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Jul 20, 2012

BBA Challenge - Poor Man's Brioche & Challah

Installment number two of my year baking my way through Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Poor Man's Brioche 

I had tried another recipe for brioche before and wasn't all that happy with it. Brioche is a very rich bread. It includes eggs, a bit of sugar, and a ton of butter. It's not flaky like croissants, and it's not sweet. To me, the first recipe I tried just seemed greasy. I ended up making a very nice bread pudding with it, but it annoys me that I would have to take such an elaborate recipe and then create bread pudding. Seems like "bread pudding" and "French toast" are the catch-all excuses for what to do with bad bread.

Fortunately, Peter Reinhart provides three versions of his brioche recipe. Rich Man's Brioche, with a pound of butter to make three 1-pound loaves, Middle-Class Brioche, with 1/2 pound of butter to make two 1-pound loaves, or Poor Man's Brioche, with 1/4 pound of butter to make two 1-pound loaves.

I made the Poor Man's Brioche. It was perfect for me. And I think my loaves are quite pretty. Perhaps I'll try Peter's "richer" recipes someday.

I definitely would make this bread again.

Google BBA Challenge #4 to see other bakers' experiences.


This bread is excellent. I had already made Peter Reinhart's Challah from Artisan Breads Everyday. That recipe (which is very good) called for a very large amount of egg yolks (in fact, that's why I finally attempted macarons). This recipe called for two eggs and two egg yolks. And the leftover egg whites could be used as a bread wash before sprinkling the loaf with seeds.

I will definitely make this challah again. It's very good.

For this bread,  Google BBA Challenge #6 to see other bakers' experiences.

Would you like to comment?

  1. All of your breads look great! I made all 3 versions of the brioche and preferred the Middle-class one. It was excellent as toast.

  2. Karen, lovely photo's. I like the poor man's brioche to make hamburger buns. I have tried all three and agree with you on the greasiness factor. I made a variation of his dough and used it in a unique way, Brioche Lemon Cups. I put a small amount of dough in deep well cupcake tin and made a lemon curd filling. I dusted with powdered sugar and candied lemon peel. They were very good, but extremely rich.

  3. Thank you AZBaker. I took a look and will definitely try. We have a Meyer lemon tree that produces 12 months a year so I'm all set!


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