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The Most Simple Brioche Loaf Recipe

I handed my husband a bite of a warm homemade brioche and said, “You’re going to fall in love with me all over again.”

There’s really not much better than a taste of homemade bread. Especially when the bread is enriched with eggs, milk and butter – a LOT of butter, as is the case for brioche.

Classic Brioche

I’ve tried a couple of recipes before settling on this one. The others messed with sponges, long resting times and complicated ways to mix. This recipe can be all done in one day, is incredibly easy to mix together and the results, well they have the power to have someone fall madly in love with you all over again.

Ingredients for Brioche Bread

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Simple brioche loaf recipe

Adapted from FineCooking.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. 2 oz. (4 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 oz. (4-1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast, preferably Red Star brand
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus a pinch for the egg wash
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature, plus 2 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk for the egg wash
  • 4 oz. (1/2 cup) whole milk, at room temperature
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, softened; more for the pans

Directions:

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt on low speed until well combined. Add four of the eggs and the milk and continue mixing on low speed to combine.

As soon as the brioche dough starts to clump together, remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook. (There will still be unmixed egg and flour in the bowl.) Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Turn off the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Continue to mix until the dough is firm and elastic, about 2 minutes more.

The dough will be quite sticky and cling to the hook at this point. That’s okay. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes before going on to the next step.

Mixing Brioche Bread Dough

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add half of the butter, a few pieces at a time. Scrape down the bowl and dough hook, then continue to incorporate the rest of the butter. Once all of the butter has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 4 minutes. Scrape the dough hook and the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then let the dough rest for 5 minutes before continuing.

Mix again until the dough is smooth, soft and shiny, about 4 minutes more. You’ll hear the dough slap against the sides of the bowl when it’s ready. Brioche dough is very sticky but do not add more flour.

Brioche Dough in a Bowl

Remove the mixing bowl from the stand mixer and use a rubber spatula to continue to mix the dough by hand, making sure all the ingredients are well mixed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, then set aside in a warm spot. Let the dough rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

After an hour, mix the dough with a spatula again to knock out the air and to continue to build the structure. At this point you can refrigerate the dough for up to three days or you can use the dough.

Brioche Dough Rising in a Bowl

For the loaf you see in the photos, I divided the dough in half, saved one half for cinnamon rolls for the weekend, then divided the other half into eight sections, which I then rolled into balls.

Brioche dough rolled into balls Balls of Brioche Dough Making Brioche Bread

Arrange eight dough balls in two rows of four in a well buttered loaf pan.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Cover and let the loaf rise until doubled.

In a small bowl, make the egg wash by beating the remaining 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk and a pinch of salt. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash, then bake for about 25 minutes or to an internal temperature of 190 degrees F. Let cool on a rack for 25 to 30 minutes before removing from the pan.

Fresh Loaf of Brioche Bread in a Ban Slice of Fresh Brioche Bread

Tips for brioche success:

  • Unlike other yeast recipes, here you don’t have to worry about warming up the liquids, in this case milk. There is so much mixing that happens with this dough that simply the warmth generated through that action is enough to activate the yeast.
  • The butter needs to be at room temperature so it can easily incorporate into the dough.
  • Refrigerated brioche dough is much easier to work with and an overnight rest in the fridge greatly improves the flavor as the yeast slowly develops and slightly sours. Shape the brioche while the dough is cold then let rise for at least 2 hours.
  • To give your brioche that deep, rich, copper color, brush the exterior with an egg wash. The more yolk the deeper the color.

You might also enjoy this recipe for brioche French toast and these tips for making brioche from expert baker Joanne Chang.

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20 Comments

Kay James

This is great for rich women with fancy mixers and designer kitchens, but not really ‘simple’ for the run-of-the-mill woman. Dough hooks? Paddle attachments? Give me a break.

Reply
R Caroline

I am not a rich woman and do not have a designer kitchen however stand mixer is a great investment for a mom who bakes bread and cooks from scratch twice a day for her family. Mostly every Stand mixer comes with those attachments mentioned and some of them start around $ 60.00 or can be purchased in yard sales. No reason knocking someone down this way:(

Reply
Leigh

I have to second R Caroline here. They can be expensive, but I know lots of people who have them. Not rich women, just average people. And they are worth the money. I’ve had a Kitchenaid stand mixer for 15 years and have no reason to think it won’t last another 15-20 or more. They sell them refurbished, or you can occasionally find them at second hand stores, thrift stores, estate sales and the like. But mostly other brands, because Kitchenaids are rarely given away.

