

Dianne Wulsin

Sunday 12th of February 2017

I am eager to finish this amazing recipe chosen especially for my brother undergoing cancer treatment and needing to put on weight. I am at the stage of dividing the dough and baking half in a tin. The other half will be for cinnamon rolls, Norwegian style, an easy treat to take for his long days in the hospital. The point is to find something he will enjoy eating and this is a sure win.

Mary

Monday 13th of February 2017

Dianne,

I'm so sorry your brother has cancer! I'm beyond thrilled if this can bring him and your family some comfort!

KTINKA

Sunday 6th of November 2016

This looks really delicious. I will definitely have to try it out. I hope you don't mind me linking to it on my weekly wrap up from this week!

Mary

Sunday 6th of November 2016

Thanks! Happy to have you link to it on your site!