Brioche? Bring it on

Brioche. Fussy.

I’ve always believed the two words go together like bacon and eggs, or bread and butter. “Brioche is hard to make, hard to work with, and, well… fussy.”

Or so I thought. Till my Web teammates forced me to make brioche. And now I’m kicking myself for having avoided this simple, lush bread, lo these many years.

Here’s how a blog post often starts:

“PJ, we like this picture of brioche on p. 54 of the catalogue. We’re going to use it as the main image in one of the February emails. So that’ll be your recipe, OK?”

Brioche? I felt a chill creep down my spine. Pain de mie? No problem. Onion buns? Love ’em. I’ve even gotten past my Fear of Sourdough, and now make that regularly. Especially sourdough waffles—oh, my…

But brioche? A soft, soft dough, full of butter that has to be added bit by bit, and eggs that make everything slippery, and chilling and icky-sticky shaping… no thanks. Not for me.

But, ever the loyal soldier, I sighed and carried on. “Aye, aye, Capt. Silver. Brioche. Not a problem.”

I knew we had several brioche recipes online, so I clicked to what sounded like a good place to start: Classic Brioche. Butter, eggs, chilling… yup, just as I suspected.

However, if there’s one simple thing life has taught me, it’s this: put one foot in front of the other, and you’ll get there.

And that’s just what I did. The instructions were simple. Right foot forward… They worked exactly as written. Left foot… The soft dough came together, rose, and chilled into a soft, clay-like dough that was a dream to shape. Right foot… It rose again, right on schedule. Another step… And baked up light, tender, golden brown, aromatic, and RICH.  The journey completed.

Why was I EVER reluctant to make brioche?

Now I see that it’s the dough of 1,000 uses. Brioche cinnamon rolls and sticky buns.  Brioche dessert pizza. Heck, a brioche savory pizza, the tender bread cradling a runny Gorgonzola, toasted walnut, and roasted pear filling—why not? A giant round of brioche, split horizontally and filled with pastry cream to make a classic French pastry whose name, unfortunately, escapes me at the moment.

Brioche is my new best friend. And it’ll be yours, too, with one caveat.

Use a mixer or bread machine to make the dough. Go ahead, turn your nose up at modern appliances and make this dough by hand, if you’re determined to do so. But don’t hesitate to take the easy way out, and let a machine do the tricky kneading for you. Trust me, you’ll have lots of hand-time with your dough while you’re shaping it.

I wonder… Is brioche challah an oxymoron?

Read our Brioche recipe as you follow along with these pictures.


OK, everything into the bowl. Flour, sugar, dry milk, salt, yeast, water. Lots of butter. Three large eggs, plus an extra yolk.


Mix till everything is combined…


…then beat with the flat beater at medium-high speed for 5 minutes. See the dough starting to smooth out?


Beat for another 5 minutes…


…then scrape the dough away from the sides of the bowl.


Bring it into the center, like this.


Switch to the dough hook, and knead for 5 minutes. Yes, that’s a total of 15 minutes working the dough. See how lovely and smooth it is?


Put the dough in a rising container. I’m using an 8-cup measure here. The container really doesn’t need to be greased; this dough is rich enough.


Let it rise, covered, for 60 minutes. It won’t rise much; that’s OK. It’s preparing itself for more rising in the refrigerator. Put the covered dough in the fridge…


…and let it rise and chill for a minimum of 2 hours. You can let it go as long as overnight. See how it’s risen?


Despite its cover, the top of the dough may look a bit dried out; that’s OK.

Remove it from the rising vessel, and divide it into as many brioche as you want to make. This recipe makes two nice loaves; six “flower pot” brioche, pictured at the top of this blogpost; or a dozen little rounds, in our bake and give mini round paper pans. You may also choose to make a traditional large loaf in a brioche pan; I didn’t have a brioche pan, so didn’t try it.


Lightly grease the pans of your choice.


Round the pieces of dough into smooth balls, and set them in the pans, filling the pans anywhere from about 1/3 to a generous ½ full.


This recipe will fill six mini flower pots, or 12 mini round paper bakers. It’ll also make two loaves, as you’ll see below.


Set the pans on a baking sheet, cover, and let rise till puffy, about 90 minutes to 2 hours.


Notice how nicely the dough has crowned over the rims of the flower pots.


Nestle the pan of loaves into another pan; this insulating technique is called “double panning,” and will ensure the bottoms of the loaves don’t burn.

Bake the loaves on a lower rack of the oven till they’re a VERY light golden brown, anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes depending on what pans you’ve used.


Place a rack above them, and put a pan on the rack to shield the tops of the loaves. (You may also choose to imply tent them very lightly with aluminum foil.) They’ll continue to brown, but more slowly.


Remove the loaves from the oven when they’re a medium-to-deep golden brown, and their interior temperature reads about 205°F on an instant-read thermometer.


OK, here comes the part that really IS fussy: decorating. I like my brioche plain. Or, at most, with jam or conserves. But for you Martha types, we do carry some VERY cute Easter-type sugar decorations.


Remember, my Web teammates wanted me to match this recipe to the photo on the email this blog rode along with. So, here’s the little loaf, iced and decorated…


…and here’s the flower pot loaf. OK, everyone, all together now: “Awwwww… cute!”


Back to reality. Here’s my favorite way to enjoy brioche: made into a loaf, sliced, and served with jam. Apricot is my favorite.


Let’s begin again. Everything into the bucket of your bread machine, set on the dough cycle.


After 5 minutes – ewww, mess!


But at the end of the dough cycle—lovely. Since it rose as part of the cycle, it’s ready to be covered and put into the fridge.


Next day, here it is. As you can see, it didn’t really do much overnight.


And when you try to scoop it out of the pan, it acts like clay; it breaks off in chunks. But notice the airy texture under the skin; it hasn’t just been sitting around doing nothing all night. The yeast has indeed been busy.


Scrape the dough out of the bucket, and divide it in half. You’ll be making two loaves. Divide each half into three pieces, and roll them into ropes about 11” to 12” long. Ready two 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pans by spraying with non-stick vegetable oil spray.


