April 20, 2022

Sourdough Braided Brioche Bread

Springtime

Springtime calls for a fresh and clean house. But what makes a house more homey than sweet bakes? This sourdough braided brioche bread is a great spring bake. It’s easy to make but looks lovely on a spring breakfast table.

A braided sourdough brioche bread in a glass baking tray. Above it stands a little bowl with beaten egg and a pastry brush

Sweet bread

The bread dough for this sourdough braided brioche bread is called a sweet dough, or a rich dough.

That’s because it doesn’t only contain water, salt and flour but other ingredients too. You’ll need milk, cream and butter as well. Hence the name “rich dough”, it’s richer than a normal dough.

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Using sourdough in sweet bakes

Sourdough is great to use in all kinds of bakes. Sweet OR savoury. As I mentioned in my beginner sourdough doughnut recipe, a good sourdough starter doesn’t necessarily taste sour. It is supposed to bring out the flavour of the other ingredients you add.

Because sourdough is so great at bringing out all the good flavours, it’s great for any kind of bake really.

A freshly baked sourdough braided brioche bread
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What you’ll need

Because this is a “rich dough” you’ll need more than salt, flour and water. This recipe calls for butter, milk and cream too.

You could substitute the milk and cream for buttermilk, or kefir. Furthermore, if you like this brioche a little sweeter you can add (a few) tablespoons of sugar, honey or maple syrup to taste.

I like this bread not too sweet because it’s a great pair with butter and honey or jam. Which already adds a subtle sweetness.

Braiding

To braid the dough, you take the whole dough from the bowl and put it on a well floured surface. Gently flatten the dough and make a rectangle. Additionaly, try not to punch or knead the dough, since this will damage the structure and will result in a flat(ter) brioche. The larger you make the rectangle, the longer and lower the braid.

Subsequently, with a pizza wheel or dough scraper, divide it into three equal parts. Next put the top of the three dough strings together, making the stick. After you finished the braid you can put these under the braid, that will look prettier.

Continue to braid the dough untill all dough is braided. Stick the last three strings together like you did at the beginning and tuck them under.

Sourdough Braided Brioche bread in a glass baking tray.

New to sourdough?

Because this is a sourdough recipe, it will take time. But time adds flavour! A lot.

You need to feed your starter the night before, make the dough the day after, let it proof overnight and bake the day after that.

Just starting out? I’ll explain how to make a sourdough starter in my free e-book “Starting sourdough”, which you can access clicking the image below. Also, I compiled five tips on making a sourdough starter in another post on the blog.

Two hands holding the "Starting Sourdough" book against a rust colored background

 

Let’s do some spring baking!

To begin making the sourdough braided brioche, make sure you feed your starter the night before. Gather your ingredients, and let’s bake.

Sourdough Braided Brioche bread in a glass baking tray.

Sourdough Braided Brioche Bread

Yield: 1 Loaf

Ingredients

  • 500 grams spelt flour
  • 100 grams starter (fed the night before)
  • 250 grams of whole milk
  • 50 grams of cream
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 10 grams of salt

Instructions

  1. The night before, feed your starter.
  2. The nex day, combine starter with whole milk and cream. Mix until incorporated.
  3. Add the flour and sprinkle the salt over the flour making sure you don't have any lumps of salt in the dough.
  4. Add the butter and mix until a sticky ball of dough forms.
  5. Leave the dough to rest for about one hour.
  6. Perform up to four stretch and folds with 30 minute intervals.
  7. Flour the dough and bowl, put the dough back into the bowl and leave the dough in the fridge to proof overnight.
  8. Next day, Pre heat the oven to 180 °C/ 356 °F.
  9. Place the dough on a well floured surface, divide into three strips and braid.
  10. Put the dough in a greased, (glass) baking tray.
  11. Give the dough an egg wash and bake for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

  • Read the instructions given in the blog above. It's contains important information about the dough and braiding.
  • Not enough time to perform stretch and folds? No problem. The structure of the dough may be slightly different, but it will still taste really good.
  • Making your dough late in the evening? Also, no problem. Although sourdough is best proofed slowly, you can place the dough in a moderatly cool place about 10°C/50°F to proof overnight. That will compensate for the missing proofing time & stretching and folding at room temperature.

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