Soft and Buttery French Brioche Recipe

Updated on April 14, 2020
lizmalay profile image

Baking is one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy baking cookies, cakes, breads, pies, muffins, cupcakes, and much more.

Soft, buttery, airy, and delicious brioche
Soft, buttery, airy, and delicious brioche

French Brioche

During the stay-at-home order, I decided to tackle a few recipes I hadn't tried making before. One of them was French brioche. I was inspired by the brioche my husband bought a few weeks ago, which I loved. It was soft, buttery, and sweet—perfect with a cup of coffee. I thought I'd like to try making this famous French bread at home.

Bread Requires Room-Temperature Ingredients

Here is a useful tip: Whenever you are baking bread, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. It's essential to get the temperature right because bread baking requires precision. The day I was making the dough was perfect. It was sunny and warm. Warm temperatures help facilitate a nice rise for the dough.

Time-Consuming (But Worth It)

The process of making brioche dough is similar to making croissant dough. For example, the croissant dough, or détrempe, requires that you begin a day ahead of time, as it needs to be chilled overnight. It's the same for the brioche dough. The next morning, all I had to do was take it out of the fridge and continue with the next step in the recipe.

This process is a bit time-consuming, but you will be very pleased with the result. I did forget one step, however, which was the egg-washing step. I made sure to include the egg-washing step in the instructions below so that you won't forget!

Warm Baked Goods Are the Best

These buns and loaves are so delicious that it is difficult to resist the temptation to eat one as soon as they come out of the oven. Try to wait until they cool down a bit, first! The texture of the buns and the loaves are amazingly perfect. It's soft and light, exactly as it is supposed to be. The next day, I sliced the brioche loaf to make French toast. They were delicious. I was so happy with the result.

Let's see the full ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 4 large brown eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup and 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or orange essence (optional)
  • Egg wash, for brushing (2 egg yolks mixed with 2 tablespoons water or milk)

Instructions

  1. Make the sponge: In a mixing bowl, combine 1 egg, 1 cup of flour, and milk. Combine the mixture evenly by using a spatula. The mixture will be very sticky. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixing bowl with the sponge mixture to the stand mixer. Combine remaining eggs (lightly beaten), flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla essence. Attach the dough hook and start mixing at the medium speed for 10 minutes or until it's well-combined.
  3. Reduce the speed to combine the butter little by little into the mixture. Continue mixing at high speed for 10-15 minutes to combine. If the dough is still sticky add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time.
  4. Once the dough is formed, cover the dough with cling wrap and let it sit out for 2 hours or until it's double in size. Open the cling wrap and use a spatula or your finger and poke to let the air out from the dough.
  5. Wrap the bowl with cling wrap again and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
  6. The next day: Take chilled dough out of the fridge and turn it out on a baking mat or floured surface.
  7. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  8. Now it's time to shape the loaf and the bun. For the buns, divide the dough into equal-sized balls (I made 12 balls). Transfer them into a prepared square pan and loosely cover with cling wrap.
  9. For the first loaf: Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized balls and transfer them into a prepared loaf pan and loosely cover with cling wrap.
  10. For the second loaf: Make 5 equal-sized balls, transfer them into another prepared loaf pan, and loosely cover with cling wrap.
  11. Let the dough proof for 2 hours before baking.
  12. Before putting the buns in the oven, brush the tops with the egg wash.
  13. Bake the buns and loaves for 30 minutes, or until they are golden brown on top.
  14. Transfer buns and loaves to a wire rack, and let cool completely.
  15. Use a serrated or bread knife to slice the loaf. Enjoy with butter, clotted cream, or jam.

Photo Tutorial

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Combine remaining eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla essence.Mix the mixture until it's all combined. Reduce the speed when adding the butter, and continue to mix at high speed to combine. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it stand for 2 hours. After 2 hours, the dough should have doubled in size. Gently, poke the dough to let the air out. Cover the dough with cling wrap and put it in the fridge. Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight. The next day, transfer the dough to a floured surface or baking mat. Divide the dough into equal-sized balls and transfer to the prepared pan. Cover loosely with cling wrap for the proofing process. The first loaf. The buns. The second loaf. Let the buns and loaves cool completely on a wire rack. Slice the loaf and enjoy with your favorite jam, butter, or clotted cream. The texture of these brioche buns is so delicate. The next day, I used the brioche loaf to make French toast. Delicious!
Combine remaining eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla essence.
Combine remaining eggs, flour, sugar, salt, and vanilla essence.
Mix the mixture until it's all combined.
Mix the mixture until it's all combined.
Reduce the speed when adding the butter, and continue to mix at high speed to combine.
Reduce the speed when adding the butter, and continue to mix at high speed to combine.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it stand for 2 hours.
Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it stand for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, the dough should have doubled in size.
After 2 hours, the dough should have doubled in size.
Gently, poke the dough to let the air out.
Gently, poke the dough to let the air out.
Cover the dough with cling wrap and put it in the fridge.
Cover the dough with cling wrap and put it in the fridge.
Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.
Let the dough rest in the fridge overnight.
The next day, transfer the dough to a floured surface or baking mat.
The next day, transfer the dough to a floured surface or baking mat.
Divide the dough into equal-sized balls and transfer to the prepared pan.
Divide the dough into equal-sized balls and transfer to the prepared pan.
Cover loosely with cling wrap for the proofing process.
Cover loosely with cling wrap for the proofing process.
The first loaf.
The first loaf.
The buns.
The buns.
The second loaf.
The second loaf.
Let the buns and loaves cool completely on a wire rack.
Let the buns and loaves cool completely on a wire rack.
Slice the loaf and enjoy with your favorite jam, butter, or clotted cream.
Slice the loaf and enjoy with your favorite jam, butter, or clotted cream.
The texture of these brioche buns is so delicate.
The texture of these brioche buns is so delicate.
The next day, I used the brioche loaf to make French toast. Delicious!
The next day, I used the brioche loaf to make French toast. Delicious!

© 2020 Liza

Comments

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    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      2 months ago from USA

      You're welcome, Rajan :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      2 months ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Never had it so it is something new for me. Thanks for sharing.

    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      3 months ago from USA

      Hi Mitara, indeed, this recipe is time-consuming but, you will be very happy with the outcome. Fresh and warm baked goods in your house. I bet your family will love it too. Thanks for your lovely comment.

    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      3 months ago from USA

      Hi Linda, the brioche almost best with any kind of spread you like! The French toast was absolutely amazing. I ended up making it twice! Thank you for your lovely comment.

    • MitaraN profile image

      Mitara N 

      3 months ago from South Africa

      I love the thought of fresh buttery bread on my tastebuds. Definitely going to try, looks like its worth the time.

      Thanks for sharing

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 

      3 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      The brioche with jam and the French toast look delicious. I love the thought of soft and buttery bread.

    • lizmalay profile imageAUTHOR

      Liza 

      3 months ago from USA

      Thank you, Liz. Yes, it was time-consuming but, after seeing the result, I was so pleased. The tiredness is gone and replaced by the decadent brioche slices. I'm ready to make more!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      These look amazing and very professional. They might be time consuming, but I guess time is more readily available in lockdown.

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