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Sourdough Brioche by Hand


This sourdough brioche by hand recipe is so rich and decadent! Most sourdough brioche recipes call for a stand mixer because the dough tends to be very sticky and hard to work with. But this recipe is designed for those who wish to do it all by hand. It is doable for all levels of baking and is not intimidating. Brioche bread is traditionally made with eggs, sugar, and milk and this recipe covers all of that, but with the wonderful addition of sourdough. The texture is incredibly rich, buttery, and soft with a mild tanginess that comes from the fermentation process. This fermentation process makes this enriched desert bread more nutritious, flavorful, and easier to digest. All the more reason to add this recipe to your favorites!

This recipe was adapted from Grant Bakes.

sourdough brioche bread

What is sourdough brioche?

Sourdough brioche is a type of bread that is made using a sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast. This is an enriched dough meaning it contains eggs, sugar, butter, and milk. The flavor is slightly tangy from the sourdough, but also sweet from the other ingredients. The texture is very soft with each piece effortlessly peeling away. The crumb is so tender with a golden, slightly crisp outside. It is truly a divine treat that is so much fun to make!

sourdough brioche crumb

How can I use sourdough brioche?

There are many ways you can enjoy this beautiful loaf of bread! But here are a few traditional ways that most utilize brioche:

  1. French toast
  2. Bread pudding
  3. Sandwiches
  4. Croissants
  5. Toast
  6. Crutons
  7. Stuffing

This is also an excellent dough to make and roll desired fillings into. Such as chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, Or if you would prefer a more savory approach, fill it with cheese and a desired sauce and make a unique sandwich bread!

Is sourdough brioche hard to make by hand?

Sourdough brioche typically calls for a stand mixer. This is because it uses a lot of butter, which can take time and technique to fold in by hand. But this recipe calls for 1 stick of butter that you add in gradually. I have also broken down each step with pictures to help. Making brioche does require some patience, as the use of a sourdough starter yields a slow fermentation time with a long rise. So as much as we would all love to whip up the dough and immediately bake it, this is a process. But, the hands-on steps involved are actually quite minimal as most of the time is for the bread to rise. Do not let brioche intimidate you! If you have baked a loaf of sourdough bread, you can absolutely make sourdough brioche by hand.

sourdough brioche bread

Tips before baking

  • An active, bubbly starter is needed for this recipe. Feed your starter within 8 hours before mixing the dough.
  • The rise of this bread is highly dependent on the temperature and environment the bread is in. The first bulk rise calls for 10-12 hours at room temperature (68 degrees F) but it may need a few extra hours in the winter or even less in the summer. Watch the dough, not the clock.
  • This is a wet, sticky dough. With some kneading and patience it will come together, I promise. I will show you below how it looks initially and how it will look after kneading.
  • Although this recipe calls for a second proof in the refrigerator, once the dough has doubled you can technically bake it as is. I prefer to shape this dough after refrigeration as it is much easier to handle.
sourdough brioche bread crumb

How to make sourdough brioche by hand

Baker’s schedule:

  • Feed your starter the night before making the dough.
  • 8 AM the next morning, mix the dough. Allow to bulk rise for 10-12 hours at room temperature (68 degrees F) until doubled in size.
  • Place in the refrigerator around 6 pm for 12-24 hours.
  • 8 AM the following morning shape the dough and place it into the baking pan for 6-8 hours. Bake before dinner.

Equipment & Ingredients

  • Mixing bowl
  • Food scale
  • Silicone scraper
  • 9×5 Loaf pan
  • 450 grams of bread flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 grams of whole milk
  • 40 grams sugar
  • 10 grams salt
  • 150 grams sourdough starter
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (softened)
  • Eggwash: 1 egg and 1 tablespoon of water

Mix the dough

  • To your mixing bowl add the milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and sourdough starter, and mix with a fork.
  • Then, add the bread flour and mix until the flour has absorbed all the liquid.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-45 minutes.
  • Note: If the eggs exceed 150 grams, add a teaspoon of bread flour at a time to achieve the right consistency (see below).
sourdough brioche mixture
The sourdough brioche dough mixture

Mix in half the butter

  • After the dough has rested, take half of the stick of softened butter and spread it over the dough with your hands. Dimple and press it into the dough.
  • Fold the dough repetitively to incorporate the butter.
  • Then, start to knead it in until the dough comes together. Knead for about 8-10 minutes.
  • Once complete, place the dough back in the bowl and cover for 20-30 minutes.
sourdough brioche knead the dough
Knead the dough until it comes together

Mix in the remaining butter

  • After the dough has rested, add the second half of the butter by repeating the same steps as above,
  • Knead until the dough comes together. It will be sticky. Your counter will have butter and dough all over it, but continuously use your dough scraper to clean it up.
  • I have shown you below how the dough looks while kneading the butter in, and how after 8-10 minutes of kneading the dough comes together.
  • Once the dough has come together and stops sticking to your counter, place it into a lightly oiled or buttered bowl, cover it, and allow it to rest for 10-12 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Note: As tempting as it may be to add more flour, don’t do it! I promise with a little kneading, the dough will come together and stop sticking. Only if your eggs exceeded 150 grams you should add a bit more flour. Otherwise, keep kneading. You may even want to let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes and go back to kneading for an additional 5 minutes to ensure it comes together.

