You know, sometimes you need a bit of a pick-me-up. You love blueberries. You love anything baked and, like me, you love butter. Mmmh… Butter! You could make a cake, but you just had cake yesterday, so what are you going to do? The answer is, of course, my recipe for a blueberry swirl sourdough brioche bread.
Last week I baked sourdough bread with blueberries and lemon. You know the kind with a chewy crumb and a crispy crust. That was super delicious bread, but this time we are going on the absolute opposite side of bread types. The Fluffy McFluffface of fluffy loaves. Dough so enriched that it should be called millionaire’s brioche. Oh my, freakin’ Gawd…
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The history of brioche bread
The first recorded use of the word in French dates from 1404. It is attested in 1611 in Cotgrave’s A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, where it is described as “a rowle, or bunne, of spiced bread” and its origin given as Norman.
It’s a bread that’s developed over the years from a bread that was used in the Catholic church called pain bénit. Over the years it became increasingly enriched with ingredients such as egg, butter, sugar, and milk.
Historically, two types of brioche were produced:
- Rich man’s brioche (flour: butter ratio, 3:2)
- Pain brioche (flour: butter ratio, 4:1)
The addition of butter to this bread helps mask the taste of yeast or sourdough starter in the bread, so there’s absolutely no tang.
The formula in this blueberry swirl sourdough brioche bread recipe
The levain in this recipe is a pretty standard levain. It’s made at the proportion of 1:1:1 (one part starter, one part flour, and one part water) to get ready as quickly as possible. We’re using it at the time it’s doubled, but if you need it to really pack a punch you should use it when it’s at its peak.
|50g||starter (100% hydration)||100.0%|
This bread has an exuberant amount of butter. The total flour in the bread is 525g (450g plus 75g in the starter), but the amount of butter is 375g.
A rich man’s brioche has a proportion of 3:2 of flour to butter, so that would make the amount of butter 350g (525 * 2 / 3), so this has an extra 25g added for the love of butter.
As always you can play around with the formula in my Bread Calculator. Notice that the measurement of the hydration is off, as there is really no way to gauge the hydration in a highly enriched dough.
The feel of the dough seems to be in the 60s range. Slightly tacky, but not sticky.
Conclusion on this blueberry swirl sourdough brioche bread recipe
So this is bread is something very special. It is probably the tastiest bread I have ever baked. It isn’t a regular bread though. One that you would eat with meat, cheese, or vegetables. That’s a good thing, or else we wouldn’t eat anything else in my house.
The crust is flaky and deeply caramelized, which makes it insanely satisfying to eat. The crumb is soft with small holes scattered throughout.
The swirl, while not having jam everywhere, leaves a wonderful taste of blueberries in almost every bite.
This bread is an absolute treat. So give it a shot. You’ll be happy that you did!
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This is my recipe for blueberry swirl sourdough brioche bread. I hope you will try to make it. If you make this recipe and post it to Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That will make me very happy.
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Blueberry Swirl Sourdough Brioche Bread
- 450 g bread flour
- 4 eggs
- 150 g levain
- 60 g milk
- 30 g sugar
- 15 g sea salt
- 375 g butter
- 250 g blueberries
- 125 g sugar
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 50 g water
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk
Make levain – morning
- Add 50g sourdough starter, 50g bread flour and 50g water to a see-through container with straight sides. Mix well.
- Leave to ferment, covered in a warm place. Once it has grown to double the size, you need to mix the dough.
Make the blueberry jam – in the morning
- Put 250g blueberries in a small pot. Add 125g sugar, 3 tbsps cornstarch and 50g water.
- Mix to combine everything. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture sit in the pan for about 15 minutes to a cool a bit.
- Add the mixture to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Let cool in the refrigerator until needed.
Mix the dough – around noon
- Add 450g bread flour, 150g levain, 4 eggs, 30g sugar, 15g salt and 60g milk to a bowl.
- Put your index and long finger in the middle of the dough and start moving it in circles; for each revolution, make the circle a little bigger, so you get more and more flour into the fluids.
- Once that gets difficult, grab the back of the dough with your hand, stretch it up and in over the dough, turn the bowl a bit and repeat until all the flour is completely hydrated.
- Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes under a damp dishtowel.
Bulk fermentation – around 12:30/12.30 p.m
- Perform four sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes.
- After the fourth set of stretch and folds, perform a windowpane test to check the gluten development. If it doesn't pass, perform one more stretch and fold and let the dough rest for 30 minutes and test again.
- Once the windowpane passes, take the butter out of the refrigerator and cube it. Rest the dough for 30 minutes.
- Now it's time to add the butter. Put a small handful of cubes on the dough, push it and massage it into the dough. Keep going until you cannot feel any lumps anymore. Then add another handful. Repeat until you have added all the butter.
- Then let the dough ferment until it has expanded by 30-50% in volume.
- Put the dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 48 hours.
Shape and final proof
- Flour your work surface liberally. Dump the dough out and tease it into a rectangle.
- Roll it out so that it's about the width of your pan minus 1.5cm/½". Roll it pretty thinly so that the dough has to roll several times to be a cylinder.
- Apply the blueberry jam to the dough. You can go to the edge, at the end where you will start rolling, but at the other end, you should leave about 3cm/1" room without any jam. On the sides, you should leave about 1.5cm/½" room without jam.
- Then roll up the dough pretty tightly.
- When you have a dough roll, fold the ends underneath the bottom to seal the jam inside.
- Grease your tin liberally with butter or baking spray and place the dough in the tin.
- Then cover the tin with a damp dishtowel and let it proof until it has doubled in size.
Bake the bread
- Heat the oven to 200ºC/390ºF/Gas mark 6.
- Beat one egg with one tablespoon of milk.
- Brush the bread lightly with the egg wash.
- Bake for about 60 minutes or until the inner temperature reaches 98°C/208ºF.
- If the bread starts to get too brown during baking, cover it with a piece of aluminum foil.
- Once the bread is out of the oven, let it cool for 10 minutes and then take it out of the tin and let it cool completely.