Favorite Brioche Bread Recipe
This is our go-to easy Brioche Bread recipe. Learn how to make this traditional braided sweet bread then use it to make the best Brioche French Toast!
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What is Brioche Bread?
Brioche is a lightly sweet yeast bread enriched with eggs and butter which give it a tender crumb. Brioche bread originated in France.
A braided Brioche is as beautiful as it is delicious. It is our favorite for holidays like Easter Sunday along with other traditional Easter favorites like our Apricot Sweet Cheese Bread, Carrot Cake, and Hot Cross Buns.
Ingredients for Brioche
The key to making great brioche is to use room temperature ingredients. They incorporate better into the dough and will give the yeast a jump start.
- Milk – 1%, 2% or whole milk
- Yeast – active dry yeast (use platinum yeast for best rise)
- 3 eggs – large, room temperature
- Granulated sugar – use 1/2 cup for lightly sweet bread (use 1/4 cup for savory bread).
- Unsalted butter – should be melted and cooled (not hot)
- Salt – we use fine sea salt
- Flour – all-purpose, or bread flour will work.
Tips for Working with Yeast:
- Yeast temperature – start with yeast that is at room temperature. If you keep yeast refrigerated, set it out for a bit before using. Platinum yeast offers the best rise. For 1 Tbsp yeast, you’ll need about 1 1/3 packets or 9 grams of active dry yeast.
- Milk temperature – warm your milk to the ideal yeast proofing temperature of 100-115˚F on a thermometer. Don’t make it hotter or you will deactivate the yeast.
- Dough not rising? Your room is probably too cold. Place the dough in a warm place to rise (100-110˚F). Preheat your oven to the lowest setting for 2 minutes then turn off and set your dough bowl over a towel in the warm oven and proof until doubled in volume (don’t forget to remove the towel). Also, try the microwave method we shared in our Easy Cinnamon Rolls Recipe.
- Proof the yeast – be sure your yeast is bubbly and forms a foamy layer (takes about 10 minutes). If it does not proof or bubble up, do not proceed. You’ll need to get new un-expired yeast and start again.
How to Make Brioche Bread
- In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, and remaining sugar. Stir in the proofed yeast mixture.
- Add flour 1 cup at a time, stirring with each addition. Add last 1/2 cup of flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and isn’t sticking to clean fingertips.
- Knead (by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook) for 8-10 minutes then cover with plastic wrap and proof in a warm place until doubled in size (1 1/2 to 2 hours).
How to Braid Bread (4 Strands)
This process is easy and if you’ve never made braided bread before, you will feel accomplished when you’re done. We found that 4 strands make a beautiful (and uncomplicated) braided bread.
- Cut dough into 4 equal pieces.
- Roll pieces into 18 to 20″ lengths and arrange vertically spaced out a few inches.
- Pinch the strips together at the top to seal. Cross the far right strip over its neighbor.
- Tuck the far left strip under its neighbor and over the next strip.
- Repeat until fully braided then pinch the ends together to keep them from unraveling.
Pro Tip: Allow bread to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing into it to complete the cooking process. Otherwise, it will release steam and the crumb can become gummy and dense.
Challah bread is made with water instead of milk and oil instead of butter following dietary kosher laws. Brioche is made with milk and butter which form a rich and tender crumb.
Milk can be substituted with water if you are looking for a dairy free milk and butter can be substituted for oil.
This recipe makes 1 large loaf, but can be divided in half and placed into 2 bread loaf pans.
First, be sure to measure flour correctly. Add the last 1/2 cup of flour a little at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl (if using a stand mixer, it will stick to the bottom of the bowl as it kneads on speed 2). It won’t stick to clean, dry fingertips.
What to do with Brioche Bread?
Brioche is great for sweet and savory meals. We love brioche buns for our famous burgers, but it’s also great for:
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
- Classic French Toast
- French Toast Casserole
- Caramel Bacon French Toast
- With butter and honey (a personal favorite with a cup of hot coffee)
How to Store Bread
- Storing: Once the bread has cooled to room temperature, store covered in plastic wrap at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
- Freezing: Allow loaf to come to room temperature then cover in several layers of plastic wrap and freeze for 1 to 3 months. Freezing fresh bread the day it is baked will give you the best taste and texture when thawed.
- Thawing: Thaw bread covered in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature for 2-3 hours.
- To Reheat: Place loaf uncovered in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes, or heat individual slices in the toaster.
More Bread Recipes
There’s nothing that compares to the sweet aroma of home-baked bread wafting through your house. If you love this classic Brioche bread, then you won’t want to miss these popular recipes:
Classic Brioche Bread Recipe
Brioche is a lightly sweet yeast bread enriched with eggs and butter which give the bread a tender crumb. It’s wonderful for French Toast.
For the Brioche Bread:
For the Egg Wash:
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tsp poppy seeds optional
Make the Brioche Dough:
In a measuring cup, stir together 3/4 cup warm milk (105-110˚F on a thermometer) with 1 tsp sugar. Stir in 1 Tbsp yeast and let it rest 10 minutes to proof the yeast (a foamy layer will form at the top to indicate yeast is active).
In a separate mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, combine 3 eggs, 4 Tbsp melted and cooled butter, 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp salt. Whisk together until blended then stir in proofed yeast mixture.
Using the dough hook attachment on speed 2, or a wooden spoon, add flour 1 cup at a time, allowing it to incorporate with each addition. Add the last 1/2 cup of flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides of the mixing bowl and does not stick to clean, dry fingertips. Continue to knead by hand or in a stand mixer for 8 -10 minutes.
Transfer dough to a large buttered bowl and turn to coat in butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place (100-110˚F) for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until doubled in volume.
Braid and Form Bread:
Turn dough out onto a clean surface and divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into 18 to 20” lengths and arrange them side by side vertically. Pinch the 4 pieces together at the top.
To braid the Brioche: Cross the far right strip over its neighbor. Tuck the far left strip under its neighbor and over the next strip. Repeat this process until you finish the braid then pinch together the other end to seal and keep it from unraveling.
Butter a large baking sheet and place the braided bread on your buttered pan. Cover loosely with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes or at room temperature for 1 hour, until visibly puffed.
Egg Wash and Bake:
In a separate dish, beat together 1 egg and 1 tsp water. Once the braid has puffed up, brush with egg wash and sprinkle on poppy seeds if using.
Bake in the center of a preheated oven at 375˚F for 25-28 minutes tor until top is golden brown. Cool to room temperature before slicing.