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I made a loaf of brioche today following a French recipe. Here's how it looks: enter image description here I don't like its texture. It's bland and a bit dry. Honestly, the taste of overnight-proof bread is not very atractive to me (perhaps because I used instant yeast instead of fresh yeast???).

Here's the recipe I used:

50ml milk

6g instant yeast

2 large eggs

250g bread flour (13% protein)

125g unsalted butter

50g sugar

1g salt

I kneaded the dough with hand mixer and checked with windowpane test. The dough was soft, and almost not sticky because of butter.Then I covered the dough with plastic wrap and let it proof at room tempearture for 2 hours, deflated, then covered and let it proof in the fridge overnight (around 10 hours).

After shaping in the mold, I let it proof again for another hour. Finally, I baked at 170°C for 30 minutes, and 160°C for 10 minutes.

How should I improve it? If anyone has a brioche recipe that is soft, moist, flavorful and buttery (like Harry's brioche), it would be great.

Thank you very much.

  • Although I wouldn't do it, if you deflated the dough after the first proof, it means that the yeast did its job. From the picture I cannot see anything clearly wrong. Was it too dry? Too hard? In this case I think it's faster to just change recipe. – David P Jun 8 at 13:09
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    It was too dry for me, just like normal white bread. Because I have never tasted an authentic French brioche before, I'm not sure I got the right texture. I only tasted the Harry's one and I wanted it softer and moister like sweet bread. Plus, I'm not sure whether letting the dough proof overnight is a good idea for sweet bread. – Sean Jun 8 at 13:26
  • Are you using salted or unsalted butter? 1g in total, even for a “sweet bread” sounds too little. – Stephie Jun 8 at 13:46
  • I used unsalted butter and I reduced the amount of salt since I didn't like it "salty"... is that why it was bland? – Sean Jun 8 at 15:13
  • Yes, bread does not taste salty if some salt is added, but it tastes bland if you omit the salt – Tinuviel Jun 8 at 15:58
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I am pretty certain you simply overbaked your brioche. "Bland and dry" is a very common symptom of that. Also, if we look at the recipe, you had a quite small loaf, which you baked for 40 minutes.

The first solution I'd try in your place is to bake to internal temperature of 96C, then remove immediately from the oven and swaddle in a kitchen towel, possibly spraying with water before covering.

The other things you can do are finer tweaks, but they shouldn't have that much of an effect on the dryness as such. You have way too much yeast, especially for an overnight raise. I've read books that suggest using more yeast for a brioche, but that's because they also have a shortened raise and/or baking from cold (to keep the very buttery dough firm when forming). I personally don't care much for long rests, so I would maybe reduce the yeast only partially (maybe using 2.5 to 3 g) and do two raises at room temperature, as with normal white bread. If you want to keep the retardation, then use less yeast, about 1.25 g. But since your dough is neither under- nor overproofed, the amount of yeast shouldn't have much impact on texture, mostly on aroma only.

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  • Thank you very much. Can you please explain "bake to internal temperature..." I don't understand how to do that? And can you give me the name of books that you mentioned? – Sean Jun 8 at 18:00
  • @Sean You stick a thermometer into the brioche and see what temperature it shows. When it has reached 96 C, you stop baking. You can try also simply recognizing when it's done, but that takes quite a bit of practice, while the thermometer is much easier. – rumtscho Jun 8 at 18:03
  • Thanks a lot! Can you give me the name of books that you mentioned? – Sean Jun 8 at 18:29
  • @Sean not entirely sure which bit of knowledge came from where, but Bread baker's apprentice has three brioches (graded by butter amount) and is also otherwise an all-around recommendation for bread making. – rumtscho Jun 8 at 18:47

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