Whether you're preparing breakfast for your family or planning a brunch for company, this recipe is sure to please. One batch of delicious, easy-to-make brioche dough does double duty, creating two lovely loaves. These can be pulled apart and eaten as buns, or sliced and enjoyed in many ways, including as cinnamon-spiked French toast or garlicky-good grilled cheese. The best part is that you can prepare the loaves the night before and refrigerate, then bake them first thing in the morning to serve up the freshest bread in town.
For the dough:
1/4 cup (60 mL) milk
1/2 cup (120 mL) water
1 tablespoon (15 mL) active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt
1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour (plus a little more, if needed)
3 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (85 g) cold butter
For the sweet bread:
1/4 cup butter (60 mL)
1/4 cup (60 mL) white sugar
1 tablespoon (15 mL) cinnamon
1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly-squeezed lemon juice
For the savoury bread:
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
2 small cloves garlic, minced fine
2 teaspoons (10 mL) finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely grated Parmesan
In a microwave-safe small bowl, gently heat water and milk so the mixture is warm but not too hot (approximately 110F).
Pour the liquids into the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast over top. Stir gently to combine and let sit for 5 minutes until yeast is foamy. Note that you can prepare the dough without a mixer, but it will require lots of vigorous stirring and kneading.
Add salt, sugar and 2 cups of the flour to the yeast mixture and beat, using the paddle attachment (not the dough hook), on medium speed until it forms a shaggy dough.
Add remaining flour and beat just until it is almost incorporated, then add the eggs, one at a time, beating on medium speed after each addition.
Cut the cold butter into small pieces and add them one a time, beating continuously.
When the butter has been well incorporated, continue beating the dough for about 5 minutes until it is smooth and glossy. It will resemble an extremely thick cake batter but should start to pull away from the sides of the bowl and begin to form a ball around the paddle. Add up to 1/4 cup (22 g) more flour if needed, 1 tablespoon (15 mL) at a time, to get the dough to start pulling together in the middle.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly-floured surface. With floured hands, knead just enough to shape into a ball.
Grease a large bowl with butter and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for one hour.
While dough is rising, prepare the toppings. For the sweet version, melt the butter and put it in a small bowl, broad enough to dip pieces of dough. In another small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. For the savoury version, gently cook the butter and garlic in a small pot over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the parsley.
After the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and divide into two equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, cut the dough into eight pieces of approximately equal size. Stretch the pieces into cylinders about 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter and approximately 2.5" (6.25 cm) high.
For the sweet bread, roll each cylinder in melted butter, then in the sugar-cinnamon mixture.
Stand the eight cylinders up in a 4" x 9" (10 x 22.5 cm) bread pan that has been lined with parchment paper. They should completely fill the pan.
For the savoury bread, repeat the steps of creating eight cylinders and roll each one in the garlic butter mixture before standing up in a second parchment-lined bread pan.
Cover the pans (plastic bags and twist ties work well) and refrigerate overnight (or let rise at room temperature for 45 minutes if baking the same day).
If baking the next morning, remove pans from fridge and let warm up as the oven preheats.
For the sweet version, drizzle lemon juice over the loaf just before baking.
Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes at 350įF.
For the savoury version, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the loaf after it has been in the oven for 25 minutes and continue baking 10 minutes more.
Let the bread rest 3 minutes in the pan then lift out by holding the corners of the parchment paper and set the loaves and paper on a wire rack. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing or pulling apart into segments.
Makes two loaves.