Brioche Mousseline; The Bread Baking Babes Bake Brioche

I just love alliteration!BBB logo november 2009

I really love this bread!

Monique, of Living On Bread and Water, our host kitchen for this month, gave us this most wonderful bread recipe.

The only problem I had was finding the tin cans.

Tin cans?

Yes, this was meant to be baked in 1lb tin cans….. Whatever size that is…..

First problem: I don’t buy a lot of food in tin cans.

Most of the food I buy is fresh; I don’t buy much that is prepared.  I keep a can or two of red and white beans on hand, but that’s about it.  (I use dried, normally.)

Most ‘canned’ food here is actually in boxes or glass.  If / when I buy something like tomato sauce, it comes in a small box. (I have tomatoes and sauce in my freezer.)  The pimientos, that I do buy often, come in a glass jar.

Off I went to the supermarché in search of tin cans; tape measure in hand.

Tall Brioche

You see, the other problem I have is that ovens in Europe are, generally, much smaller than their American counterparts.  The only way I could bake a 20lb turkey in my oven would be to cut it up in small pieces, take out the racks, and stuff it in.

Did I get strange looks measuring all the cans?

Of course not.  This is France.  We’re allowed to be weird.

Second problem: Not all tin cans are made alike.

The first cans I bought, with perfectly usable food, were lined with white plastic.  This is not good.

Well, it’s good for the food in the can, but not for the Bread Baking Babes Brioche.  Apparently, when heated, like in a hot oven, it can kill you…. Or so I’m told.  I neither doubted or verified this bit of wisdom.

Back to the store.

Now, in this store there are 2 brands of canned goods.  The one that I bought and the super-cheap store brand.

I assumed, without buying lots more stuff, that Company X made all their cans the same, lined with plastic.  I bought the super-cheap store brand.

But, I could only find two sizes of cans: monster size for a family of 22; and small, soup-can size.

It still had to fit in my oven… I bought the small ones.

Now, you’re wondering…. How small can that oven be?!?!?

The brioche were expected to rise more than twice the height of the can – 3 times the overall height.  For a 4″ can I needed 12″ of room, plus it had to clear the elements.

Enough of all that…. Here it is:

Sliced Brioche

Brioche Mousseline

My comments are in italics

Ingredients: For 2 tall loaves,    in my case, 2 tall loaves and two small bread pan loaves


1 package of dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup all purpose flour


4 cups all purpose flour
6 eggs, room temperature
4 tablespoons warm water
3 tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt I used 1 tsp       ’cause I used salted butter
12 ounces butter , unsalted , room temperature      I used salted – ’cause I forgot to buy unsalted

Starter (takes 10 minutes and 2 hours):

Dissolve yeast in water and set aside for a few minutes until creamy. Stir in flour and knead for about 3 minutes until shaggy loaf of dough. Cover with plastic and let rest for 2 hours.
  I ‘kneaded’ with the back of a spoon – very sticky.


Midway through starter rising time, prepare rest of dough:

Start with 2 cups of flour , 4 eggs (stir in one at the time), 2 tbs water, sugar, salt and blend it all.
Knead butter (on a length of wax paper) until soft and pliable using a dough-scraper or spatula. Blend in batter.
At first I didn’t think this was going to work….. Amazingly, it all came together.

Than add remaining 2 eggs and tbs of water. Stir in rest of flour, 1/2 cup at the time until the dough is a soft ball.

Impossible to stir after 1 cup of flour. I put the other cup on the counter, dumped the dough on it and kneaded it in, along with the starter. Mine never formed more than a sticky mess, never a nice ‘oval’.



Press into oval on your floured work surface, place starter in the center and fold over the edges and knead to incorporate the white starter dough with the yellow egg and butter dough. Knead for about 8 minutes. The dough stays a little sticky but will become firm after cooling in the fridge if that will help you kneading.

A little sticky? It was like kneading honey….. I persevered.

First rise 3 hours
At room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, until more than double. It becomes light and puffy.
I thought is was going to take over the kitchen. Use a BIG bowl.

Refrigeration 2 hours or overnight
For at lest 2 hours in the fridge. Overnight is also possible but it will need a longer rise in the mold later on.
I was afraid to open the fridge, mine kept rising after I put it in. Yes, it did eventually stop, but I opened the door very carefully. I left mine in until the afternoon of the next day.