You’re going to braid the ropes. First, squeeze the ends of the ropes together. (If you already know how to make a simple three-strand braid, skip these next few pictures.)


Bring one outside rope over the center rope. That outside rope now becomes the center.


Bring the outside rope from the other end over the center…


…and repeat.


Continue until you’ve made a braid. Tuck the ends underneath. Repeat with the other half of the dough.


Nestle the two loaves in the pans. They’ll seem pretty skimpy; that’s OK. Warning: If you use a 9” x 5” pan, they’ll seem REALLY skimpy, and won’t fill the pan when they rise and bake. Please try to use 8 ½” x 4 ½” pans.

But, can you put the entire batch of dough into one 9” x 5” pan? I think so (she said hesitantly, not having tried it).


Cover the pans. Never, and I mean never, fail to grab the throwaway shower caps they sometimes leave for you when you stay at a hotel. These elasticized caps are perfect dough-rising covers.


Since the dough has been in the fridge overnight, it takes awhile to warm up and get going. Give it a good 2 ½ to 3 hours to rise, till it’s noticeably puffy.


Brush the dough with an egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon of milk. A silicone pastry brush does a nice, gentle job.


Sprinkle with sugar, if you like. I’m using Swedish pearl sugar here; I find it very pretty against the deep mahogany brown color of the baked brioche.


Bake till light gold…


…then tent with foil, and continue to bake till the center feels set when you insert a cake tester or toothpick. It won’t feel sticky inside, and the tester will side out easily.


An instant-read thermometer probe, inserted into the center, will read at least 205°F.


Remove from the oven, and after about 5 minutes, turn out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Now that wasn’t hard, was it? One foot in front of the other…

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Brioche.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Le Pain Quotidien, New York, NY: individual brioche, $2.55

Bake at home: individual brioche, 27¢

PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...


  1. Alvara

    Hi PJ, I would like to make the brioche in my bread machine. You said it’s ready to put in the fridge after the kneading cycle. Does that mean I don’t wait until the bread rises in the machine, just take it out when the kneading cycle finishes? It looks so delicious I can’t wait to try it. Alvara

    No, Alvara, let it go through its entire dough cycle (including rising), then put it in the fridge (covered). It really is a fun dough to work with, and makes delicious bread of all kinds. As I said, can’t believe I’ve avoided it up till now! PJH

  2. Kathleen

    I haven’t tried them yet, but your last 3 blogs where just wonderful. They all had great recipes, directions and hints. I printed them all out till I’m ready to try them. Irish Soda Bread Muffins, Hot Cross Buns and Brioche. I have never made any of them but with your pictures and directions, I believe I can make them all. I never had anyone teach me untill now and I sure do wish there was a way I could reach through my monitor and get to know what a “healthy” ball of dough feels like, not only for the brioche but also for the different breads and yeast recipes.

    Thanks so much, Kathleen. My best description of what a soft/springy, well-kneaded hunk of dough is that when you poke it, it feels like a baby’s bottom, kind of soft, yet firm/elastic. Wish I could reach through the monitor, too, and hand you a piece of dough! I’m blogging on our Baking Education Center in a few weeks – maybe you’ll end up coming here sometime, and we can ALL show you! Cheers – PJH

  3. SteveB

    “A giant round of brioche, split horizontally and filled with pastry cream to make a classic French pastry whose name, unfortunately, escapes me at the moment.”

    Would the name be Brioche Tropézienne, by any chance?

    Steve – I believe you are exactly right. One would need a STIFF pastry cream/custard filling in order to neatly slice into this giant brioche cake. I know I would want to soak the brioche in a rum or vanilla simple syrup just for fun. Elisabeth @ KAF

  4. Tom Mix

    Where does one get the very cool looking mini-flower pots?

    Tom – You can buy these little pots through the Baker’s Catalogue (1-800-827-6836) or shop on line. Item # 6654, 6 for $15.95. Elisabeth @ KAF

  5. HMB

    PJ, I had a chuckle when you described how a well-kneaded hunk of dough feels like a baby’s bottom. That’s what my mom taught me and the thought of that makes me smile every time I bake bread.

  6. Penny

    Oh Boy, PJ, you’re really doing it now! Last weekend I made the most beautiful Challah EVER from your recipe and now Brioche has to follow. It is my absolute downfall. Whenever we cruise on Celebrity I allow myself one brioche every morning. I ask for one specificially and after the first day I don’t usually have to ask. It will be hard to ration myself this way at home but I’m going to make this bread today! (I do think the frosting is over the top though!)

  7. Shirley Meskenas

    I have one of those glass pans that I think is a brioche pan. Hard to describe the shape. I wonder how many loaves it would make in the glass dish. I guess I could measure how much water it holds or just fill it 2/3’s full. I got the pan years ago from KA. Thanks.

  8. Alessandra

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


    Thanks Alessandra,
    Be sure to check out the blog archives for lots of great recipes and posts. Happy Baking! ~ MaryJane

  9. Mike T.

    I love brioche, so I may try it, but I’m sorry, the KA Brioche mix is really good and really easy, it makes making this from scratch a little tough to get past… Either way I’m sure they are both EXCELLENT!

    For those not wanting to go thru all of the above, I highly recommend the brioche mix.

    I haven’t tried the Apricot Sour Cream one, yet, but the Chocolate Chip was real good. Doesn’t look like it is available at the moment, but it was basically adding 1/4c or so of mini-chocolate chips to the regular mix.

    Okay, gotta stop reading or I’m going to have to bake something… ;-)

    Thanks, Mike, as always… PJH

  10. Connie

    Will this “double panning” technique also work with sticky buns to keep the sugar/nut mixture from over-cooking before the buns are done?

    It would definitely help, Connie. Also, are you using a light-colored pan? That helps, too. And baking in upper third (or at least not the bottom) of the oven. Good luck – PJH

  11. Colleen

    I haven’t tried your recipe yet, I’m sure it’s wonderful. We first had brioche when we stayed at a B&B in France several years ago, and my husband came home and made a wonderful brioche from the Williams Sonoma cookbook. After a failed brioche he stopped making it. The last time I made it I botched the recipe as well (too much flour) but managed to salvage a passable loaf. The reason for my reply… it made the best French toast I have ever eaten. I made a large loaf in a traditional brioche pan and after a couple of days (I purposely saved it, it was difficult not to eat it all the first day!) I made French toast.