Reply
R Caroline

Thanks for the recipe. I will defintely tru it today:)

Reply
R Caroline

* try – sorry, didn’t catch the typo on my phone:)

Reply
Amy B.

I am also not a rich woman, but I have two kitchen aids. So according to the woman’s comment above, that must make me a billionare. Lol there’s simply no need for such a rude comment. What a grump. Ashley, these look delicious! Way to go! 🙂

Reply
Julie

Can’t wait to try this!
I’m not a rich either and I have a kitchen aide mixer with a paddle attachment and dough hook. I even have a wisk and ice cream making attachment. Well made tools are important when you’re constantly cooking from scratch for your family.

Reply
Simone

Just curious why you start with the paddle mixer then switch to the dough hook, I have always just used the dough hook (I have a paddle attachment also because apparently I’m rich ;-)). Can’t wait to try this.

Reply
tami

I just put the dough in the refrigerator! Cannot wait to taste. I’d love to get your cinnamon roll recipe. I to have a kitchen aid. I have had it for 10 years. I make bread all the time and use it for many other recipes. I would not call myself rich. It has served me well.

Reply
Deb

It’s also not impossible to figure out how to work dough without the mixer, with your hands, like women did for hundreds of years. That’s what I plan on doing, because this recipe looks fantastic.

Reply
don

with your hands just like my grandmother did when she made me yeast bread and soup you do not have to use a stand up mixer I was taught with out one

Reply
Kerily

Mix by hand with a spatula or just your hands? My little 8 year old baker wants to try this but we unfortunately do not have the kitchenaid.

Reply
Lisa

I made this brioche today and it is DELICIOUS! The recipe itself was very easy to follow and all of the photos really helped reassure that I was on the right track. I was very surprised at the stickiness of brioche dough. After the first rise, I ended up refrigerating the dough for about an hour, which helped just a bit with handling. My brioche balls were not nearly as pretty and well-defined as yours as the dough was still very tacky, so tonight we have a brioche loaf. 🙂 I will definitely be making this again! Thank you! Oh – and please post the brioche cinnamon roll recipe!

Reply
Carol Anne

I made this and it was delicious! Not nearly as pretty as the picture though. And my dough was a little gritty and dense. Any suggestions? Also we would LOVE to try the cinnamon rolls! That would be the perfect valentines breakfast for my husband.

Reply
Josefina Rivera

I don’t do well with dough, but I would like to try my hand at this. I DO have a kitchenaid mixer. I’m just wondering if you have to roll the balls to form the loaf because I would like to make a bread pudding with this. I would like to learn how to make my own bread. I do have a bread maker, but would like to make it with my own hands you know.

Reply
DebraJ

I can’t wait to make this this weekend! Not rich and have owned a Kitchenaid Mixer for about a year and after using it I can’t imagine how I lived without one! I do so much more baking etc since I purchased – So worth the investment! So easy to use and clean up is easier than a handheld! Thank you for the recipe!

Reply
Lydia

If you love baking, invest in a Kitchenaid — it’s like having an efficient helper in the kitchen. It’s a great machine, one that lasts for years. They are always on sale and some places like the Shopping Channel give you the option to spread the payment over a year with no interest.

On another note, about the dough being sticky, I’ve learnt that we home bakers are inclined to incorporate too much of bench flour in the dough. This makes it heavy. Lightly oiling the surface or the board helps. At the Artisan Bread course by Peter Reinhart he mentioned that a sticky dough renders a light loaf/roll — and it’s true.

Reply
Mark

looks amazing, however i made mine my hand, don’t know if that makes a difference, loaf came out lacking in the sweetness department 🙁

Reply
Evelyn Kurtock

I made this last week and my 37 year old son who loves both butter and bread, said it was a little too buttery, believe it or not. My husband though it was a bit heavy, due to the butter content.

I made it today using half the butter, and increased the sugar to 1/2 cup for a little more sweetness. It came out fantasitic, although it still could stand to be a bit sweeter.

Reply
ofelia

This is a very good recipe. Perfect brioche.
Only two changes:
I reduced the salt to 2 tsp salt
Bake it for 45 min, not 25!!!

Reply

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