Dress up the cans by encircling the cans with parchment paper (buttered if needed) as a collar.
Butter the inside of the can or, better, line in with paper.

I buttered the paper and the cans. I lined one can with paper, it took me 5 hours….. I put the paper on the outside of the other can, it took me 5 seconds.


Fill the coffe can for 2/3 and allow to rise.

I used the 2 cans, plus 2 small bread pans


Rising varies , 1-2 hours
At room temp. Remember , overnight in fridge means at least 2 hours.
It took mine about 2 hours to wake up, then another 90 minutes of rising.

Baking 375 F, for 1 hour

Pre-heat the oven 20 minutes before baking.
How high the rising will be depends on the strength of flour thats been used. There will be a difference between french and american or dutch… Hope you have a huge oven… 😉
The Brioche is done when the crust is deep brown but I always let my insert-thermometer tell me. Or use a cake testing pin, that has to come out clean .

Undress your mold and let stand for 10 minutes before removing the mold.Twist gently to remove ( take care , still hot ! )and allow to cool down on a rack .

Brioche with Eggs

It freezes well for 6 weeks, so tie it up with a X-mas bow and enjoy your Santa-breakfast.

Part of the fun was running around the house, posing the bread for photos….

Very photogenic bread, this…

I started thinking:  ‘Still Life with Brioche’….

But couldn’t find any dead animals to lay along side.

I finally settled for this Spanish pitcher with a bird on it…..

Brioche Mousseline

Check out the other Babe’s Brioche:

The Bread Baking Babes

Bake My Day – Karen
Canela and Comino – Gretchen
Cookie Baker Lynn – Lynn
Grain Doe – Gorel
I Like To Cook – Sara
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
Living on bread and water – Monique
Lucullian Delights – Ilva
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
The Sour Dough – Breadchick Mary
Thyme For Cooking – Katie

Did I say that this was really good?  Light, rich, moist, brioche…..

Thanks, Monique – Great bread!

10 thoughts on “Brioche Mousseline; The Bread Baking Babes Bake Brioche”

  1. I never realized how low an oven is until I baked this, my brioche was one centimeter from the ceiling of the oven when I took it out! Added to the fun though! I like that brioche loaf and your serving suggestions made very hungry!

  2. Lovely! I love your brioche centerpieces, very majestic!
    I had no idea French ovens were so small.
    Amazing you were able to get such wonderful loaves!

  3. great loaves! I had to remove my ovenstone to get them in and one burned the baking parchment that slided up with the dough. Mmmm that poached egg with the brioche… oops I’m drooling

  4. When I worked at a bakery, they made a brioche loaf that was divine. I loved it when it got just a tad stale as it made amazing french toast then, and the croutons that could be had from stale brioche were unbeatable. Ahhh, the memories.

  5. Poor brave Katie , going through so many troubles but never giving in.That’s the true Babes spirit.But your brioches are looking worth those troubles.Well done !
    Maybe you started a new wave, measuring cans !

  6. That’s an idea! Christmas breakfast with this bread and poached eggs.. and for dinner.. salad with poached eggs and this bread toasted.. Late night snack, I know what I’ll have!
    Looking so good Katie, glad you baked with us. Happy oventime!

  7. Ilva, I measured all the ovens before I bought one…. 1 cm is enough…. Just!
    Natashya, couldn’t resist playing with them (hehehe)
    Lien, I measured twice… I love eggs!
    Kate, croutons! I never thought… For soup!
    Tanna, oh…. if you insist. Just tell yourself you’re slicing it thinly.
    Monique, but it was fun! Thanks for the great bread.
    Baking Soda, then with pan-seared foie gras!
    Sara, aw, gee…. Thanks!

  8. Oh bless you for your detail. I am making the recipe now (just found out about BBB!) and I’ve had two snags of my own. Last night I read what I *wanted* to see which was, after mixing everything together stick it in the fridge, let it rise overnight and go to sleep. What it really said was rise on the counter for a few hours first. I’m crossing my fingers on that part, but it’s nice to know you had yours in the fridge for so long and it still rose well…I left mine in overnight and through work the next day. Crossing my fingers. Thanks for your detailed experience.

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