    Use a ratio of 1 egg to 1/2 cup of heavy cream, depending on how many slices you are making. Add a touch of vanilla and cinnamon if desired. Soak for at least 45 minutes. Slightly thicker slices seem to cook up better. Lightly brown in butter in a frying pan, then finish for about 10 minutes in the oven at about 350 to make sure the custard is set in the center. Simply divine.

    By the way, that’s the same egg to cream ratio I use for basic quiche for a perfect custard every time. Creme brulee is 2 yolks to 1/2 cup cream. So easy to remember too!

    Oh, Colleen, you’re killing me! Now I have to make brioche loaves again so I can make French toast “the Colleen way.” Thanks for the ratio hints – it’s so nice when you get those things to stick in your head. Like scant 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of flour in yeast bread recipes. And 75% hydration for a nice, workable yeast dough. And 3 tablespoons cocoa + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil = 1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate. Too bad I can never remember the self-rising flour formula! TX for connecting- PJH

  12. Meg

    Does this brioche freeze ok for 1-2 weeks if well wrapped?

    Sure, Meg, if not iced. Reheat, lightly tented with foil, for 5-10 minutes in a 350°F oven, just before serving. – PJH



    Great, Kathi – Just follow the directions, both are a lot of fun – and YUMMY. – PJH

  14. MB

    I bake a lot of bread – a big favorite with the family, and this one is definately on the list. However – your classic recipe (the one you say to follow along with) calls for 3 large eggs, and I see in your blog you mention 3 large eggs PLUS an extra egg yolk. Also, the recipe indicates its done at 190 degrees, and your blog says 205. By the by – I don’t know if I can even make break anymore without the instant-read! What a fabulous item in the kitchen.

    I agree about the Thermapen – SO useful! I can see where I’ve confused folks – thanks for pointing this out. I’ll go in and clarify: only if you’re sprinkling with sugar (the loaves) do you add the egg yolk, so you can have an egg white for glazing, to make the sugar stick. And, one large loaf (which the recipe itself calls for, but which I didn’t blog about) can go to 190°F, while the smaller ones will go to 205°F. Thanks for the heads up, MB! – PJH

  15. Christl

    Love your bread recipes…but was just diagnosed with a wheat allergy. Do you know of any 100% rye flour recipes, or gluten-free recipes that are more than tapioca flour and cornstarch (I’d like a little healthy fiber)?

    Thanks, too for the many photographs…I’m a “picture is worth a thousand words” girl.

    Christi, we offer a book called Gluten-Free Baking Classics. Also, any of Bette Hagman’s gluten-free baking books will be a big help to you. Sorry about the wheat allergy! We’re about to come out with a line of gluten-free mixes, and though they’re not rye, they’re awfully tasty… Good luck. PJH

  16. Doris

    Won’t this bread make good bread pudding as well?

    Oh yeah… totally. Mardi Gras today makes me think of bread pudding with bourbon sauce… Thanks, Doris! PJH

  17. Floy Kern

    I baked both the home-made version of the brioche and the packaged one from Baker’s Catalog. Both came out a little on the dry side. Have any idea as to what I did wrong. I did follow the directions. I’ve had brioche in Paris that tasted like crossants and am trying to duplicate that taste. Thanks.

    Floy, sounds like you need to find a recipe with even more butter. Croissants are hugely buttery – butter is in the dough and rolled in between the layers. I don’t think you’ll get this recipe to taste like a croissant, because it’s that over-the-top butter you’re tasting… Suggest Googling brioche recipes online, see what you can find. Good luck – PJH

  18. Jack B. Rubin

    The recipe is excellent, but it would be nice if you would show the technique for forming the classic french brioche with the crown on top,
    either in mini molds or one large.

    Jack, it would be nice indeed – I was trying to break people in gently. It’s pretty difficult to get a nice-looking classic brioche – the topknot invariably slips down. I wanted to make this recipe accessible first. Do you have any good hints about how to make a fail-safe, nice-looking classic brioche? Please share! PJH

  19. Colleen


    I found that to get more realistic French flavor you really have to buy European or French butter. My brioche recipe calls for unsalted butter and you can really taste the difference since the brioche doesn’t have a lot of other flavors (like vanilla or salt) to mask the flavor of the butter. My crepe recipe is the same way, the flavor of the French butter really shines through to make a more authentic tasting crepe.

  20. Lauren

    Hi! I love brioche and definitely want to give this recipe a try. Would it be possible to make these in muffin or popover pans or do you really need the cool muffin papers? If I do, where can I find the muffin papers?

    Lauren – If you like, we offer the mini round pans here on this site. And you can make brioche in whatever vehicle you like – muffin pans, popover pans, freeform, whatever. Just fill whatever half to perhaps a bit more than half full, to allow for rising. Enjoy! – PJH

  21. Elizabeth

    PJ, take a handful of dough (3/4 cup) and roll out less than 1/2 inch (or more than 1/4) and cut w/pizza cutter into squares (amount depends on how many rolls you have in the pan) … pull up corners of mini squares and form into marble size balls.

