The recipe for blueberry brioche yields two loaves of fluffy, rich, blueberry-studded bread with a crumble topping. Simple enough for breakfast and decadent enough for dessert, this blueberry brioche is the summer bread to beat!
For the dough:
½ cup (80 gm) lukewarm milk (I use whole)
1/3 cup (70 gm) sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2–3/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons (395 gm) all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
1–1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup (113 gm) unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
1–1/2 cups (225 gm) blueberries
For the topping:
5 tablespoons (40 gm) all-purpose flour
¼ cup (50 gm) sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons of heavy cream or milk
Pour the lukewarm milk into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk in half of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over top of the mixture and allow it to dissolve, about five minutes. You may need to stir the yeast after a few minutes to allow it all to dissolve. Once dissolved, stir in the rest of the sugar, 1 cup of the flour, the eggs, salt, and cinnamon. Once incorporated, add in an additional 1-3/4 cups of flour, stirring on low to combine. Using the paddle attachment, increase the speed to medium (I use 4 on my mixer) and begin adding the butter a piece at a tim, stirring to barely incorporate after each addition. Continue to beat, scraping the sides of the bowl twice throughout the process, for 4 minutes or until the dough is moistened and stretchy, forming strands of stringy dough between the beater and the bowl. Toss the blueberries with the remaining 3 tablespoons of flour and stir or knead the blueberries into the dough on low speed until they’re combined and barely starting to burst. If you feel like the of the blueberries are squishing before they are incorporated, you can try to fold them in with your hands. Don’t worry- they’ll integrate well after the first rise. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough inside. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm spot of your kitchen until doubled in size, about 1-1/2- 2 hours. I like to let mine rise on the counter next to a warm stove or oven.
Once the dough has doubled in volume, dump the dough out onto a barely floured surface and divide it in two equal pieces using a bench scraper or a sharp knife. Pat one piece of dough out into a rectangle roughly 8″x11″ and fold it lengthwise like you fold a letter, folding the bottom third up and the top third over top of it. Rotate the dough 90 degrees and pat it out into a rectangle again, repeating the folding process. Lightly grease two loaf pans (8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ x 2 ¾) and gently work the dough into each pan with the seam facedown and cover the pans with plastic wrap. Allow them to rise a second time, about 1-1/2 hours until the bread has risen just barely over the lip of the pan, about ½-1”. The bread will continue to rise in the oven, so don’t worry if it’s not a lofty loaf yet. Keep in mind if you use a larger or smaller loaf pan, your rise will be slightly different.
While the bread is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and make the crumb topping. Stir together the flour, sugar, and cinnamon until combined. Then, use a fork to cut the butter and vanilla into the mixture until it is a coarse meal consistency. When the loaves have risen, gently brush them with a thin layer of cream and sprinkle the crumbs on top. You may have some crumbs leftover. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until the loaves have tanned and are 190 degrees in the inside. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the pan and then continue cooling on a cooling rack.