French Brioche Loaf

5 from 23 reviews

A delicious French Brioche Loaf which is soft and buttery. Follow this easy brioche recipe with step-by-step photos.


For the Brioche

For the Eggwash


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. The dough should form together loosely around the dough hook. 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 tablespoon of butter and beat until it has been incorporated into the dough. Repeat with the remaining butter, adding one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Once all of the butter has been added, keep beating for about 10-20 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. I also recommend doing the “windowpane test“, which is to stretch a piece of dough from the dough hook, until it is thin enough that you can almost see through the “window” of dough, and without the dough breaking as you do this test.
  8. Lightly oil a large bowl. You will need a bowl that is large enough for the dough to at least triple in size.
  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 (8 to 10 hours). The dough will continue to rise a bit more in the fridge.

Day Two

  1. Generously butter a loaf pan (or use a non-stick baking spray). I use a loaf pan which is 25 x 10.5 cm/10 x 4 inches.
  2. The dough will have risen more overnight in the fridge.
  3. Punch down the dough to release the air from the dough.
  4. Gently knead the dough into a smooth ball.
  5. Weigh the ball of dough and divide this measurement by 6, so that you can portion the dough into six pieces equally. You can, of course, just eye-ball the measurement.
  6. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball, and then gently elongate the balls of dough into a small fat log.
  7. Arrange the six logs of dough into the loaf pan.
  8. Place the loaf pan somewhere warm for the dough to rise and at least double in size. This should take 1-3 hours. I generally aim for the edges of the brioche dough to rise to about 1-2 cm (1 inch) below the rim of the pan. Once you bake the brioche, it will continue to rise a lot more.
  9. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
  10. Place a metal baking sheet in the oven.
  11. Gently brush the top of the brioche loaf with the eggwash.
  12. Sprinkle the brioche loaf with pearl sugar.
  13. Place the loaf pan on the metal baking sheet (which has been preheating in the oven).
  14. Bake the brioche loaf for 30-35 minutes, or until it is lightly golden. You might want to check your brioche at about 10-15 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.
  15. If you have a digital thermometer, the brioche is cooked if the internal reading is 85°C/185°F.
  16. Remove the brioche loaf from the oven and let it settle in the pan for about 5-10 minutes before unmoulding.
  17. Let the brioche cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
  18. I recommend using a serrated knife to slice the brioche.

Kitchen Notes

I use a loaf pan which is 25 x 10.5 cm/10 x 4 inches.

* I recommend using bread flour when making brioche or other types of enriched dough. Bread flour contains more protein than plain flour (all-purpose flour), so look for flour which has 11-13% protein content.
* For Swiss readers, I use Zopfmehl (or farine pour tresse) when making bread and brioche.

* 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 (usually in some warm liquid).

Dough needs a warm environment for the yeast to activate and cause the dough to rise. If you don’t have a warm place in your home, try one of the following ideas:
* In the oven with the oven light switched on (works only for some ovens).
* In the oven with a tray of boiling water on the bottom shelf.
* In the oven at a low temperature of about 25-30°C (77-86°F).

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.

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.

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