Brioche bread is buttery, soft and pillowy with a beautiful golden brown crust. It is a delicious pastry-like bread that is so rich in flavour. The best part? You can make brioche with just 20 minutes of actual prep work. It's the perfect bread to enjoy on it's own with butter and jam, in a sandwich or for French toast.
What is Brioche Bread?
Brioche bread is French bread that is made rich with butter, eggs, and milk. It's high fat and protein content gives it the softest and fluffiest texture, which classifies it somewhere in between a pastry like croissants and regular bread. It can be used in so many ways, as burger buns, sandwich bread, and french toast.
Brioche is often compared to challah as they are similar in texture, but they have their differences. Brioche bread is made primarily of butter and milk whilst challah is made with canola oil and eggs for enrichment.
To make brioche bread, you will need the following ingredients:
- all-purpose flour
- yeast - active dry yeast.
- butter - softened butter, cut into cubes.
- egg white - for egg wash.
- salt flakes - optional, for garnish on top. You could also use sesame seeds, or leave it as is.
How to Make the Best Brioche Bread
- Prepare the dough. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk well to combine milk, eggs (remove 1 egg white from the eggs, about 2 tablespoons and set aside), yeast and sugar until fully dissolved, about 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup flour and mix well until smooth. In a large mixing bowl, add remaining 3 cups flour, diced butter and salt. Mix evenly with a spatula. Pour in the egg flour mixture and stir well to combine until it forms a shaggy dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).
- First rise. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let dough rise at room temperature (preferably in a warmer area) for 1 hour until doubled.
- Knead the dough. You can use a stand mixer or knead by hand. To knead by hand, knead the dough on a clean lightly floured surface for 8-10 minutes until it changes from a sticky shaggy dough into a smooth and soft dough ball. Apply a little bit of flour on your hands if needed and slap and fold the dough to further build gluten and distribute butter evenly in dough.
Tips for Kneading Dough
- How to knead dough: Knead the dough by pushing it down and outward using the palms of your hands. Fold the dough in half toward you and press down. Repeat this motion by pushing the dough down and outward, and then folding over towards you. This helps build up gluten strength in dough that is responsible for making the bread fluffy.
- How to test if dough is well-kneaded: A well-kneaded dough is smooth and can hold its shape. You can test the dough by giving it a firm poke with your finger. The indentation should bounce right back. If it doesn’t bounce back and stays like a dimple, keep kneading for a few more minutes.
How to Shape Brioche
Flatten the dough, divide it into 9 equal pieces with a bench scraper, and shape them into smooth balls by cupping the dough in your palm and making circular motions. It should take less than 30 seconds to roll each piece into a smooth ball.
Arrange dough balls in a zigzag pattern in a lightly oiled 1.5 lb. loaf pan (10x5-inch loaf pan). When baked, the dough balls can be pulled apart from the loaf. This is a classic way of shaping brioche. You can also braid the brioche as in challah bread and bake it in the loaf pan or in a sheet pan.
Cover with cling wrap and let it rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes depending on the room temperature. The dough will rise up to the rim of the loaf pan. Brush the reserved egg white evenly over the top and sprinkle with salt flakes. The egg white creates shine and makes the salt stick to the top.
Bake the brioche in a 375 F preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until the crust turns golden brown. Then, transfer the loaf onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before slicing, about 30 minutes.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
- How to store: Store brioche in a bread box or an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- How to freeze: You can also freeze brioche in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. To thaw, place in the refrigerator or kitchen counter.
- How to reheat: To reheat refrigerated or frozen brioche that has been thawed, place in the air fryer or oven at 300 F for 5-10 minutes. You can also cut into slices prior to freezing and toast single slices in the toaster or toaster oven directly from frozen using the freezer setting.
More Bread Recipes
- Easy Challah Bread
- Small Batch No-Knead Bread
- Garlic Naan Bread
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Rolls
- Quick and Easy Pita Bread
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Cinnamon Raisin Challah Bread
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