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Brioche for an exam - urgent help needed!

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi all


I'm have to take an exam in French pastry (I'm in France) and I've realised that brioche might be on the's not my strong point. I've only made it max of three times when I was school, and usually that was in a group. Also, we put it in the fridge overnight.

Now I have to do a 6.5hour exam which includes an entremets, a tarte, a viennoiserie (brioche or croissant dough) and something from choux pastry. Most of the other things I'm ok with, but not brioche.


Can someone please help me with the sequence of making brioche. Ie how long to rest it, then de-gaz, then rest again, form etc etc? I have to have it made and baked within  6.30 hours, so no resting in the fridge overnight!


post #2 of 17

Help how?

By sounding like your mom and scolding because you did not practice enuf?

Try the search option... there are manymany recipes as well as tips and trix.

If you can hit every other component on the test maybe a half a## Brioche will give enuf points to squeak by.




post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi Mimi. Not sure what to make of your reply, however, my question was about timing for an exam as every other time I've made brioche we rested it over night and in the patisserie it's rested overnight, too. Also, I have done a lot of searching and have found many differing opinions and procedures and most of them include resting overnight. So, if someone has advice on how to do it within a short time frame, that would be helpful.

Thank you.

post #4 of 17

To bake a decent brioche in 6.5 hours is doable. You have to make sure the area that you are resting it is at a good temperature......usually a warm, draft-free spot to get a good fast....yet not too fast rise. I make viennoiserie product everyday as that is my speciality so I usually make sure I get the overnight in the fridge part in for full flavour development however, it is not necessary in an exam that is just ensuring you know how to make brioche.


The sequence of brioche: mix the dough; place in a clean bowl, cover loosely with wrap and rest in warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size (approx. 1 hour in a warm environment); de-gas, re-tuck, place back in bowl, cover tightly with wrap and let it rise again in a warm spot until doubled in size (again, approx. 1 hour); ready to turn out and form, cover forms loosely with wrap; let rise in forms until about doubled (the dough will spring back when poked lightly with your finger); time for bake.


This should take you from beginning to end approx. 3.5 hours if you are a newbie and taking your time. The hard part is finding a warm, draft-free area for the rise so that your timing is not screwed up so you might want to scout that out first before exam time. If the dough rises too fast your screwed and too slow your screwed for your exam so just get the rise time down. I would practice if I were you.....don't leave it to chance but that is just me. Take your timers with you to remind you to check on your dough. This should be started first so that you are not scrambling, as tarts, choux and entrements are easier to work around. 


Good luck, I wish you all the best, take a deep breath and then have fun!!:) 

post #5 of 17

My reply, BB had more to do with reminding you of a little character flaw known as lack of work ethic.

Not accusing you or anything..... just sayin'


If the Chef instructors expect a proper, perfectly rested overnite Brioche I doubt it will be on the exam.

Prolly just a rumor born of panic...

Here is a google recipe with a 4 hour cold resting period

Start it first and you may have time.


I have not personally tested it and has been a zillion years since I have baked one so suggest you give it a whirl before the test.


Good luck.



post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you Fablesable, for your VERY helpful and constructive reply. I've been practising constantly since I finished school and my internship, but was getting confused with how long to leave brioche to rise and when to knock back etc when you can't leave it overnight. I think they will have a Hengel in the lab, so I should be ok with getting it to rise properly.  I didn't get to do it on my internship, unfortunately. Today's batch wasn't the best, but I will try again tomorrow. I'm praying for croissants on the exam because I've got them under control!


On to revising pâte feuilletée after brioche, as well as French, Maths/Science, Health & Safety, Business & Stock control -- all in French! :)

post #7 of 17

Yup, I hear ya @BakingBee .....I went to school in France for my Pastry cert as well. Language was an obstacle but a fun challenge


Why do you think your batch turned out well today??

post #8 of 17

LOL. It's only French pastry. Who really cares?!? Go out to the store, buy a loaf, bring it home, cut it up, eat it ... viola. All good. 





