Brioche Bread

An easy brioche recipe with step-by-step photos. Make this delicious French brioche bread at home for breakfast or brunch.

brioche bread sprinkled with pearl sugar

Brioche Bread

If you live in France or Switzerland, brioche bread can be found in almost every bakery in every town, and it is quite a common treat for breakfast or morning tea.

Brioche buns tend to be quite popular with children, but I know many adults who would happily devour a brioche bun alongside their strong morning coffee.

brioche bread on metal tray

What is a Brioche?

A brioche is a type of yeasted bread which is sweetened and rich in butter.

In Europe, especially in France and Switzerland, brioche breads are commonly sold as small buns which are intended to eat at breakfast. But some bakeries also sell large loaves of brioche which can be sliced and served toasted or untoasted.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Follow this easy brioche recipe with step-by-step photos for the perfect results.
  • Letting the dough rest overnight improves the flavour and texture of the brioche.
  • This brioche recipe produces a light, fluffy and buttery brioche which you can shape however you like.

Brioche Recipe

Making brioche bread is similar to making bread with yeast.

This brioche recipe requires you to start the day before because, due to the high butter content, chilling the dough will make it easier to handle and shape.

slice of brioche bread with jam

Making Brioche Ahead of Time

If I am making this brioche bread for brunch on the weekend, I like to start the night before.

You will need about 20-30 minutes to make the dough, but while it is proving for 1-2 hours, you can watch a Netflix episode or two 🙂 After that, you simply place the bowl of dough into the fridge and call it a night.

The following morning, get up quite early to transfer the dough to a buttered brioche pan (which you can also prepare the night before), and then let the dough prove again for 2-3 hours. You can either go for an early morning jog or crawl back under the duvet until the brioche dough is ready to bake.

How to Make Brioche Bread

Step 1

Measure the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.

ingredients for brioche bread in white mixing bowl

Step 2

In a small bowl, lightly whisk together the milk and eggs.

liquid ingredients for brioche recipe

Step 3

Using the dough hook on the stand mixer, mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and keep beating until everything comes together into a sticky dough.

You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice.

Beat on medium speed for 5-10 minutes until you have a ball of sticky dough.

brioche bread dough in white mixing bowl

Step 4

Slowly incorporate a few tablespoons of butter. Once the butter has been fully incorporated into the dough, add a few more tablespoons of butter, and repeat until all of the butter has been used.

Beat again on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until you have a very soft and sticky dough which comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Lighly oil a large bowl. Use a dough scraper to remove the brioche dough to the bowl.

brioche dough in white mixing bowl

Step 5

Place the bowl somewhere warm for the dough to prove for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.

Without touching the dough, cover the bowl with clingfilm, and place the bowl with the risen dough into the fridge to chill overnight.

brioche bread dough proving in white mixing bowl

Step 6

Punch down the dough and gently knead it into a smooth ball.

Butter a large brioche pan, and place the dough inside with any seams tucked underneath. Make sure that the surface of the dough is smooth.

Place the brioche pan somewhere warm for the dough to prove for 1-3 hours, or until it has doubled in size. As the dough is cold at this stage, it may need up to 3 hours to prove, but much depends on how warm your room is.

brioche dough in brioch pan

Step 7

When the brioche is ready to bake, gently brush the top with some egg wash and generously sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until it is lightly golden.

If it is browning too quickly (check around the 15-20 minute mark), place a sheet of foil over the brioche to stop it from darkening further.

brioche bread about to go into the oven

Brioche Buns

Brioche is most commonly made as small buns baked in a special mould, and they are eaten plain or with jam (or chocolate spread for me!).

You could also shape this dough into small round buns to use for hamburgers. In which case, I recommend that you halve the amount of sugar so that the brioche buns are not too sweet.

Brioche Bread

I like to serve brioche as a large loaf which is easier for sharing. There are many ways of shaping your brioche bread:

  • A simple loaf. Roll the brioche dough into a log shape the length of your loaf pan.
  • Small tear-apart buns. Divide the dough into four equal pieces, and place them side-by-side in a loaf pan. Just before baking, use a pair of scissors to make a deep incision in the middle of each piece of dough to create 8 pieces in total.
  • A large brioche bun. Specialty brioche pans come in all sizes, and the large brioche pans are commonly used in French households for homemade brioche. Whilst the small brioche buns typically have a small “hat” made from a round piece of dough, this is usually omitted with the large brioche buns.
slice of brioche on plate

What to Serve with Brioche

Jam is commonly served with brioche, but I love mine with a generous lashing of chocolate hazelnut spread.

More French Recipes

Chouquettes

French Madeleines

Kugelhopf

Print

Brioche Bread

An easy brioche recipe with step-by-step photos. Make this delicious French brioche bread at home for breakfast or brunch.

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

For the Brioche

  • 2 cups (300 g) strong white bread flour or plain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 oz (7 g) instant yeast (please see Kitchen Notes below)
  • pinch of fine salt
  • 1/3 cup (90 ml) milk, warmed to blood temperature
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (100 g) unsalted butter, softened

For the Topping

Instructions

Begin this recipe the night before.

Day One

  1. Measure the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Attach the dough hook to the stand mixer and lightly mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. In a small measuring jug, whisk together the milk and eggs.
  4. Slowly add the milk and egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and keep mixing until a sticky dough forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice to make sure all of the ingredients are well-incorporated. This step should take about 5-10 minutes on medium speed.
  5. Add a few tablespoons of butter and beat until it has been incorporated into the dough. Repeat with the remaining butter, adding a few tablespoons at a time.
  6. Once all of the butter has been added, keep beating for about 5 minutes on medium-high speed.
  7. The dough is ready when it is soft, sticky and elastic in texture, and when it comes away from the sides of the bowl instead of sticking to the sides.
  8. Lightly oil a large bowl.
  9. Use a dough scraper to scrape the brioche dough into the oiled bowl.
  10. Place the bowl somewhere warm for the dough to prove for about 1-2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  11. Do not touch the dough. Cover the bowl with the risen dough with some clingfilm, and place in the fridge to chill overnight.

Day Two

  1. The dough may have risen more overnight in the fridge. Punch down the dough to release the air from the dough.
  2. Gently knead the dough into a smooth ball.
  3. Generously butter a large brioche pan.
  4. Place the dough into the brioche pan, making sure that the surface is smooth and that any seams are tucked in underneath.
  5. Place the brioche pan somewhere warm for 1-3 hours, or until the dough has risen to the edges of the brioche pan. As the dough is quite cold at this stage, it will usually take longer than normal to prove. But much depends on how warm the room is. Do not cover the brioche pan with a tea towel during this step because you want the brioche dough to rise to the edges of the pan and form a nice domed shape.
  6. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F).
  7. Gently brush the top of the brioche with the eggwash.
  8. Sprinkle the brioche generously with pearl sugar.
  9. Bake the brioche for 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. You might want to check your brioche at about 15-20 minutes to make sure it is not browning too quickly. If so, place a sheet of foil over the brioche to stop it from browning further.
  10. Remove the brioche from the pan and let it cool completely on a wire rack before serving.

Kitchen Notes

DIFFERENT TYPES OF YEAST
* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* With dried yeast, you will need to activate it first as per the recipe above.

ELECTRIC STAND MIXER
Given the high butter content, it is easiest to make this brioche using an electric stand mixer or a food processor fitted with a dough hook. However, you can, of course, make the dough by hand if you don’t mind a bit of an upper-body workout.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Nutrition

  • Calories: x

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