Poilâne’s Mint Brioche

Poilane Mint Brioche

Shaped into petites brioches à tête, these minty balls of eggs and butter are perfectly portioned into small rolls meant to be savored in moderation. Unless you’re French, that is, in which case you’re likely immune to the unsavory side effects of rich foods.

High red wine consumption is supposedly the main factor behind the French Paradox. I did try wine therapy, but being Asian and genetically predisposed to have low alcohol tolerance, I merely ended up drunk and lazy. Back to green tea I go. We have our own paradox, it seems, although obviously not as much fun as the French version.

Peter Reinhart loosely categorizes brioche into three types using the ratio of butter to flour:

  • rich man’s brioche (at least 70%)
  • middle-class brioche (around 50%)
  • poor man’s brioche (at least 20%)

According to my expert calculations, this would put Poilâne’s mint brioche (around 40%) somewhere in between poor man’s and middle-class brioche. Somehow it still seems way too rich to my taste, which is scary because Reinhart’s rich man’s brioche formula has a butter to flour ratio of 88%. Wouldn’t that turn the dough into a yellow puddle of goo? The thought of ingesting breads that rich makes me shudder and think of Paula Deen.

I really shouldn’t be thinking of brioche as bread in the same category as baguettes or miches but more along the lines of viennoiserie, considered the halfway point between lean breads and rich pastries. Thinking of brioche that way, somewhere in the back of my head I’ll hopefully think “not in one sitting.”

Bread Baking Day Small Breads
Bread Baking Day: Small Breads hosted by My Diverse Kitchen

recipe adapted from poilane.fr

Poilâne’s Mint Brioche

makes 12 brioches à tête, approximately the size of regular muffins

Poilane Mint Brioche Ingredients

Ingredients                  Volume          Ounces          Grams
all-purpose flour                 4 cups         17.6          500
granulated sugar                 10 tsp           1.75          50
kosher salt                       1 tbsp           .42          12
instant yeast                     1.5 tsp          .18           5
water, at room temperature        1 cup           8            227
large eggs                        5
butter, at room temperature                       7            200

handful of fresh mint, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 beaten egg, for glazing


  • I substituted instant yeast for the active dry yeast suggested in the original formula, using 2/3 of the active dry yeast amount.
  • I was thinking of replacing the water with milk but stayed true to the recipe.
  • The mixing is done in two steps. Let the dough rest briefly before adding the butter to keep the fat from inhibiting gluten formation.
  • I used a 12-cup muffin pan to proof and bake the shaped brioche. No fancy fluted pans in my kitchen, unfortunately.
  • My brioches à tête shaping is rather pitiful so I included links to pictures and videos showing the proper procedure below.

Final Dough Instructions:

Mix             Mix the flour, sugar, salt, instant yeast, and water.
                Add the eggs one by one until thoroughly incorporated.

Rest            5 minutes

Mix             Blend in the butter and coarsely chopped mint leaves.

Knead           10-12 minutes

Bulk Ferment    2 hours, at room temperature

Divide          12 pieces

Poilane Mint Brioche Divided
divided mint brioche dough

Shape           brioches à tête (pictures and video)

Poilane Mint Brioche Rolls
mint brioche pre-shaped into rolls

Poilane Mint Brioche Shaping
pre-shaped brioches à tête

Poilane Mint Brioche Shaped
shaped brioches à tête

Final Proof     approximately 1 hour, at room temperature

Preheat Oven    400ºF

Glaze           egg wash (optional)

Bake            Bake for 10 minutes at 400ºF. Rotate if
                necessary and lower the oven temperature to
                350ºF. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Poilane Mint Brioche Line
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18 Responses to “Poilâne’s Mint Brioche”

  1. Tom Humes says:

    Nice Site layout for your blog. I am looking forward to reading more from you.

    Tom Humes

  2. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver says:

    LOL re Paula Deen.

    That brioches a tete shape is the cutest! =)

    last blog post: Smoky Summer Pasta

  3. Susan/Wild Yeast says:

    Another beautiful bread from you. Mint in brioche is a new idea to me. Your last photo is too funny!

    last blog post: Adventures With OTiS

  4. rainbowbrown says:

    Ha, drunk and lazy…good old wine.
    Wonderful choice and beautiful results.
    I love your Pyrex.

    last blog post: TWD Double Crusted Blueberry Pie

  5. Boaz says:

    I love your last photo! Gorgeous Brioche a tete’s

    last blog post: Fruited Tea Loaf

  6. Claire says:

    Glad to have found your wonderful site! I have some fresh mint in the garden … this recipe might be just the thing!

    last blog post: Rosemary Olive Oil Sourdough

  7. Madam Chow says:

    Beautiful, as usual! And your last photo and comment reveal a rather naughty sense of humor – I love it!

  8. MyKitchenInHalfCups says:

    I’m very happy to see you! What a great post and wonderful last photo!! So very neat!! Prefect little brioches all Jude!

  9. Kevin says:

    Those mini mint brioches look great!

  10. SweetBird says:

    Wow! I’m so impressed. I’m way too big of a wussy to try brioche, heck I’m even worried about making pie crust sometimes. By the way, I roasted those patty pan squashes and put ‘em up tonight. You should really try them out, cute and delicious, how can you go wrong?

    Def not as cute as those little brioches though…

    last blog post: Roasted Patty Pan Squash

  11. Dee says:

    Great minds and all that… I just got hold of a brioche recipe via Dorie Greenspan that I was planning on baking. I love your detailed post – I’m going the muffin route I’m sure :)

    last blog post: Doing good by my dinner

  12. manggy says:

    Oh Jude, that last sentiment is VULGAR! Hahaha. Thanks for this recipe. Thanks for putting the actual weight (I’m so sick of cup measures!!). I don’t have a mixer with a dough hook, so do you think it would be too difficult to knead it in by hand? Or does the high butter content lend itself to straight hand mixer-bleding? (I made a high butter dough yesterday in 31°C weather… Like manipulating pancake dough on a counter.)
    PS Thanks for following through on our little experiment on eGullet! It looks fab!

    last blog post: Cauliflower Risotto

  13. tom – Thanks!

    ts – Could’ve been cuter if I was actually good at it.

    susan – Minty fresh breath and butter.. Mmmmm.

    rainbow – Pyrex is indestructible! Ask my right foot.

    boaz – Thanks!

    claire – I’m hoping my little pot of mint stays alive.

    chow – I don’t get what you’re saying.

    tanna – Other than the ones were the heads fell off…

    kevin – Thanks!

    sweet – Will pick some of those disk-like squashes when I get a chance.

    dee – The fluted pan are way too dainty for me.

    manggy – Huh? I don’t get why it’s vulgar. I can’t stand volume measurements, either. I used this kneading technique: http://www.gourmet.com/magazine/video/2008/03/bertinet_sweetdough. Good therapy.

  14. Aparna says:

    Your little brioches are too cute to resist. Eating these in moderation would be torture.:)
    Thanks for participating.

    last blog post: A Mango Coconut Kulfi and A Peachy Mango Milkshake

  15. Andrew says:

    that doesn’t even make any sense!

  16. bestbuy says:

    Beautiful, as usual! And your last photo and comment reveal a rather naughty sense of humor – I love it!

  17. Jeanie @ Pyrex Store says:

    Hello there, just doing some browsing for my Pyrex website. Truly more information than you can imagine on the web. Wasn’t what I was looking for, but very nice site. Take care.

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