    Stick your thumb into the center of the rolls in the pan (1/2 inch deep) and plop in a dough ball.. voila….. :-) Elizabeth

    Thanks, Elizabeth – why do mine always tilt as they’re rising and baking, I wonder? Not only that, they rise right out of that 1/2″ indentation, and THAT’S when they tip. Hmmm… Guess I’ll have to try it again. PJH

  22. Horatiu

    Hy! I’m in Europe, Romania to be exact. I’ve began baking a couple of weeks ago and have been going hard at it ever since. I find it most soothing in the evening when i come home from work and on weekends! I’ve done the Brioche quite a number of times, and everybody seems to love them! My question is do you ship to Europe? Thanks and keep up the good work! i just love this blog! We do ship to Europe. Email us at and we’ll happy to help! Molly@KAF

  23. Betty

    I love to bake breads. This is the first time I ever tried brioche and I just love it. The instructions were really easy. The bread came out perfect, except my dough seemed to be a lot stiffer than what yours looked like. Could It be the eggs wern’t large enough even though they were large? Next time I will add the extra egg yolk. Thanks for the blog, I look forward to all the new recipes. Betty

  24. amyj

    I just finished baking this bread with my machine doing the kneading part. This is the first time I’ve tried the dough cycle on the bread machine-and my first brioche. It is really good bread! I braided it into one long loaf and din’t put anything on the top. The crust is just as tender as it can be. I love this recipe. Thanks!

  25. Janene

    Hi! I had a quick question… should the butter be cold or room temperature? It doesn’t say in the recipe.

    I’m excited to try this recipe and add it to my repertiore!

    Room temperature works better than cold, as far as ease of mixing in. But it shouldn’t be melting; just firm-ish room temperature. Good luck – PJH

  26. Janene

    Thanks PJ! My dough is mixing away as I type!

    AWWRIGHT! Go for it, Janene. I know you’ll love it… PJH

  27. fran

    What is the difference between Brioche and Challah and Greek Easter Egg Bread? I’ve made the Greek Easter Bread and always thought it was similar to challah. I will give this a try. I almost always use my bread machine for dough. I don’t usually bake in the bread machine because I don’t like the way it turns out. Plus I’ve got to get my hands on the dough at some point. I wouln’t want to miss that smooth baby bottom feel.
    I bought my bread machine (reconditioned) in a discount store about 10 years ago for under $30. The one in KA at the time was around$150 if I recall. Mine is still going strong.
    Fran: Brioche has the highest percentage of butter of any of the three. Challah can be made with butter or oil, and is a little bit sweeter than Brioche. Greek Easter Bread doesn’t have as many eggs in it (although the bread may be baked with dyed eggs nestled in the dough), and is traditionally flavored with mahlep. Susan

  28. FRAN

    Thanks. Do you know where I can get mahlep? or what I can use in its place?

    Hi Fran: It’s faintly cherry, kind of almond – you could try a combination of those two flavors, with the almond predominating. You can also easily purchase mahlep at Middle Eastern groceries, or online – just Google it. Hope this helps – PJH

  29. Jan

    I thought I “invented” brioche challah about 15 years ago, but now everyone else has the idea too! LOL–it was inevitable!

    Anyway, in traditional Judaism, challah does not have butter because it is usually served at the special meal to celebrate the Sabbath on Friday night and that is usually a meat meal–it is not kosher to serve anything with dairy at a meal that has meat.

    But brioche certainly makes a great challah if you don’t keep kosher or if you do not intend to serve it with meat.

    I usually let my brioche dough proof in the fridge overnight. The cold dough is especially easy to shape and manage for brading into challah or any other fancy shape. I like to make those pastries where you put a filling down the middle third and then cut diagonal “straps” on either side that are crossed over the filling (I can’t remember what that’s called!) with this dough. It looks dramatically beautiful and is so easy to do. One of the old Sunset Bread Books (anyone remember them?) had a to die for poppy seed filling that I always make around this time of year (to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Purim).

    Yes, Jan – a mock braid is what it’s called. I’ll have to check out that poppyseed filling – bet I can find it… And now I’ve got the urge to make brioche dough again, even though I’ve got pizza dough and sourdough both rising at the moment. Thanks for the inspiration! PJH

    I found this – says it’s from Sunset Magazine, 1961 – yes?
    FILLING: 1 1/2 cup golden raisins warm water 2 cup crushed poppy seed, firmly packed OR- FOR WALNUT ROLL: 1 1/2 cup ground walnuts, firmly packed 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup milk 2 lemons, grated peel of 1/2 tsp vanilla.

    To make the filling: First plump raisins by allowing to stand in warm water for a few minutes; drain. In a saucepan, combine raisins, poppy seeds (or walnuts), sugar, milk, and lemon peel. Cook over low heat, stirring, until thickened and of spreading consistency, about 20 minutes. (If mixture becomes too thick, add a little more milk.) Stir in vanilla. Let cool slightly. Makes filling for 2 rolls. To make filling for a single roll, or to make one of each flavor, cut quantities in half. With these heavy fillings, the raisins swell and steam when hot, sometimes causing the tender dough to split in small cracks as the rolls bake.

  30. Liliana Szachury

    I would like to know if all the yeast breads can be made with a cast iron pan preheated and then put boiling water, in the below rack the bread when it is baked or that technique is just for sourdough bread and bagettes? can be used for all yeast bread?

    Liliana, you only want to do this with breads that are supposed to be crusty/crunchy. For instance, you wouldn’t do it with sweet breads, or sandwich loaves, or dinner rolls; you would do it with baguettes, and boules, and crusty “country loaves.” PJH

  31. Solange Kelly

    Having read the brioche resipes both,one made in the electric mixer,and the other in the bread maker. Why do I have to use “dry milk”?

    I like our Baker’s Special dry milk, Solange, because it’s specially formulated to help yeast breads rise higher – it disables a certain enzyme, protease, that inhibits yeast. It’s also, in my opinion, more stable than fresh milk, as fasr as not acquiring any “off” flavors during the longer rises brioche needs. But go ahead and substitute fresh milk, see what happens – I think the rise just may be slower. PJH

  32. Solange Kelly

    Hi PJH Thanks for the information,but I had to begin it without the Baker’s Special dry milk. Being Sunday did not feel like going out.
    At present it is in the fridge,and what I did.–not having as large a container described in the picture.So,what I did was put the Kenwood bowl covered it up with a cling film at 5.35 GMT,it has been there since and will not be used until tomorrow noon day. Whatever happens if I succeed well and good,if not tough!
    However,on my next shopping day,will buy(If available) the Bakers’s Special.
    Thanks and wish me luck.I have been going bonkers trying to make my brioche which I flavor with “mahlep” which gives the special Greek Easter bun. But to see thedough rise? vain hope.
    Be it by hand,Kenwood,or my new Kenwood Bread Maker without success.
    Would have loved to flavor it with vanilla,but there again how etc.
    Thanks again though because one never thinks dough rising in the “fridge” There you go.

