Baking your own brioche takes a little effort but it is so worth it. Light and buttery with a pillowy interior. The leftovers are perfect for French toast.
When I first started baking bread, brioche was the one thing I found completely daunting. I feel the same way about brioche as I do about croissants. I love eating them but I don’t want to make them myself. But let me tell you, homemade brioche is a thing of absolute beauty. Bubble-topped and begging to be sliced into. As you slice into the still-warm loaf, you’ll be met with a burst of steam with the aroma of butter and yeast. Drool-worthy stuff, I tell you. It’s also obvious at that moment that all the hard work is completely worth it. I’ve made this loaf over and over again and I can tell you, it’s delicious every single time.
All my tips and tricks to make the perfect brioche can be found below the recipe.
Table of Contents
- 125 ml warm milk
- 3 tablespoons/70g sugar
- 10 g dried yeast
- 4 eggs
- 500 g flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 175 g butter cubed (remove the butter from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start. Butter needs to be slightly soft.)
- 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
- Combine the milk, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a free-standing mixer and allow to stand for 5 minutes until the mixture is creamy and start to froth slightly.
- Add the eggs and beat well until the eggs are well incorporated and the mixture is light and creamy.
- Slowly add the flour and salt with the mixer running until the flour has been incorporated.
- Allow to knead at medium speed for a minute.
- Slowly add the cubes of butter and knead for another 5 minutes.
- The dough will begin to pull away from the sides of the bowl and will cling to the paddle.
- Remove the dough and place in a buttered bowl.
- Cover with clingwrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.
- Place in the fridge and allow to stand overnight.
- The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and allow to come to room temperature.
- Divide the dough in half and place in greased loaf tins.
- Allow to rise for another 2 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. Brush the loaves with the egg wash.
- Bake the loaves for 40-45 minutes until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Tips for making the best brioche bread
- Making brioche can seem overwhelming but my number one tip is to use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Letting the machine do the kneading for you makes this a breeze and gives you control to manipulate the dough. However, this recipe is 100% doable by hand.
- Combine warm milk(blood temperature – if you stick your finger into the milk it should feel almost like nothing. That means it is body temperature), sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow to stand for 5 minutes until frothy. This step activates the yeast and gets it going.
- Once the eggs, flour and salt is added, knead the dough for a minute or two until everything is well incorporated.
- Slowly start adding the butter, bit by bit, until it too is incorporated into the dough. At this point the dough might seem very sticky but continue kneading until the dough starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t and it is still very wet, simply add 2-3 tablespoons of flour, one at a time, until the dough firms up a little. The flour will also continue hydrating as it rises.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap then allow to rise for 2 hours at room temperature. After that, place it in the fridge overnight. This step is crucial as this slow fermentation builds loads of flavor.
- Once ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and transfer to a clean, greased bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Allow to come up to room temperature.
- Break pieces of dough (approximately the size of tennis balls) off and form into rough balls. Place into 2 lined loaf pans then cover again with the damp tea towel and allow to rise while you allow the oven to preheat.
- Brush the loaves with beaten egg and place in the oven. Allow to bake until puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and if you can resist temptation, allow to cool before slicing.
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