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Fluffy, soft, and rich in flavor – that’s how an authentic French Brioche Bread must be! Let me show you how to make the best brioche bread recipe at home!
What Is Brioche Bread
Brioche bread is one of the most known and most authentic French bread that exists. It’s made with eggs and butter, which gives this bread a very rich flavor.
The texture of this bread is similar to soft toast bread or challah bread, but much fluffier. Furthermore, it has a very intense flavor and is due to the use of a high amount of butter quite buttery. Some like it, others don’t.
I love to toast it and use it for sandwiches or spread it with Nutella or jam in the mornings.
How To Make Brioche Loaf
The loaf is basically a yeast dough with extra butter and eggs. The dough is hard to handle and quite sticky (different than regular bread). Therefore, I can highly recommend you to use your stand mixer!
I have never made the dough from hand and would never try it, to be honest with you.
Also, you need to knead your dough for 20 minutes, and I wouldn’t want you to spend that time on kneading, your stand mixer can do this for you!
The key to a very fluffy and airy brioche bread is to let it rise for at least 4 hours up to a maximum of 16 hours. My tip is to start with the dough in the early evening and let it rise in your fridge overnight.
The next morning, you can form it into a loaf, let it rise again, and bake it. Your French brioche will be ready around noon (depends if you are an early bird or like to sleep in).
The second option is starting in the early morning, let it rise in the fridge during the day, finish and bake it in the evening!
I always bake my brioche as a loaf in a loaf pan. But you can also use the dough to make brioche buns or burger buns (sprinkle with seeds). If so, reduce the baking time and take the buns out of the oven when golden brown.
French Brioche Recipe
Ingredients you need:
- Fresh yeast, or active dry yeast → I always recommend using fresh yeast if available in your supermarket, don’t spin your head if it’s not available and use dried yeast instead
- Milk, can be substituted with plant-based milk, preferably soy or oat milk
- Sugar, necessary for the yeast and a light sweet taste
- Eggs → can’t be replaced if you are following a vegan diet, sorry
- All-purpose flour
- Butter, needs to be cold → can be substituted with a plant-based butter
How to make it:
- Mix the yeast, milk (need to be lukewarm, but not hot → warm up in the microwave or a small pot), and sugar until the yeast starts foaming. → This takes about 5 minutes, you will see the process very well when using fresh yeast.
- Mix in the eggs.
- Give it with the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes at speed level one using the dough hook. → The dough is quite hard to handle, don’t add more milk.
Place all the ingredient into the bowl of your stand mixer! Very sticky dough after 5 minutes kneading!
- Now, add the butter in pieces and knead for another 15 minutes at speed level two until the butter is well incorporated and your dough is smooth and still slightly sticky but comes easily from the bowl if using a silicone spatula.
Adding butter pieces to the dough! That’s how your dough looks like after kneading, still a bit sticky! The dough comes easily from the bowl using a silicone spatula!
- Grease a bowl with oil (olive, sunflower, or canola oil).
- Add your dough, turn it around once until fully covered with the oil, and cover it with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap.
Dough in greased bowl! Cover with a damp tea towel!
- Leave your dough to rise for one hour at room temperature.
- Place in the fridge and leave to rise for 4-16 hours. → Overnight is perfect.
- The next morning, your dough is very airy and has a lot of bubbles. Place on a lightly floured surface and divide into five equal pieces (using a knife or dough scraper).
- Fold each one into a log:
- Form it first into a rectangle → slightly press the dough with the palm of your hands and stretch using your fingers.
- Then roll it up into a log using your fingers.
Form into a rectangle! Roll up! A perfect log!
- Place the logs in a with oil greased 10×5-inch loaf pan (25x12cm). You can push them carefully together if they don’t fit.
Place logs in the loaf pan! Logs need to rise again before baking!
- Cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and let it rise again for 1.5-2 hours until it has grown significantly to the top of the loaf pan. Start preheating your oven (395°F/200°C) after 1.5 hours.
- Brush your brioche with a beaten egg (use a baking brush). → This ensures a golden top and keeps your dough from drying out during baking. Vegan egg wash alternative: 2 tbsp unsweetened soymilk, 1 tbsp agave nectar, 1 pinch ground turmeric.
- Bake the brioche for 30-35 minutes in the preheated oven until it’s golden brown.
- Take it out, place on a wire rack, and let it cool down for at least 15 minutes before you take it out of the pan. Leat if cool entirely before slicing.
French Brioche Recipe FAQ
How To Store Brioche?
Store your brioche wrapped in a tea towel or plastic bag for three days.
Can I Freeze Brioche?
You can freeze the whole loaf or cut in slices (easy to defrost in a toaster). Place them in freezer friendly zip bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost in your oven or toaster before serving.
Can I skip the overnight freezer rise?
You can, but I don’t recommend it. If you do so, your brioche is still delicious, but it’s not as airy and fluffy when skipping this significant step.
Can I make this brioche recipe vegan-friendly?
Unfortunately, you need eggs for this recipe to work. But I give options for all other dairy products used which can be easily swapped with the non-diary version.
This recipe takes so much time, can I shorten it?
Most of the time is just dough rising time, and only little is actual active time in the kitchen. Give it a try, and you will be amazed by how simple it is making quality bread at home.
More Authentic French Recipes
- Authentic French Crepes
- Brioche French Toast
- French Croissants
- French Chocolate Croissants
- White French Dressing
- Vegan French Dressing
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French Brioche Dough
- 1 egg beaten
- Mix the yeast, lukewarm milk, and sugar, and let it sit for 5 minutes until foaming. Mix in the eggs until well combined.
- Place it with the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer, and knead at speed level 1 for 5 minutes (your dough is very sticky). Add the butter in pieces and knead for another 15 minutes at speed level 2 (your dough should be sticky but comes easily from the bowl using a silicone spatula).
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let it rise at room temperature for one hour. Refrigerate for 4-16 hours ➝ makes your brioche soft & airy.
- Take the dough out of the fridge, place on a lightly floured surface, divide into five pieces and fold each one into a log (punch down the dough gently with the ball of your hand, stretch into a rectangle, and roll up into a log). Place them in a greased (or with parchment paper lined) 10×5-inch loaf pan (25x12cm), cover with a damp tea towel and let it rise for 1.5-2 hours at room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 395°F/200°C. Brush the dough with the egg wash and bake it for 30-35 minutes until brown.
- Allow the brioche to cool down on a cooling rack before slicing.
- Use a plastic wrap instead of a damp tea towel to cover your dough.
- The temperature in the recipe is for the use of a regular oven. If you use a convection oven (fan-based), set the temperature to 355°F/180°C.
- Brioche is the best if fresh, but can be stored in an airtight container for a few days or up to three months in the freezer. Defrost in the oven or toaster.