    Hope it works out for you, Solange. You won’t find Baker’s Special milk at the store – we sell it here at our catalogue. It’s a professional bakers’ ingredient, and thus wouldn’t be available at a normal store. Substitute regular nonfat dry milk – it won’t help the yeast, but also won’t be subject to perhaps going “off” like fresh milk would… PJH

  33. Solange Kelly

    Hello PJH
    Well,it seems I failed yet again. Got up from my slumber at 5a.m to take the dough out from the fridge.Result? dire..It was very,very wet,and had to dust it well with extra flour,to enable me to twist it into a “plat”.Baked it in the oven, result? All I could taste was the YEAST,and no trace of the precious “mahlep” ingredient. Alas,failed the test.
    Nevermind though,I can use it one way or another,but not as proper brioche/chalah/or the greek one.
    In the last two weeks I have used at least 16 eggs all for nought.Doesn’t bother me though,I can replace them and start all over again.Next step,will have to be in the “bread maker” ..To think in the past when I was in my teens..I just made anything that requires yeast,and it just worked fine.Now that I am a bit older for some reason MY DAMN YEAST WILL NOT RISE! Incidently,when on line I put this particular question i.e My yeast won’t rise..I saw quite a few frustrated people saying the same thing.Oh well,better luck next time ha? Will bear in my mind ordering the Baker’s Special milk from your catalogue–that is failing/finding it in our suppermarkets. Tell me,is this strictly only found in the USA?
    Once again many thanks PJH
    I’m sorry your bread is giving you diffficulty. Give us a call at 800-827-6836 and we’ll troubleshoot the recipe with you. Molly@KAF

    Solange, I wonder what’s up with your yeast? You’re in the UK? Do you use instant yeast, or active dry, or…? It’s hard to trouble-shoot recipes made with way different ingredients… But, as Molly said, contact us by phone, or try our LiveChat feature to “chat” with a baker. We look forward to hearing from you – PJH

  34. Gordon McDowell

    When I was a child I went to school in France. I thought the whole world ate like the French do. When I returned home for summer vacation, I would ask for croissants, baguettes and, of course, brioches. I always felt cheated when I was served a horribly inferior (faux) imitation. I finished up high school in the States but flew straight back to Paris as soon as I was accepted at the Sorbonne. I was always fascinated with chemistry so I investigated possible chemical differences between “American” baking techniques and the sublime French methods. I investigated the flour first and found that it is made from a different strain of wheat and has a lower protein level which makes a more tender product. But I soon discovered that just about every food product in France is superior to the rest of the world.
    The agriculture department has very strict rules about how foodstuffs are grown and cultivated. Very little pesticides and artificial chemicals are even allowed. But just about everything in the food chain is purer and more nutritious because the French keep it that way. For something as simple as bread this is vital to the whole eating experience – flour, water, eggs, butter, yeast have to be robust and not flaccid. When friends go to France I say, “Forget the Châteauneuf du Pape, bring me French flour and butter.”
    I just happily received a big order from KAF so that I can make my beloved brioche. I asked Molly @ KAF if she thought it would be a good idea to mix the KAF all purpose with 1/3 KAF Mellow Pastry flours to get a version of the lower protein French flour that would make a more tender product. She agreed. I can occasionally find European butter but it is too expensive to use for everything.
    European butter is much lower in water than US butter. If I melt a pound and a quarter of butter and gently “cook” it for 15 minutes (you don’t want to brown it for these purposes), the excess water will steam off. The milk solids will sink to the bottom and I use a gravy separator to pour off just the buttery oil. 5 sticks of butter will result in the equivalent of 4 sticks. I cover the butter and put it into the refrigerator to solidify. (This is like Indian gee.) When I use the butter in breads, I always include the KAF Baker’s Special Milk to make up for the discarded milk solids from the steaming process.
    I wait until butter is on sale and I steam 5-10 pounds once a month and save it in several smaller containers and I can put some in the freezer. It’s important to keep it covered so that it does not take on any refrigerator odors.
    I have two techniques which I learned in France for home baking:
    1. if I am making pie dough (pâte brisée) I measure out the flour into a stainless bowl and put it into the freezer for thirty minutes (along with the butter and lard) to help keep the dough cold while working with it.
    2. If I am making a yeast dough, I put the flour into the stainless bowl and put into the oven for 15 minutes at 250° to warm the flour before mixing which jump starts the rising process.
    And I ALWAYS bottled spring water in baking – chlorine never added any pleasant taste to baked goods.
    Well, I’m off to make brioche dough which I will bake off in individual fluted molds for breakfast tomorrow and two braided loaves for French toast on Sunday.

    Thanks for this long, newsy comment, Gordon. Wish I could share French toast with you Sunday – sounds wonderful… PJH

  35. Solange Kelly

    PJ Hello
    What can I tell you…I have been using the “fast action bread yeast”.
    I would have thought it would be fine,don’t you think?
    I have tried to make the brioche with my Kenwood Chef machine,the
    bread maker,by hand, all to no avail. I must have used at least 30 eggs so far and no result.Not that I care about the waste for one moment.
    That’s my stupid tale of woe sorry.
    What the blazes is wrong with me? Wow,I think time has come to give it a rest for awhile.
    Other than that there is nothing more I can say.Except :I was determined to beat the odds,but failed… oh well,all I can say(don’t laugh)boo,hoo to me…..
    Thanks for listening anyway.I ‘ll say cheers for now,and will keep in touch.

    You have my sympathy, Solange. I’ll send you some good bread karma. :) PJH

  36. Yvonne

    Thank you so much for the detail in this recipe! I chose to use my bread machine and if you had not had the pictures and described what the dough would feel/act like, i might have given up. My bread is raising now before i put it in the oven. This is my first go at brioche and I am crossing my fingers. I am determined to conquer this recipe. I am hoping it works. Thanks again, the pictures and description are really helpful!
    Sending happy thoughts from Alaska.

