Brioche de Nanterre

This brioche, the last of my brioche series, is the bread of the famous phrase “Let them eat cake,” which most people attribute to Queen Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, but may have been said by some other rich and out of touch French lady royalty: “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.” Let them eat brioche! Which, may be better than cake. The remark is more severe than I originally thought.

We brought this loaf to Carol and Bruce Erickson in Chicago, and it went nicely with the breakfast they served

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Brioche de Nanterre

Adapted from The Village Baker

4 packages of yeast (4 cups sourdough starter)

½ cup warm water

6 cups all-purpose flour

4 tsp salt

½ cup sugar

6 eggs

3 sticks of butter (holy moley!)

¼ cup cold milk

Glaze: 2 eggs whisked with 2 tbsp milk

Mix flour, salt, and sugar together. Beat the eggs separately. Make a fountain with the flour mixture, setting aside a ½ cup. Mix the eggs into the fountain and the yeast until homogenous. Then add the softened butter by stretching and folding the dough on a worktable. When butter is incorporated and dough is soft and shiny, add the milk on the table into the dough, a few drops at a time, crashing it in. Knead in the remaining flour mixture.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and let rise for two hours until it has doubled in volume.

Punch dough down and wrap it in plastic, let it rise in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 hours. It should be cut and shaped into different brioches after it has been removed and allowed to warm for about 40 minutes.

To shape brioche de Nanterre, divide a grapefruit-sized dough ball into three pieces and form each piece into a ball. Place the 3 balls side by side in a loaf pan and with a pair of scissors, snip the top of each roll.ImageImage

Glaze immediately after it has been shaped. Let rise for another 2-3 hours. Glaze again before baking in a preheated oven at 385 degrees for 15-17 minutes. The brioche should be golden brown. If it feels a little moist underneath when you place it on the cooling rack, allow to bake for a few more minutes. I should have probably cooked it for 30 minutes, because although it was not moist underneath, the inside of this loaf was nearly all dough. Yummy dough, but a little embarrassing to cut into when it was supposed to be a gift to family.


Had the most wonderful time singing last night at Target Field—KP took some fabulous photographs, and there is rumor that someone was recording and so there may be video or mp3 at some point in the future to share. The professionalism of the Baby Blues was unlike any other group I have ever performed with—I hope to have another chance to sing with this group!Image

4 thoughts on “Brioche de Nanterre

  1. That bread and table setting are so pretty! I’m sure no one was too upset about the slightly undercooked bread – no doubt it was still delicious!

    I love seeing those images (thanks, KP!) of you singing at Target Field, and am happy you had such fun doing it! Any favorite songs or moments from the evening?

    1. My favorite moment was after I sang At Last, a man approached the stage and let the band know we could pack up and go home because, to his mind, it couldn’t get any better. It was his favorite song, and I think I could hear him singing along with me from the dance floor.

      1. Awww I love that! What a powerful, gorgeous song, and it adds one more pearl to our necklace of nostalgia for Angela, as she surprised her husband by singing it to him at their wedding reception 🙂

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