Bread-Making Tips: Brioche Muffins Recipe

Try this Brioche Muffins Recipe, and bring these delicious serving-sized rolls to a brunch or a light luncheon.

| April 2012

Soft, light brioche, rich in butter and eggs, is a classic breakfast bread. Try this Brioche Muffins recipe by Daniel Leader for serving-sized rolls you can pull apart. You can also try variations with cinnamon, cardamom, chestnuts or leftover fruit. The recipe is excerpted from Simply Great Breads (The Taunton Press, 2011). 

Brioche Muffins Recipe

I’ve been making classic brioche at my bakery, Bread Alone, for many years. It’s just one of those happy, wonderful foods that never disappoints. Every time I treat myself to a fresh slice, with a cup of strong coffee, I get as much pleasure as I did when I first discovered this bread.

You’ll notice that I call for bread flour and may wonder why, if the goal is to bake a soft and yielding bread. Brioche is rich in fat from the butter and eggs. During mixing, the fat molecules coat the proteins in the flour, inhibiting the formation of gluten that the bread needs to give it a strong structure to support a high rise. To make sure that enough gluten develops, in spite of all of the added fat, you need to use flour with a higher gluten content. Don’t worry. Your brioche will be exceptionally tender.

Shaping brioche in the traditional way requires a special technique and pan. To get a similar effect without the work or the equipment, you can roll the dough into small balls and place the balls in a conventional muffin tin, three per cavity. The result is brioche muffins that are beautiful and fun to pull apart as you eat them. I like to sprinkle pearl sugar over the muffins just before baking, but you can use sanding sugar or leave them plain and they will be just as good.

This Brioche Muffins recipe makes just the right amount of dough for a 9-inch loaf. Shape it as you would any pan loaf, place it in a greased 9-inch loaf pan, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes at 425 degrees. Leftovers make sensational French toast, especially when served with local apples and pears cooked with some butter and brown sugar. MAKES 12 BRIOCHE MUFFINS

• 17.63 ounces/500 grams (3 1/2 cups) unbleached bread flour
• 2.12 ounces/60 grams (1/3 cup) sugar
• .48 ounce/15 grams (1 tablespoon) instant yeast
• .24 ounce/7.5 grams (1 1/2 teaspoons) fine sea salt or kosher salt
• 6 large eggs
• 2 ounces/48 grams (1/4 cup) chilled water (55 degrees)
• 10 ounces/140 grams (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons pearl sugar (optional)

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