The Fluffiest, Softest And Most Buttery Bread Ever
I first started making sourdough brioche last year and I have been so obsessed with it ever since. The smell and taste of freshly baked brioche is super irresistible. I don’t know about you guys, but from where I live, you cannot find vegan brioche anywhere. That’s why I started the quest to make the best brioche at home (and vegan!).
Other brioche recipes:
Sourdough Brioche – A Challenging Recipe
Brioche is a classic French bread known for its rich and tender crumb due to its high butter and egg content. Once you taste an authentic brioche, you will never forget the flavor and will only want more of it. Although the highly enriched nature of the dough is what gives the bread the amazingly pillowy and soft texture, it also makes it one of the most difficult bread to make. If panettone is the Mount Everest of baking, then brioche might be the Annapurna of baking. Making brioche with yeast is not easy. Baking brioche naturally leavened with sourdough starter becomes a real challenge.
Disclaimer: This recipe is not for beginners. But once you get the hang of it, you will be super proud of yourself! 😆
The Key To Making The Best Sourdough Brioche – Stiff Starter
For this recipe, it is especially important to use lievito madre (stiff starter), instead of your normal 100% sourdough starter. Being a highly enriched sweet dough, the sourness from liquid sourdough starter doesn’t really work well in sourdough brioche. This is why bakers usually prefer using lievito madre in enriched dough. Lievito madre is a stiff sourdough starter that is often used in Italy. It is not only active in nature, but it also has a very mild flavour profile without any sourness. All these make it very suitable to leaven enriched dough with high fat and sugar content, such as panettone and brioche. In this recipe, I also added 0.5g of dry yeast to give it a little boost and to remove the sourness in the product.
The Sourdough Brioche Dough
If you are making sourdough brioche for the first time, here are some notes for you regarding the dough consistency, The initial dough ball (before adding butter) will be a bit stiff and sticky, but please don’t add more liquid. I have tested this recipe a couple times, so I would suggest you to follow it precisely.
Adding The Butter
After the initial stage of kneading, you will add in the softened (not melted) butter slowly. This is the critical point where it will make or break your sourdough brioche. I like add the butter gradually in batches (around 4-5 batches). Remember to add more butter only when the previous addition has been fully absorbed by the dough
Tips & Tricks
After adding the butter, I will put the bowl of dough into a freezer for a quick cool down (15 mins). The reason I do that is to ensure the dough temperature will not get above 28°C. Once the dough reaches above 28°C, the gluten will break down and there is nothing you can do to reverse the damage. So be very careful! After the cool down time, continue to mix for another 10-15 mins, or until it reaches the window pane stage.
When you achieve the window pane stage, your job is done (for now) and you can rest. Place the dough in the fridge to proof overnight. The next day, all you have to do is to divide and shape them into 3 dough balls and shape them into logs. Place them into a lined pullman bread pan, then leave it to rise at a warm place for 3-4 hours until it fills about 90% of the pan. I left mine in the oven with the light turned on (around 28°C or 82°F) for 3.5 hours.
You Got This!
After reading this article, if you are feeling intimidated and doubtful of whether you can do this or not. Just try it! You may fail for the first couple of times, or you may not. But when you succeed, you will be super proud of yourself. As you just made yourself the best vegan sourdough brioche! Enjoy the process and have fun!
The Best Vegan Sourdough BriocheCourse: SourdoughCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: High
The fluffiest, softest and most buttery bread ever! This recipe makes one brioche loaf in a 450g pullman loaf pan.
- Lievito Madre or Stiff Levain (50% hydration)
70g stiff levain (50% hydration)
70g bread flour
- Brioche Dough
300g bread flour
140g of stiff levain from above
200g plant milk (I used almond milk)
60g vegan butter (unsalted)
0.5g dry yeast (optional)*
- “Egg” Wash
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp almond milk
- Feed your stiff levain, leave it at a warm place and let it rise until doubled or even tripled (depending on the strength of your starter). I left mine in the oven with the light turned on (around 28°C or 82°F) for 4 hours.
- Add flour, sugar and milk in a mixing bowl, mix until everything is incorporated and there are no dry bits. Autolyse for an hour.
- Place the dough into the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix for 5 mins until the dough has strengthened. Add salt, mix for another 3 mins.
- Gradually add butter in 5 batches, the dough will start to turn more sticky and seem to be slack after the butter addition. However, keep kneading and eventually the shaggy sticky mess will turn into a lovely glossy, elastic dough ball. Only add more butter once the previous addition has been fully absorbed by the dough. Continue to knead for 10-15 more minutes or until reach window pane stage.
- Once the dough reaches window pane, round the dough into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover and leave the dough in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions. Form each portion into a ball. Cover and rest for 15 mins. After the rest, flatten each ball and roll it into a log. Cover and rest for another 15 mins. Now, with the short side facing you, roll the dough out into a long rectangle. Roll it into a log. Place the balls into a lined pullman loaf pan.
- Let it proof at a warm place until the dough rise double in size or when it reaches the 90% mark of the pan. Mine took approximately 3.5 hours at 82°F (28°C).
- Preheat oven at 375°F (190°C). Brush with “egg wash”. Bake in a preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
- *Adding the yeast helps remove the sourness in the baked product.