    Thanks for the happy thoughts, Yvonne – back at you from New Hampshire! Could we possibly be farther apart? Enjoy your brioche – hope it comes out golden and beautiful. PJH

  37. Yvonne

    So it didn’t raise as much as i would have liked, but it was STILL soooooo yummy! I am hooked. The toast is amazing! I am so glad i finally gave in and tried this recipe.
    I realized what my problem was too. Since i did it with my bread machine (that i rarely use) i didn’t really read the instructions as throughly as i should have… as soon as my machine beeped I grabbed the dough and covered it and tossed it in the fridge. i should have waited for the second beep (letting the dough finish the cycle and letting it raise like the instructions stated).
    I did tonight and it is b-e-a-utiful! i can’t wait to make cinnamon rolls in the morning! Thanks a ton.

    Good job, Yvonne – live and learn (and in the meantime, enjoy the mistakes!) :) PJH

  38. Cheryl in GA

    Hi! I can’t wait to try this recipe, but when I go to “recipes” and click on the Brioche title, it takes me back to the recipe home page if that makes sense. I’ll try again later, thanks!
    Thank you for bringing this to our attention. I have sent a trouble ticket to our web team. Hopefully the link will be fixeded quickly. Joan @ bakershotline

  39. Philip S. Hoel

    If this has been addressed I’m sorry; this is my first time here. In the recipe(and in several other recipes)you say that you don’t recommend doing this bread by hand!?! One recipe even says “If you’re ‘gulp’ doing it by hand…” seeming to imply that bread making by hand is so 1800’s.

    This is a sad state of affairs in my mind-one of the major things I enjoy about bread making is the total hands on experience; you’re working with a living breathing thing here-it deserves some respect. People made Brioche for hundreds of years before the invention of either stand mixers, or bread machines.

    I guess I said all that to say this: Do you have any recipe for Brioche doable by hand, or any guidelines for those of us “old fashioned” enough to still enjoy the hands on approach?

    Thank you…

    Just trying to make the bread approachable by all, Philip. In my opinion, using a machine to knead bread isn’t disrespectful; no more disrespectful than it is to cut your lawn with a lawnmower rather than letting goats graze on it. I wasn’t dissing the 1800s; just trying to give the greatest number of readers the best chance at success. You can certainly knead bread by hand, in which case you’re following a very old and honored tradition indeed; or you can modernize your methodology and still get very good bread. So – keep the dough in the bowl, rather than turning it out onto a work surface. Knead it by hand as best you can; it’ll be terrifically sticky. Try wetting your hands with water, rather than adding more flour, which will affect the texture, making it drier. When it starts to get less sticky, and becomes noticeably eleastic, you can probably stop and refrigerate it, then go from there. Good luck – PJH

  40. Philip S. Hoel

    Sorry PJH I didn’t mean to be disrespectful-I guess I was just frustrated. And I certainly didn’t want to disparage people nor you for using machines in any way. As a landscaper I embrace only too gratefully lawnmowers and power augers to help plant, and maintain, my customers landscapes. So I’m sorry I didn’t word my questions/comments better. Thank you for taking the time to so nicely answer my question-and put me in my place :-)


    Aw, Phil, didn’t mean to put you in your place, either – not at all. We all approach our baking differently, and I know we all respect one another. What I respect most of all is the right of each of us to choose what we want to do in our own kitchens – as I’ve said before – the Baking Police don’t exist! I hope you figure out a way to thoroughly knead that brioche dough; personally, I don’t have the strength in my hands/arms like I used to. Which is another reason I embrace machines – they let people like my 83year-old mom continue to bake bread, as she has her whole life. So, chacun a son gout, right? (And if I spelled that right it’s a miracle!) Thanks for staying connecged here, Phil – have fun. PJH

  41. Anne Leonhard

    As of Jan 6th, New Orleans is beginning our annual Carnival Season. Going back all the way to colonial times 1700’s- 1803 and continuing to the present time, it has been the custom to have King Cakes. It is a brioche dough, braided, and decorated with either sugars of purple, green, & gold (our Mardi Gras colors) or white icing then sprinkled with the sugars. I’ve made them by hand for many years.
    This Christmas I treated myself to a Zojirushi BBC20 that I saw in your catalogue. Baked my first loaf yesterday – how easy can it get!! I looked through the instruction booklet for a brioche recipe – but to no avail. Then, I remembered your website. Presto! This is my first time reading these blogs – really interesting. So now I’m psyched up to try your recipe in the machine & then braid it into a giant oval for a King Cake. The grandchildren will be spending the night – so it will be a nice breakfast. Will write a report on it after my experience. Thanks for being there.

    Great idea, Anne – making the dough for the King Cake in your bread machine. Do you add the plastic baby, or a gold coin, or…? Have fun with the grandchildren – PJH

  42. Alissia

    I refrigerated my dough overnight and now it’s brick hard…is that right or do I have to let it come to room temperature before I try to do anything with it? My fridge is at 3, the “normal” setting, not anything particularly chilly. I’m figuring it’s the high butter concentration, but I just want to be sure I’m not going doing anything majorly wrong.

    Exactly right, Alissia. Let it “thaw” JUST till it’s workable, then shape while it’s chilled. When it gets warm, it gets very soft. PJH

  43. Hal

    A bakery nearby makes a sort of muffin/popover shaped item with jam inside. I’m not sure how to form this — poke a hole n the dough ball and fill it? Roll it out, put it in muffin tins, fill them & fold the flaps on top? Or …

    What do you think?

    Hal, need a better description – or a picture would be awesome. There’s a huge difference between muffin and popover – is it hollow, with a dab of jam in a hollow space? Or more like a filled muffin, with a cake-like crumb surrounding the jam? Or, from your talk of rolling the dough – is it more like a tart, made with flaky pie crust-type dough? PJH

  44. Hal

    You have it: hollow, with a dab of jam in a hollow space. It’s like a muffin or popover in general shape, as opposed to freeform. Not flaky, it’s definitely brioche, although the top may have a jam glaze.


