40% sourdough brioche (apple and pistachio, three ways)

I love butter. I used to eat pieces of butter when I was little. (Eek! I couldn’t do that now.)

And so I also, by extension, love brioche. Brioche is what happens to a croissant when, instead of allowing the butter to peacefully coexist in little layers between the dough, you beat it into assimilation. It makes for a very rich, homogenous, and tender bread.

I did, however, show some restraint. I’ve seen brioche go up to 80%, but I kept mine at a moderate, and perhaps a bit stingy, 40%. It’s soft and tender and definitely best when lightly toasted, just to warm it up and recrisp the slightly flaky crust.

Brioche dough is wonderfully soft, with all that butter, and stretchy, from all that gluten development you hopefully created. However, it is best, when you have higher butter content, to keep the dough at a lower temperature; otherwise it can get very greasy. This is one difficulty with sourdough brioche…I wanted to get it done in one day, but cold rises are very, very slow so I ended up leaving the dough out at room temperature. I was just a bit more careful as I worked with it, and it was fine.

Sorry for all the photos… with three different flavours I somehow ended up taking three times the photos I normally do.

Lately I’ve also been concerned with starting the breads I make from percentages. I’m not sure it’s very interesting, but it’s a good reference for me; usually my percentages work don’t turn out too well, but I hope with practice it’ll become less airy guesswork.

Starting percentages: or how I planned to make this bread

100% flour

25% milk

12.5% starter

40% butter

10% sugar

5% salt

50% egg

Of course things never turn out how I expect them to, so my actual dough ended up having higher hydration, and I cut down on the sugar and salt as I realized just how much I was intending to put in.

Finally, I am a bit disappointed that I only seem to get a few lovely holes in brioche! I don’t aim for a loose crumb in brioche; rather it’s usually a tighter crumb. Whereas in my usual bread…if only I could somehow transfer the holes!

As for the flavours: My favourite was probably the apple brioche; I like the Swiss cheese-type look the pieces of apple gave the bread, and the excess moisture helped. I tend to overbake (even though this time around I remembered to check the internal temperature–I just checked it too late). For that reason the other two brioche were a bit dry, so they were best when toasted.The crabapple brioche was sweet and sticky–I really like baking with preserves–but I did not notice too much of the orange or lavender.The pistachio and rose brioche took some warming up to, but the toasted pistachios on top were lovely and it had the lightest (although also the driest) crumb, and the best oven spring.

And happy Fiesta Friday! Has it really been a week since last Friday? I do sometimes try to do 2 posts a week…so I let my blog sit for a little while and before I knew it, Friday again! This event is so very kindly hosted every week by Angie, the Novice Gardener, and cohosted by Aunt Juju of Cooking with Aunt Juju and Amanda, The Chunky Chef.


17 thoughts on “40% sourdough brioche (apple and pistachio, three ways)

  1. Brioche is a bread that I have never made – love the apples in your recipe! Gene (hubby) would always take a piece of butter from the dish and he was big on scooping out a spoon of mayo too! Guess what, we had his and her jars. Thanks for bringing this lovely bread to Fiesta Friday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can certainly imagine the appeal of his and her jars–maybe I should start labelling all my butter! Haha, luckily I’ve not moved on to mayo yet (but I do like my heavy cream instead…) Happy FF and thanks so much for cohosting!


    1. This was a pretty light brioche; I think the very very rich (perhaps slightly excessively so) brioche are truly spectacular 🙂 But I did like the unexpected holes I got! Thank you so much, and I’m looking forwards to your continued bread adventures as well!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Hope it wasn’t too many versions at once… but it’s so fun! And convenient if one of them doesn’t turn out very well, as I only have 1/3 of the amount 🙂 Happy FF and thanks for cohosting!


    1. Now that I look back at the photos, it’s painfully obvious I took them over three different days due to the crazy variation in lighting! So it’s not the most cohesive post 😀 thank you and happy FF! x


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