Learning to bake with daddyPrimate: Brioche, because this is the bread to bake if you have to wake up super early on a day off.

Brioche, buttery delicious brioche. The bread that seems to have a perfect use for everything. Good toasted, good plain, divine straight out of the oven. Easy to make, rich, always a crowd pleaser. Except that the first rise goes overnight, and the second rise takes 2-3 friggin hours so unless you’re planning on breakfast at like 10am the point of this joyous bouquet of flours is lost. The last time I made one of these I intended it to be for breakie, but we ended up snacking on it before lunch. But something has changed.

I joined U.S. Masters Swimming and I go to swim practice at 4:45 in the morning Monday through Friday. I took today off. I get home around 6:15 from swim practice and my baby girl wakes up at 9. BRIOCHE FOR BREAKFAST. So last night I made the dough in the mixer. If you have a nice stand mixer, this is a super great dough to make because it really latches onto the dough hook and spanks the inside of the bowl with gratifying thuds. For a LONG time. I think I let it knead for at least 10 minutes. It’s also super fun because once you add the butter the dough dissolves and comes back together as a much looser mass.

So after swimming, I walked straight into the kitchen, still in a freezing cold wet bathing suit, and hand kneaded the dough into little balls, set them in a pan, and went about my morning. About 30 minutes  before “go time” for the day I put it in a 375F oven and let it bake. It. Is. Delicious. Love me a brioche.

Also, there is something really cathartic about kneading bread, more so early in the morning. I felt like if this was my occupation I’d be okay with that. Making bread is noble. Bakers fulfill a necessary role in society. I wish I fulfilled such a necessary role. But dollars talk in America and if you want your kid to grow up with tons of opportunities you do what you’ve got to do. Maybe in retirement.



Learning to bake with daddyPrimate: A forgiving Brioche


My dough was in the mixer, it had just picked up all of the dry ingredients from the side of the bowl and begun to slap the sides. I had read the instructions ten times. This was the moment to add the butter. I dropped my carefully measured, perfectly soft butter into the bowl and it began to incorporate. Then I reread the instructions.

5z3mhbzjnijkeThe dough was supposed to be kneaded for 6-8 minutes before the butter was added. I screwed up. It was going to be terrible. I was certain it wouldn’t rise. Certain it wouldn’t take color. Certain it wouldn’t taste good.

But I pressed on. Let it finish in the mixer, refrigerated it overnight, and this morning when I woke up it had risen to the top of the bowl, the butter had hardened and it was easy to shape into little balls. I had planned to serve the brioche at breakfast, but alas, it needed to prove for 3 hours.


I had yogurt for breakfast, and mommyPrimate had oatmeal. We carried on like good soldiers fighting the good fight. She went for a run, I lifted, and whilst lifting I tossed my brioche in the oven, expecting a disaster. But a disaster never unfolded. It was like this:





For the last ten minutes I sat next to the oven, watching it, periodically poking it with a skewer to see if it was done, and after about 6 minutes longer than Mr. Hollywood said it would take, the skewer came out clean.

Brioche! #bread #baking #food

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Brioche!!! #bread #baking #food #foodporn

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So after such struggles, it came together. I think the dough may have been a bit glossier if I had added the butter at the correct time, but it still turned out very nicely. It’s velvety smooth on the inside, very rich and buttery, and golden brown on the outside. It rose so much in the oven that I had to raise the rack above it.

If you’re new to baking, I might suggest a brioche. It will forgive you when you sin.

I’m looking forward to trying it again, but in a different shape, and filled with chocolate. And again, with brie. And again, with nutella.