How to beat butter into brioche dough by hand
Making brioche is a tricky job. If you don’t have a stand mixer follow our guide to beat butter into the dough by hand.
If you don’t have a food processor with a dough hook, this technique is a good way to incorporate the butter into the mixture while working the dough to activate the gluten. The butter gives brioche its rich, softness while plenty of active gluten will enable it to rise well and become pillowy and light. The dough can seem incredible sticky at times but as the gluten develops and the butter is absorbed, it will turn soft and silky.
1. Put one lump of butter at a time in the dough, bury it, then pull the dough up and slap it down on itself repeatedly until the butter has been incorporated.
2. Keep repeating this process until the butter has been used up. Don’t add more butter until the last lump has been completely incorporated. The dough will stretch further the more butter you work in.
3. Once all the butter has been added, pull the edges up and over into the centre a few times (to distribute the air), then shape and prove or roll out, depending on the recipe.
Use this guide to make our pull-apart breakfast brioche loaf.