Kneaded sourdough brioche dough
Kneaded sourdough brioche dough

Second bulk rise

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, you can technically bake it. But I typically refrigerate it for 12-24 hours because it makes shaping it much easier. So after it has doubled, place it right into the refrigerator until morning.

Shape and second rise

  • The following morning remove the dough from the refrigerator and place the dough onto an unfloured surface.
  • Weigh your dough and divide that number by 6. Using your silicone scraper tool, cut 6 pieces and weigh them to ensure they all weigh about the same.
  • Shape each piece into a ball by pinching the seams together and rolling it on the counter or in between your hands.
  • If you are using a non-stick pan you don’t need to coat it. But, if you are using a regular loaf pan coat it with butter or oil. Place the 6 dough balls into the pan.
  • When placing the balls into the pan don’t be afraid to squeeze them in using the dough scraper tool or your hands. Press them down or to the side to fit in each piece of dough.
  • Once complete, cover it with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 6-8 hours.

Brush & Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • After 6-8 hours of proofing or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan, brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg and water mixture.
  • Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
  • Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring it to a cooling rack for 1 hour.
  • Effortlessly tear or cut the bread and enjoy!
sourdough brioche bread
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Sourdough Brioche by Hand (no mixer needed!)

This sourdough brioche by hand recipe is so rich and decadent! It is so easy to make that anyone can do it!
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Proofing time1 day 6 hours
Servings: 1 loaf
Calories: 120kcal

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Food scale
  • Silicone scraper tool
  • 9×5 loaf pan

Ingredients

  • 450 grams bread flour
  • 100 grams milk
  • 40 grams sugar
  • 10 grams salt
  • 150 grams active sourdough starter
  • 114 grams unsalted butter or 1 stick softened
  • 3 medium eggs

For the eggwash

  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon water

Instructions

Mix the dough

  • To your mixing bowl add the milk, eggs, sugar, salt, and sourdough starter, and mix with a fork.
  • Then, add the bread flour and mix until the flour has absorbed all the liquid.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30-45 minutes.
  • Note: If the eggs exceed 150 grams add a teaspoon of bread flour at a time to achieve the right consistency.

Mix in half the butter

  • After the dough has rested, take half of the stick of softened butter and spread it over the dough with your hands. Dimple and press it into the dough.
  • Fold the dough repetitively to incorporate the butter. Then, start to knead it in until the dough comes together.
  • Knead for about 8-10 minutes. Once complete, place the dough back in the bowl and cover for 20-30 minutes.

Mix in the remaining butter

  • After the dough has rested, add the second half of the butter by repeating the same steps as above,
  • Knead until the dough comes together. It will be sticky. Your counter will have butter and dough all over it, but continuously use your dough scraper to clean it up.
  • Once the dough has come together and stops sticking to your counter, place it into a lightly oiled or buttered bowl, cover it, and allow it to rest for 10-12 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Second bulk rise

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, you can technically bake it. But I typically refrigerate it for 12-24 hours because it makes shaping it so much easier. So after it has doubled, place it right into the refrigerator until morning.

Shape and let rise

  • The following morning remove the dough from the refrigerator and place the dough onto an unfloured surface.
  • Weigh your dough and divide that number by 6. Using your silicone scraper tool cut 6 pieces and weigh them to ensure they all weigh about the same.
  • Shape each piece into a ball by pinching the seams together and rolling it on the counter or in between your hands.
  • If you are using a non-stick pan you don't need to coat it. If you are using a regular loaf pan, coat it with butter or oil. Place each dough ball into the loaf pan.
    Note: When placing the balls into the pan don't be afraid to squeeze them in using the dough scraper tool or your hands. Press them down or to the side to fit in each piece of dough.
  • Once complete, cover it with an oiled piece of plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 6-8 hours.

Brush & Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • After 6-8 hours of proofing or until the dough has risen about 1 inch above the rim of the pan, brush the top of the dough with the beaten egg and water.
  • Place the loaf pan into the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes or until it turns golden brown.
  • Allow the dough to rest 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack for 1 hour.
  • Effortlessly tear or cut the bread and enjoy!
  • Sourdough brioche bread can be stored in an airtight container or bread bag for up to 3 days on the counter.

Notes

Baker’s schedule: feed your starter the night before making the dough. 8 AM the next morning, mix the dough. Allow to bulk rise for 10-12 hours at room temperature (68 degrees F) until doubled in size. Place in the refrigerator around 6 pm for 12-24 hours. The following morning 8 AM shape the dough and place it into the baking pan for 6-8 hours. Bake before dinner.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 120kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 120mg

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