This easy sourdough brioche loaf is enriched with butter, milk and eggs.
The dough is rich in buttery flavor, but soft and cotton candy like in the middle.
You can use sourdough brioche for to make a lovely breakfast loaf - but it's also perfect for creating brioche rolls and buns and even filling with chocolate or jam.
The leftover sourdough brioche bread makes the most amazing French Toast or Sourdough Bread Pudding! Plus, if you make a double batch of dough, you can make these sourdough brioche blueberry cheesecake tarts.
I've got lots of ideas to use sourdough brioche dough in this post.
What Type of Sourdough Starter Do You Need For Brioche?
You can use a regular sourdough starter to make sourdough brioche - so long as it is fed and bubbly.
You do not need a stiff starter or to build a levain or leaven - this is unecessary.
Of course, like anything, you can do these things if you wish - but honestly, you won't see too much difference in the result.
If you want to try something a little different, you could use a chocolate sourdough starter.
The main thing to remember when making sourdough brioche is that you starter needs to be fed, happy and at its peak (doubled) before you add it to your dough.
How To Make Sourdough Brioche
Sourdough brioche dough is often made out to be super complicated.
In reality, it's quite easy to make. The kneading can be a little challenging, but once you've made it a few times, you'll get the hang of it.
I've also added lots of tips in the next segment to help you with the kneading aspect.
Here's how to make sourdough brioche:
- Warm the milk slightly and mix the sugar into the milk until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Now add the sourdough starter, eggs and flour to the milk and sugar and bring it together into a rough dough.
- Let the dough sit for around 30 minutes.
- Now add the butter and salt to the dough and knead it (preferably with a stand mixer) until it's smooth and elastic. This can take time (see notes below for tips on kneading).
- Once the dough has formed a window pane, cover the bowl and allow the dough to ferment.
- When the dough has risen, divide the dough into equally weighted balls and use them to form a loaf in a tin (see notes on shaping).
- Allow the dough to proof and get nice and puffy.
- Once risen, brush with egg wash, bake in a moderate oven for approximately 30 minutes or until golden.
- Brush with butter as soon as it's out of the oven.
Tips for Kneading Sourdough Brioche Dough
Kneading sourdough brioche dough can be overwhelming, especially if you aren't familiar with working with a butter rich dough.
I highly recommend using a stand mixer (I use a Thermomix). Using a stand mixer makes it much easier to incorporate the butter into this dough.
You can knead it by hand of course, but you'll need to bring your A game.
Much like hot cross bun dough, sourdough brioche dough will feel like it's never going to come together - like a big sticky mess!
You have to push through and trust that it will come together!
Whether you're using a stand mixer or kneading by hand - do not be tempted to add extra flour! This will make your baked bread tough and dry.
At any point if you feel the dough is getting too warm, pop it in the fridge. You don't need it to get cold - but just 10 minutes in the fridge can help to stop the dough getting too hot and sticky.
You can see how the dough behaves for me in the photo below. When I add the butter it looks like a big sticky mess that will never come together.
I keep the mixer going and after 8 to 10 minutes it eventually comes together and becomes beautiful and silky.
Do You Need A Window Pane When Making Sourdough Brioche?
You don't necessarily need a window pane when making sourdough brioche - however achieving this can demonstrate the brioche dough has formed a strong gluten network and is ready for fermentation.
To check for a window pane, wait until the dough has come together and you feel it is sufficiently mixed.
Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before you check for the window pane.
Take a piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. You should be able to do this without it tearing. You should also see light through the dough.
I have demonstrated the window pane in the photo below.
Shaping Sourdough Brioche Dough
Brioche dough is quite versatile.
There are many ways you can shape this dough, but the easiest is to create a loaf in a bread pan.
The easiest way to do this is to divide the dough into 100g balls of dough.
Shape each piece into a ball (they don't have to be perfect, they will even out in the proofing process).
Place the balls into a bread pan. Make sure they are snug and touching each other. As they rise they will form a loaf.
You can see process in the photo below.
The tin I have used is a 1 litre bread pan (it's this Jamie Oliver one).
I love this pan for so many things! I actually have 2 I use them so often. It's also the perfect size for this sourdough banana bread.
Why Is Brioche Yellow?
Sourdough brioche is a rich dough made from butter, eggs and milk, along with flour and sugar.
The color of your dough will depend largely on the type of eggs and butter you use.
If you use free range, orange yolked eggs, you're more likely to get a darker color.
I have actually used homemade butter and free range eggs in my dough - and it's still not as yellow as some brioche doughs.
It still has the rich taste however.
How To Use Sourdough Brioche Dough?
Most of the time, I use this sourdough brioche dough as a simple breakfast loaf - it makes the most perfect toast to go with bacon and eggs!
But, if I have some dough leftover - or I'm feeling a little creative - I also love to do the following:
- Divide the dough into 50g pieces and add small piece of chocolate or nutella to the centre. Bake and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar before enjoying! Seriously so good!
- Plait the dough into small plaited sourdough brioche rolls - these are elegant little morsels perfect on their own or even lovelier spread with butter and jam. I've used 50g portions of dough in the photo below. You can see how I've made plaited sourdough brioche buns here.
- Divide into 100g portions and make sourdough brioche burger buns (similar to these sourdough discard hamburger buns).
Want More Recipes?
Love this recipe? Here are other sourdough brioche based recipes:
- Sourdough Brioche Buns
- Baked Sourdough Brioche Chocolate Donut Balls
- Sourdough Chocolate Star Bread
- Sourdough Hot Cross Buns
- Hamburger Buns Made with Sourdough Discard
Sourdough Brioche Loaf
- Stand Mixer
- Mixing Bowl
- 100 g Sourdough Starter fed and bubbly
- 540 g Bread Flour
- 2 Eggs
- 120 g Salted Butter soft
- 200 g Milk whole milk
- 50 g Sugar
- 10 g Salt
- 1 Egg plus 1 tbsp water to use as egg wash
- Butter extra for brushing after baked
- Warm milk to around 37C (you don't want it to be cold, but not too warm either). Add the milk and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and mix until the sugar is dissolved.
- Now add the sourdough starter, flour and eggs to the bowl. Mix into a rough dough and let it sit for around 30 minutes.
- Once the dough has sat for a little while, add the butter and salt and use the stand mixer to knead it really well. You want the butter to mix all the way through and the dough to become very soft and elastic.Depending on the type of mixer you use, this could take 3 minutes, it could take 20 minutes (see notes in the article above).
- Once the dough is silky and elastic (it can be slightly sticky) it should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough into a large bowl for bulk fermentation. Cover with plastic and set aside.
- Once the dough has risen a bit (it doesn't have to double, 50% rise is ok in this instance) you'll need to shape the brioche dough.
- Turn the dough onto the counter and divide into equally weighted balls of dough.
- Use the instructions in the post above for shaping (you can choose to shape as a loaf or into individual rolls).
- Once shaped, allow the dough to proof and get nice and puffy. This can take quite a while due to the butter, milk and eggs.
- Once the dough is puffy, it's time to bake!
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- While the oven is preheating, mix an egg with 1 tablespoon of water and brush the dough generously with this egg wash.
- Bake the sourdough brioche at 180C/350F for around 30 minutes. This loaf will burn easily so keep an eye on it. If the top of the loaf starts to get to dark, cover the loaf with foil and turn the oven down to 160C to allow it to cook through without burning.
- Once the loaf is out of the oven, brush with lashings of butter while still in the pan. Cool on a wire rack.