    Sorry, Hal, never heard of anything like this. Brioche doesn’t generally form hollows, so I’m thinking that it really has to be some form of cream puff-type or popover-type affair… PJH

  45. Sara S

    This fully detailed, beautiful write up had me dreaming of brioche for a week before I had the time to make it. The only trick was keeping my laptop butter and flour free, as I used this posting faithfully to check each step as I went. Thanks for giving this beginning bread maker all of the details I needed to make two lovely braided loaves!

  46. Erika

    Sorry to ask a question on such an old post, but does anyone have any thoughts on whole wheat flour in brioche? I’d love to try this recipe — a friend just gave me the most beautiful fresh eggs that I’ve ever seen from her hen house and they’d make a stunning loaf, I expect — but I don’t routinely keep white flour in my pantry and would prefer not to have to buy some. Besides, I prefer the flavor of whole wheat and rich brioche with a good malty-grainy flavor appeals to me. What modifications would you recommend?
    Sorry we do not have a whole wheat version in our files. There is a version in “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” using half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour. JMD@KAF

    You can definitely give this a go, Erika. Substitute orange juice for the 1/4 cup water, if you like; it’ll help temper any tannic flavors. Mix all the ingredients, and let rest for 20 minutes before kneading; this gives the ww a chance to absorb the liquids. The brioche will definitely be denser and will seem drier; but if you enjoy baking with ww, you should be pleased with this conversion. Good luck and let us know how it goes – PJH

  47. Stephan

    Hello PJ,

    I am a rookie baker, and French. – Yes, i know… Nobody’s perfect.
    Kudos to you, your recipe is as close as you can get to a Brioche made by Mr Castanier itself. Thank you so much! Even my wife, born and bred (bred: huh huh ) in NE, but lived in France was impress by the perfect taste and texture.
    Once again, pat yourself on the shoulder: you deserve it.
    Traditionally you’ll find Brioche with a smaller ball on the top, I suppose just a small ball of doe added on the top of the individual ones.
    You can also find Brioche with a savory filling inside, I’ll try with a light Kielbasa and I’ll let you know if it was a mistake or not ….
    You can also find “Pain Brioché” a mix of baguette and brioche, but that, I’ll leave that to you as a challenge.

    Thanks again.

    Trivia: “Avoir de la brioche” To Have some brioche: To have a pot belly.

  48. penelopetafoya

    Can i make brioche rolls in a muffin tin or 6 oz custard cups? The brioche pans are expensive for something that is only used occasionally.
    Yes, you certainly may. I have not thought about brioche in a while. I love stuffed brioche! Chocolate pieces, cheese, cooked sausage, and the list goes on! Elisabeth

  49. Ana Lucia

    Today was my first time making bread, and I tried this Brioche recipe. I´ve eaten brioche many times before because I would buy it in the supermarket in Santo Domingo, but I recently moved to Puerto Rico, and haven´t found it anywhere. So i decided to make my own.
    I had trouble making the dough, I´m not sure if it was because my mixer isn´t very sturdy, but the dough kept getting tangled with the dough hooks, so I had to knead it by hand. But in the end, I got two beautiful and delicious loafs of bread. My husband loved them.
    Tomorrow I´ll be making Eggs in a basket, which are great with this bread.
    Thanks a lot, it was very easy to follow your instructions, and the result was excellent. I´ll be making this recipe very often.
    Any ideas on what to do with my tangled dough???

    I am sorry to hear of your difficulty. You might try slowing down the mixer speed as you work in the butter. Frank @ KAF.

  50. Momo

    Can you freeze the uncooked dough for use at a later date?
    Hi Momo,
    If you know you are going to freeze the dough, add about 1/4 teaspoon more yeast to make up for any that may die off in the freezer. Most bakers prefer to bake all of the dough and freeze the baked loaves for later. Hope this helps. ~ MaryJane

  51. mickeylu

    OK, so I made this brioche last week and it came out wonderful. The only comment I have about the dough, is next time I make it and go to refrigerate it overnight, I won’t leave it in my bread machine bucket, it was so hard to dig it all out, I’ll put it in a bowl. Also the next morning I took it out, cut it up and braided it, set it in the loaf pans and it took like forever to rise. Finally, five and a half hours later, it was ready to bake! I’ve wanted brioche for the longest time and can’t seem to find it in any of the large supermarkets and it seems like bakeries are becoming a thing of the past, so I decided to make my own and was lucky enough to find this recipe. The bread came perfect. The first thing I did was tried it sliced with just a little butter and it was great. Next morning I toasted it and it was also great. Then the third morning I made French toast — fantastic! Then that night for supper, I made a smoky corn chowder and found a great recipe on the food channel for pimento cheese sandwiches that you make with brioche bread and toast in a pan. I’ve never tasted anything so amazing! So everything you do with this bread is excellent. The only complaint I had is the slices are so small, so next time I might try to make 1 braid and put it in the 9 x 5 loaf pan and see what happens! Also, I have to tell you that I absolutely love this website. The step by step pictures with instructions as you go are the best,not just for new bakers but also for those of us that have been baking forever! I’ve never come across a site as good as yours. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

    And thank YOU for sharing your kind comments here – as well as telling us about all the yummy things you did with the brioche. I’ll bet you’ll be making this again very soon, eh? Enjoy – PJH

  52. thefiverogers

    Looking for some comment on the brioche indulgence coffeecake from most recent Holiday 2011 Baking Sheet. I am preparing to assemble Brioche Indulgence Coffeecake and though you include 1 cup dried fruit soaked in the ingredients list, the directions do not say when to add. From the photo it looks like the fruit is sprinkled over the top along with the cream. Is this how it is done?

