Easter Brioche Bread

This Italian Family
by This Italian Family
14 breads
35 min

These brioche breads, which are actually called “Spongade”, are super popular where I come from in Italy. They are just typical of the valley I was born in, and every patisserie and bakery will sell them around the Easter period. Their sugary taste is addictive, but that’s why these seasonal treats exist, so you can spoil yourself once a year.

They are easy to make, no kneading, just a long proving, but the hands-on involvement is minimal. My 3 years-old can make them largely by himself (minus the vigorous mixing) and it’s such a fun activity to do together!

Please note that whilst the hands-on time is short, the total time for completing this recipe is 2 days as there is quite a bit of proving involved.

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Recipe details
  • 14  breads
  • Prep time: 15 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 35 min
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  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup butter
  • 8 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp dry active yeast

☀️ Day 1
In a big bowl, beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they becomes lighter in colour and some bubbles start to form. Keep the egg whites in the fridge as we will need them.
In a small bowl, melt the butter and warm up the milk in the microwave.
Add to the eggs and sugar, and mix in the salt and flours. Add the dry yeast last, so it doesn’t come into contact with the salt.
Now using a wooden spoon or danish whisk, vigorously mix the dough. It will be a workout, but it won’t take long to make it come together into a smooth ball.
Cover the bowl with cling film and wrap in a tea towel to keep it warm. Leave it in a place away from draughts to prove for 18 hours.A couple of times in the first 6 hours, whenever you remember, give it another mix using your hands if it‘s too hard with a spoon.
☀️Day 2
Divide your dough into 150g (5.29oz) portions and roll each one into a ball. Place them on baking paper, leaving some space between them. Using scissors make a deep cut in the middle.
Cover with a tea towel and let them prove for another 4-5 hours. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C (350F) and once hot, take the egg whites you saved, beat them into stiff peaks and brush them onto each ball.
Sprinkle some sugar on top, and bake them for around 20 mins, putting a tray of water at the bottom of the oven to create steam and help them rise.
They are delicious warm, but they will keep for a couple of days wrapped in a tea towel or paper.
This Italian Family
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  • Josie Josie on Mar 12, 2022

    Ca you use your mixer to make the dough

  • Mammabakes Mammabakes on Mar 12, 2022

    How does a 3 year do this practically by himself? What parts does he participate with?

    • This Italian Family This Italian Family on Mar 13, 2022

      I just pre-measure the ingredients and he can mix them together. I need to help when it comes to the vigorous part to make the dough come together before the first prove, but then again he can make all the balls himself and I just cut them with scissors for him to wash with egg and sprinkle with sugar :D It's a very easy recipe and because it doesn't involve lots of heavy kneading it's a good one to try and make together with the children