... I'm w/ FFG on this one. A culinary student asking a BB for exam help somewhat shows a weak work ethic. 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

I think there was too much moisture in the recipe. I've been experimenting using the previous year's exams and they really vary. My recipes from school don't have water, but the one I chose from the 2009 exam had water. Also, I'm doing it at home, so none of the luxuries of the lab! I'm concerned because they say I can take my own recipes (without instructions), but the last exam I had they confiscated my papers saying they were 'forbidden', even though I'd been told what to take!


Thank you for your help, Fablesable, I appreciate it. Perhaps I posted this question in the wrong forum as I've noticed the other people's questionable replies and frankly ludicrous comments on my so called 'lack of work ethic',. However, it is entitled 'Cooking discussions--Pastries and Baking'.  I may not have been doing this for years, but the exam I'm referring to will allow me to work in France, it's not a school exam, and if they had any idea of what I have to go through to get it, they would back off.

post #10 of 17


  Just curious, are you going to use water for your final? Are you using the proofer for the fermentation? That will not only add moisture to your dough but also pull some out.

I really don't have as much to offer as Fablesable. When I degass the doughs, I always think lamination. I think folding before forming is important. Just my thinking. bonne chance.

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply Panini. I'm sure there should be a proofer, the exam is at a patisserie school, so they should have all the equipment...I hope! Croissant varieties are also a possibility, so they must have one... I don't think I will use water, the dough with it was horrible today. I will try to take in my own recipes, but if they don't allow it, I will have to see what I can do!

post #12 of 17

@panini Whatchu talkin' bout?? YOU are an amazing wise and experienced baker/owner.....any information from you is always appreciated!!  You are correct in the fold before forming as when de-gassing the brioche dough you take it out of bowl, fold the dough in a 12,3,6,9 inwards, flip over, tuck and fold the dough to form a firm round surface. I am skipping saying these things as I am sure BakingBee already knows this when I say form dough......although, is an ass-umption and everyone being different in their approach.....hehe Thank you for pointing that out :D


@BakingBee I completely understand the exam your about to go under so you have an ear here to vent to or bounce concerns off of if needed. I think that everyone here is really trying to help you however, it is a common occurrence to have many students start a thread wanting an easy out to exam prep without the adequate practice being put in. You have been wonderful in explaining otherwise so it's all good. Yea, I had that problem as well in the exam in regards to the "no papers" allowed that I had some of my recipes written on. Freaked me out at first but I realized I had all my recipes pretty much memorized so I got through it. My brioche recipe uses bread flour, salt, sugar, instant dry yeast (red label), milk, eggs, and butter. This is the one I used in the exam. Passed with flying colours. I also used the 'straight' method to get me where I needed to be in around 2.5 hours-ish exam time.

post #13 of 17

I wished I could help because Brioche is one long process, if I remember correctly.

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.



Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 

@panini & @Fablesable Thank you guys! I really appreciate the words of advice. I understand about the students trying to find an easy way out, but I'm not a student any more and I'm not a slacker--I have to pass this exam in order to work in France...Posting a question in here is my last resort after I've tried everything I can think of and researched till I'm more confused.


@Fablesable Your brioche sounds the similar to mine, except for the milk -- I think it could be that I'm using the kind of yeast that has to be bloomed in water first, whereas I've only used fresh yeast before; I subtracted the water from the water in the recipe, but it was still too soft...I made brioche à tête and the little heads just melted back into the dough hahaha. Today I will try with no milk/water and see how I go. I'm hoping that my memory will not fail me when it comes to the exam!

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

Just an update to those who were nice enough to help me with my brioche question. I've done the state exams (six in French!) and I've found out that passed everything! I am so happy because I can now work and one day open a business if I want to (hopefully without brioche :o )


Brioche ended up being on the exam after all and there was no proofer in sight, but everything else on the exam was a breeze, so it was all good! I had to put my bowl of dough next to the oven because my workspace was near a window and it the dough wasn't rising, so I was worried for a while, but it all turned out well!


Thanks again.

Edited by BakingBee - 8/1/15 at 10:33am
post #16 of 17



Thanks for the follow-up!

Luc H.

I eat science everyday, do you?
I eat science everyday, do you?
post #17 of 17

Congratulations!! That is wonderful to hear. Now you will have to keep us informed as to when you open your own place!! lol


Fable :bounce:

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