    Thanks for the catch, which will benefit all Baking Sheet holiday bakers – Brioche Indulgence Coffeecake, page 17: Knead the dried fruit (drain if it’s still juicy) into the dough after the first rise, before pressing the dough into the baking pan. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

  53. MariaNita

    my first time to make brioche, so i decide to make only one loaf but now kicking myself not to go all the way because the bread turned out to be so yummy and easy to make. i will definitely going to do it again. thanks KAF

    EXCELLENT, MariaNita – so glad to hard the brioche went well for you, because it can definitely be a challenge. But, if you follow the directions step by step… which you obviously did. Congratulations! And thanks for sharing your success here. PJH

  54. Skimo

    February 1, 2012
    How lucky I am to have found your site! :) Here in the Anza Borrego Desert, many of us go on dune buggy rides & meet up with friends & enjoy chatter & snacks once a month. Recently I baked tiny hamburger buns & filled with pulled pork & honey barbecue sauce. Everyone really like them. I would like to do something similiar with the brioche. From all the comments I’ve read, I might get more kudos. Whatcha think?

    Brioche makes delicious mini-buns for either sweet or savory fillings. give it a try. Frank @ KAF.

  55. adriennesza

    Just made the most divine brioche combo. Used parchment paper to roll the dough into an 8×12 rectangle, and rolled it up cinnamon roll style with chopped chocolate chips, cocoa, and sugar. Then I split it down the middle and made a russian braid that I put in a tube pan.


  56. debbey

    hello, i am from India, i want to make this but some doubts which i want to clear it- first-can i use all purpose flour(as it is not available here),second- i haveOTG so on which rack of the OTG should it be baked with both the elements on or only bottom element on, third- can i bake whole dough in one loaf in 9 x 5 loaf pan?
    warm regards and thanks.
    This recipe calls for using all-purpose flour. You’ll want to use a white flour with about 11.7% protein. I have not baked in an OTG before, but I would recommend baking in the center of the unit with both elements on. If the top starts to brown too fast, I would tent the brioche with foil and turn off the top element. This recipe makes two 9X5 inch loaves. Simply halve the recipe if you want just one loaf. Happy Baking! ~Mel

  57. Maria

    I seen you made a baguette shape then formed the braid. I’ve been told that if I make the baguette and leave it that way that it will not hold its shape. Have you tried this?

    No, Maria, haven’t tried leaving the dough in a simple baguette shape. Due to the high amount of fat, it might very well lose its shape as it bakes and the butter melts, which is why brioche are always baked in pans. If you have a baguette pan you could certainly do this, but freeform, on a baking sheet? I don’t think it would work, unfortunately. PJH

  58. Gambles

    What is the ideal flour for the “fluffiest” or softest Brioche? Can self rising flour be used in recipes that DON’T have baking powder? Also, I noticed that this recipe has 1 more T Sugar than the “Classic Brioche” recipe. Does that make a noticeable difference? I like sweet dough.

    This will be my first attempt at Brioche, so thanks,
    btw: I became interested in Brioche, which I had no idea what it even was, after my European neighbor commented that the Pani Popo Somoan Coconut Buns tasted just like a yummy brioche. Since that dough is wonderful, I thought I’d find out what the real thing tastes like.
    Use an All Purpose flour for the most tender and fluffy brioche. More sugar will create more caramelizing, provide more food for the yeast and help to tenderize the texture, too. You may use Self Rising Flour in place of All Purpose Flour or a Pastry Flour in a recipe that already has baking powder and salt. Remember to omit the baking powder and salt when using Self Rising Flour. Enjoy! Elisabeth

  59. Sahar

    I dont have a mixer. May i prepare the dough with hand?

    Sahar, it will be very, very difficult, as the dough is so sticky; but give it a try. Best of luck – PJH

  60. janet


    Could this substitute for challah?
    Looks very similar.
    Hi Janet,
    Brioche and Challah are very similar in taste and texture, so if your recipe calls for challah, Brioche is a good substitute. ~ MJ

  61. janet

    Thanks for your reply. I’d like to try it in one of my brioche pans. What size do you recommend? Do you think it will work? Does the pan need greasing (as opposed to a plain-walled pan)? Finally, how would it take to the addition of raisins?

    Again, many thanks.

    A typical brioche recipe is 1.5 pounds of dough baked in a large brioche pan. We do have a cranberry brioche recipe that uses 1 cup of dried fruit. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

  62. Suri

    I did it!! Thank you for the recipe.. I made it today and it’s a success.. My brioche is so soft, warm and fresh!! :)

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This really depends on how big you like your rolls! I tend to prefer a roll around 2 ounces, but you could go as high as 3 for a larger roll. Jon@KAF

  63. Nana

    I’m so glad that I found your blog!! I made some brioche roll dough but I didn’t want to wait until tomorrow to bake it. Every recipe that I read (about 10) said that it needed to rise over night.
    However, your recipe states to let it rise a minimum of 2 hours. I will allow to rise about 5 and attempt to make my rolls for dinner.
    This is my most favorite bread and I’m hoping that it comes out delicious! Thank you!!!

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      We’re so glad you are enjoying the site Nana and we wish the best of luck with these delicious rolls! Happy baking and happy holidays! Jocelyn@KAF

  64. John Elsbree

    Want to make a loaf of brioche in a pullman pan – 13″ x 4″ x 4″. (to slice for use with pate). Trying to figure out how much flour to use for my pan. My guess is 4 cups and other ingredients adjusted to that amount?? Suggestions please. Thanks. Jack

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Weigh your brioche dough! The 9″ pullman or pain de mie pan will accommodate a 1 1/2 pound loaf, while the 13″ pan you have will accommodate a 2 1/2 pound loaf. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF

    2. John Elsbree

      Thank you Jocelyn. Making tonite, will post results tomorrow. So far the dough looks great.

  65. Karen

    I was wondering about the raw eggs in the Brioche. Is it really safe to let it sit out to proof on the counter for hours? You leave it out before and after refrigerating and I was wondering about the safety of the dough? I am new to bread making, but have baked other things for years. I have many questions, but would like this one answered because I really love Brioche. Thanks

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The dough does need some warmth to rise, and the chilling firms it up. When you shape the brioche, the dough deflates and needs a second rise. If you’re really unsure, feel free to use pastuerized eggs but the bread won’t have the same rich flavor. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  66. Online Schools

    The work you have done really well. I have to say thanks for publishing such a good post. Extremely educational post includes your blog.


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