Editor’s note: This post is sponsored by Danone North America. All opinions are my own.
Baking bread is my favorite activity when I need to relax. There’s something about feeling flour and water come together into something smooth and silky and tastes so delicious!
I used to think that bread was scary. To spend so much time and have it not work out.
I’ve come to learn that bread is a lot more forgiving than you’d think. And there is a true art to learning to trust your instinct and learn from the feeling of the dough in your hands.
Brioche was a new territory for me. I LOVE brioche. Eating it. Smelling it. Eating it. But I hadn’t tried making it before I started testing this recipe.
Brioche is a type of French bread that is characterized by its highly enriched dough – meaning it is chock full of the good stuff – like eggs, butter, and milk. This is what gives it the tender crumb and rich flavor. It’s often baked in a recognizable brioche tin, with fluted edges for a lovely finished loaf.
The milk is creamy and delicious, and this in part is because of the way that the cows are raised and treated. Cows get to graze in pastures 120 days each year. . They are raised without antibiotics, and care and sustainability is a huge priority. You can read more about Horizon’s cow care here.
Throughout this process, I’ve learned that a good brioche is a lesson in quality over quantity. In addition to using only the best ingredients, brioche takes TIME and lots of patience. Kneading takes longer than you’d think, and the first rise is best done in an overnight process.
In order to delicately flavor this loaf for a nice breakfast bread, I used Navel Oranges (on sale at Sprouts, check the app for the coupon!) and dried cranberries.
You’ll want to soak the cranberries in orange juice for a few hours before making the loaf. That’s because dried fruit will soak up the moisture in the bread, which we don’t want. Soaking the cranberries in orange juice just elevated the orange flavor in the loaf too – it’s a win -win.
You can make brioche by hand, but this is one bread where I would recommend using a stand mixer. The dough is very rich – full of butter and milk – so it can be fairly sticky initially.
It’s incredible to see a dough go from wet and sticky to smooth and silky with just a bit of kneading. It never fails to amaze me! For this reason, you’ll want to knead longer than you think.
The dough will come together and start easily pulling away from the sides. But that’s not the time to stop the mixer. Keep kneading until the dough becomes smooth. I often like to knead by hand at this point because it helps me to feel the texture for smoothness.
Proving the dough is another test of patience. Because of all the enrichments in the dough, it will be slower to rise. It’s best to let the dough rest in the fridge overnight for the first rise. The second rise can be at room temp.
Then comes the bake. I keep an eye out on the top of the loaf for a nice golden brown color. Give it a quick tap and if it sounds hollow, you’re ready to pull the loaf out. Remember, brioche rewards those who are patient, so let the loaf cool before cutting!
Serve this delicate morning loaf with a nice glass of milk and a smear of orange marmalade for the perfect breakfast!Print
Orange Cranberry Brioche
A delicate morning treat that will make your breakfast a delight! Serve with orange preserves and a tall glass of cold milk!
- 50 g dried cranberries
- Zest and juice of 2 navel oranges
- 250 g flour
- 4 grams yeast
- 2 eggs
- 50 g Horizon Organic Grassfed Whole Milk, warm
- 15 g sugar
- 100 g butter, room temperature, cubed
- 4 g salt
- Soak the cranberries in orange juice for 2-3 hours.
- In a stand mixer, mix flour, yeast, sugar, and milk.
- Add eggs and salt.
- Add butter, small chunks at a time.
- Add orange juice, zest, and plump cranberries.
- Allow stand mixer to knead the dough until well blended, scraping down the sides occasionally.
- Continue kneading for 4-5 more minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Grease a bowl that is more than twice as big as your ball of dough. I use the butter paper for this exercise.
- Cover and allow to rest and rise in the fridge overnight.
- In the morning, pull out dough and punch down. Shape into a ball (or balls based on tin size) and place in brioche tin(s).
- Set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour and allow to rise. The dough should double in size.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing.