Brioche bread is enriched and soft, buttery with a tender crumb, and absolutely delicious. This homemade recipe is an easy weekend project!
Did someone say weekend baking?
Did someone also say an entire cup of butter?
Oh, be still my heart, it's a homemade brioche loaf!
I don't know anyone who'd say no to a thick, buttery slice of brioche bread. I made this recipe a couple weeks ago when a client wanted a french toast recipe developed, check it out here. I'm extra like that, I tend to make one recipe turn into two or three and get inspired to make a few more recipes from the basic aspect of the original recipe.
This brioche recipe is the only one you need, making anything from fluffy cinnamon rolls, to decadent babka, to sandwich bread.
What is Brioche?
Brioche is a highly enriched yeast bread, meaning that it's filled with a ton of eggs and butter. They give the bread a rich, buttery mouthfeel while being fluffy and tender. The crust is thin and glossy from a good ole fashioned egg wash.
Is Brioche bread hard to make?
Brioche is easy to make as long as you have a stand mixer --which I'll say again a stand mixer is one of the BEST kitchen investments I ever made, PERIOD-- because the dough is really soft and sticky and has a long knead time. Honestly, when I first started making brioche I was quite surprised at how simple it really is to whip up.
Why does Brioche need to rise so long in the refrigerator?
Having the dough rise in the fridge makes the bread easier to handle when it's time to shape the dough. Warm dough will be sticky, too soft, and the butter may weep out of the dough.
Not to mention that the long rise time in the fridge helps with the gluten production and resting. Stressed out gluten means hard, tough bread.
What to make with Brioche?
Brioche dough in general is really versatile.
This brioche recipe makes two loaves, which you can use in sandwiches (like I did in my croque madame recipe), sliced up for some decadent french toast, or simply buttered up with honey butter or cinnamon butter. Oh, so delish.
You could also shape the dough into buns, let them rise just like the loaves, and bake. I have a quick kind of faux-brioche bun recipe already on here if you're looking for a brioche bun recipe.
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- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (2 sticks, 240g) unsalted butter cut into cubes, room temperature
- 4 ¾ cups (578g) all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 tbsp (10g) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup (25g) granulated sugar
- 1½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup (120mL) warm water (about 115 degrees F)
- 1 large egg
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon water
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-low, mix together 1 cup flour, active dry yeast, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and 1½ teaspoons salt, before adding ½ cup warm water.
- Now add in 1 egg at a time. Only add the next egg when the previous egg is well incorporated.
- Set the mixer to low. Add in 2 cups of flour, a ¼ cup at a time, until the dough has come together.
- Add the softened cubes of butter in 6 separate batches, waiting until the butter is well incorporated after each batch before adding more.
- Set mixer to low. Now add in 1¾ cups of flour, a ¼ cup at a time until the dough is well-combined. This dough will be very sticky, but not gooey, when it’s done.
- Use a rubber spatula to clean the dough off the mixing paddle, and scrape the sides of the mixing bowl. Cover the dough with a plate or plastic wrap and let it proof at room temperature for 3 hours, until it doubles in size.
- After 3 hours, punch down the dough with a rubber spatula. Cover the dough with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it overnight (6-12 hours) until 3 hours before you’re ready to bake the next day.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator a couple hours before you're ready to shape. Divide it into two equal pieces. Shape them into loaves (or braid them by slicing the half of dough into three long strips to braid) on a clean, lightly floured surface, and place each into its own loaf pan. Whatever you do, the dough should fit snugly in the loaf pan.
- Cover each loaf pan with clear plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature for about 3 hours, until doubled in size. Once risen, mix together egg wash ingredients and gently brush on the dough using a pastry brush.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Remove the plastic wrap and bake for 38-40 minutes in the center of the oven. Remove from oven and let the bread sit in the pan for 5 minutes to cool before transferring the loaves from the pans to a cooling rack. Let cool completely so the bread does not fall apart.
- Once the bread has cooled completely, store in an air tight container or large zip top container for up to 3-4 days.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 42mgSodium: 132mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 3g
Eden Westbrook is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind Sweet Tea and Thyme. A classically trained chef, Eden has inspired home cooks into the kitchen with cultural comfort foods, easy family-friendly eats and sweets, and glorious spreads for date night and entertaining since 2015.