Sourdough Brioche (Soft and Fluffy Crumb)

by - September 21, 2020

Sourdough Brioche with Soft and Fluffy Crumb

Sourdough Brioche with Soft and Fluffy Crumb

I made a few attempts to bake a Sourdough Brioche and am finally to achieve the texture that I'd like it to be.    This is not the traditional Brioche that is very rich and eggy.  This is a lighter Sourdough Brioche that is very fluffy and soft. It'll be good for people that would prefer something that isn't so greasy and rich and yet still enjoy the taste of Brioche. 

Some time ago, I made Brioche using instant yeast.  It was nice, however I still think it is a a little too rich and the crumb is not as fine as this.  I was inspired to bake it again after trying some brioche that my brother in-law bought.

I have other Soft Sourdough Bread recipes that you may like to try too.

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.

GENERAL NOTES:

KNEADING TIME
For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

OVER KNEADING
Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

FLOUR
The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

HYDRATION
The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

PROOFING
Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

Proofing:
  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
WRINKLE TOP OR SHRINKING
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

BAKING
Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

SOURDOUGH STARTER
A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Sourdough Brioche with Soft and Fluffy Crumb

Yields:  8 pull-apart buns in 450g loaf pan

INGREDIENTS:

Levain - 190g total (ratio 1:1:1):
65g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
65g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
65g water

Main Dough:
255g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
50g brown sugar 
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs, whisked (about 108g without shell)
20g full cream milk (whole milk)
1/4 tsp of vanilla extract or paste (optional)
80g butter, room temperature

Egg Wash:
1 egg + 1 tbsp water, whisked

Utensil:
450g Loaf pan (20 X 10 X 10 cm) or (8" X 4" X 4")

METHOD:

OPTION 1 - SCHEDULE TO BAKE IN THE MORNING
  1. Levain (7.00 pm)
    1. Mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment in room temperature in tropical climate (approximately 29C - 30C) until tripled.  It took about 3 - 5 hours. You will loose some that stick to the jar.  So, you will yield 190g of starter.
  2. Main Dough (Around 11.00 - 11.30 pm)
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) including the 190g sourdough starter (levain) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter in two batches and continue knead for 15 minutes or until reach window pane stage. Window pane stage is crucial if you want to achieve fluffy texture.  During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes -  60 minutes in the same bowl, covered with cling film or the lid.  (I rest this dough for 15 minutes).
    3. Transfer the dough to a floured table top.
    4. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and shape into balls (please refer to the diagram).
    5. Place bun onto the loaf pan.  
    6. Let it proof overnight at room temperature (25C - 27C) until 90% of the size, about 1.5cm below the rim of the pan.  I placed in an air-conditioned room.  It took approximately 8 hours. 
  3. Baking (Around 9.00 am)
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack.

OPTION 2 - SCHEDULE TO BAKE IN LATE AFTERNOON OR EVENING
  1. Levain (the night before)
    1. Mix all ingredients in a jar and cover. Ratio 1:3:3 = 28g starter + 84g flour + 84g water.  You will get slightly more than 190g.  But, you will need only 190g.
    2. Let it ferment in aircond room temperature (approximately 25-27C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. 
  2. Main Dough (The next morning)
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) including the 190g sourdough starter (levain) into a bowl of stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix for 2 minutes or until all incorporated.  Change to hook attachment and knead for another 3 minutes or until the dough comes together. Add in butter in two batches and continue knead for 15 minutes or until reach window pane stage.  During the whole kneading process, I stopped few times to scrape down the dough from the hook to be sure it is evenly kneaded and also to prevent the motor from overheating.
    2. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes -  60 minutes in the same bowl, covered with cling film or the lid. 
    3. Transfer the dough to a floured table top.
    4. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and shape into balls (please refer to the diagram).
    5. Place buns onto the loaf pan. 
    6. Let it proof in room temperature (29C - 30C) until until 90% of the size, about 1.5cm below the rim of the pan.   It will take approximately 3 - 5 hours or longer.
  3. Baking 
    1. Preheat oven at 190C (top & bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced) for 10 - 15 minutes.
    2. Brush with egg wash.
    3. Bake in a preheated oven for 25 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    4. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack.




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6 comments

  1. Hi, would you mind share with me how to prepare your sourdough starter?
    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for visiting my blog. I learnt from this Youtube:

      https://youtu.be/m6pGkOuZnrk

      Cheers :)

      Delete
  2. Hi this looks wonderful, can you recommend a good substitute for the eggs please?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Thanks for reading this recipe. I have not tried any eggless brioche recipes yet. For now, I do not know what is best. I wonder whether can replace egg with whole milk?
      Cheers :)

      Delete
  3. I usually see 50%+ hydration in breads/brioche but this is using only small amount of milk but can yield soft fluffy bread. Does hydration affects the fluffiness?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe and asking. The total hydration for this recipe is about 63%. I included eggs as liquid. Most of the liquid is from the levain.

      Usually the more water in the dough, the more open the final bread's crumb which allow for a greater volume in proofing (rising).

      When you have enough liquid in the dough, you will get more gluten development. The fluffiness is from the gluten development. I used Japan High gluten flour in this recipe too.

      Cheers :)

      Delete

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