Food, Home & Lifestyle


Apollonia Poilâne

Lesson time 23:51 min

Apollonia demonstrates the way to achieve the quintessential airy texture and perfectly domed tops of this French favorite while reflecting on time spent honing her brioche technique as a young apprentice in the bakehouse at Poilâne.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Kneading, Shaping & Second Rise · Baking · Slicing & Storage


[MUSIC PLAYING] INSTRUCTOR: This recipe is about brioche, this beautiful airy crumb, sweet rich bread that we associate with the French. What differentiates a brioche from a regular bread is the fact that we have eggs inside. We also have butter in it, which makes it closer to pastries. It was a bread that people would look up to as a luxury. This was a bread that was only for the elite. I love brioche when it's cut super thick and toasted. The butter in the middle will have melted, so that it's really wonderful and it doesn't call for anything else. When I was an apprentice, my father had me work every day on a batch of brioche to have me understand how delicate this dough needs to be handled. So making brioche is a difficult recipe. I'm using a standalone mixer, because if you overwork it, then the brioche dough won't rise as much. So using a standalone mixer avoids putting too much force into it. So in this recipe, I'm going to use active dry yeast, flour, sugar, salt, eggs, and butter. We're going to start by activating the dry yeast with a little bit of water. So I'm just going to mix it with a fork in a bowl. And after a couple of minutes, you'll start seeing these little bubbles. And if you froth it with your fork, it looks a little bit like egg whites when you just start mixing them. While my active dry yeast is bubbling up, I'm going to butter my molds in this recipe, but I will be making a batch that's big enough to have two loaves of brioche. I'm buttering the bowls, because once I've cut the dough in two, I can let it rest there without it sticking too much to the sides. In my mixer, I'm going to put the flour, sugar, the salt, and the yeast. So we're going to start with the paddle attachment, and we're just going to bring these ingredients together before we add the eggs. Here, we really want to work on a slow speed because we don't want to be rough or too forceful, the same way we would with our hands if we were hand-kneading the dough. Once it's come together, you're absolutely fine using the spatula to make sure that all of the elements have been mixed in properly. And it's also a good way of checking if the consistency is regular. At this point, add the eggs. Here, we want all the elements to mix well before we change attachment and add in the butter. So the dough has come together. You can see a little bit of flour. You can see a little bit of eggs. It seems to be more or less homogeneous. The other indication was my standalone mixer seems to be having a little bit of a harder time to work the dough together. At that point, you know the dough has come together and ready to greet the butter. So at this point, you change attachments. When you're using the paddle, what you're doing is really bringing the ingredients together, like you would with your hands working it. The hook is going to have more of a shaping effect on the dough. I like to use raw milk butter from France. But whatever butter you us...

About the Instructor

As a third-generation baker and CEO of the renowned Parisian bakery Poilâne, Apollonia Poilâne keeps time-honored traditions alive with every loaf. Now she’s sharing the joy of making bread from scratch with her recipes and hands-on demonstrations. Learn how to make your own starter and a variety of French breads, including rustic wheat, rye, and brioche. Taste, smell, and feel your way to fresh, warm bread at home.

Featured Masterclass Instructor

Apollonia Poilâne

Poilâne CEO Apollonia Poilâne teaches the renowned Parisian bakery’s philosophy and time-tested techniques for baking rustic French breads.

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