Brioche

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Recipe photo
Hands-on time:
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Yield: 2 loaves or 12 mini brioche

Recipe photo

This egg- and butter-rich bread is delightfully tender. We love to use this dough for shaped and filled sweet breads.

While this is a classic brioche dough, the braid and plain round aren't the classic shape this loaf would take in France, where it's generally presented in its traditional topknot form: a small round nestled atop a larger one. Make it that way if you choose; chacun a son gout!

Read our blog about this bread, with additional photos, at Flourish.

Brioche

star rating (57) rate this recipe
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 loaves or 12 mini brioche
Published: 01/01/2010

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs*
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • *Use 3 large eggs + 1 egg yolk, if desired — this will allow you to brush the leftover egg white on the loaf if you're planning to garnish it with sugar; see tip at right.

Tips from our bakers

  • For iced mini brioche, combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar with 1 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of salt, and enough cream to make a "drizzlable" glaze.
  • Want to garnish your braided loaves? Brush the unbaked loaves with an egg wash made with 1 tablespoon cold water mixed with 1 large egg white, then sprinkle with pearl sugar or coarse white sparkling sugar. If you plan ahead, the yolk saved from the white can be added to the brioche dough for extra richness.
  • If you're baking the brioche as a braided loaf, add an extra yolk to the dough, reserving the white. Just before baking the risen loaves, whisk the reserved white with 1 tablespoon milk, brush on loaves, and sprinkle with pearl sugar or sparkling white sugar.
  • A full-sized, fully baked brioche should register 190°F at its center using an instant-read thermometer. Loaves and small rounds should measure 205°F.

Directions

1) In a stand mixer or bread machine (programmed for dough), mix together all of the ingredients to form a smooth, shiny dough. Don't worry; what starts out as a sticky mess becomes beautifully satiny as it kneads. This dough takes longer than most to develop, so be prepared to let the dough knead for up to 15 to 20 minutes in a stand mixer. Also, we don't recommend trying to knead it by hand. If you're using a bread machine, let it complete its kneading cycle, then continue as directed below.

2) Form the dough into a ball (it'll be very soft), place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl, and it let rise for 1 hour. Then refrigerate the dough for several hours, or overnight. This will slow the fermentation and chill the butter, making the dough easier to shape.

3) Divide the chilled dough into 12 pieces to make mini-brioche; leave it whole for one large round brioche; or divide it in half for two 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaves.

4) Place the dough into the greased pan(s) of your choice, cover lightly, and let rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until it's doubled and looks very puffy. If you're making two loaves, it's fun to make simple three-strand braids, and set them in the loaf pans.

5) To bake a large, round brioche: Place the pan into a preheated 400F oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 350F and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes more. Check the brioche after 15 minutes; tent with aluminum foil if it appears to be browning too quickly. Brioche should be a deep brown when done, should sound hollow when tapped, and will read 190F at the center using an instant-read thermometer. (It's easy to underbake, since it browns so quickly!) Remove the brioche from the oven, and after 10 minutes remove it from the pan to cool completely on a rack.

6) To bake the mini brioches: Place the pan(s) into a preheated 375F oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (tent after 10 minutes if they're browning too quickly). Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack.

7) To bake the loaves: Allow the loaves to rise till they've nearly reached the rim of the pan, about 3 hours. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 40 to 45 minutes, tenting with foil after 15 to 20 minutes.

Reviews

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  • star rating 04/04/2015
  • Docallergy from KAF Community
  • This recipe worked great the first time. I doubled it and used 16 oz of Irish butter. I made two 10x5.5 inch loaves and it worked perfectly. Since my kitchen is drafty, I placed the loaf pans on a heating pad set at medium for the second rise and it took a little less than 3 hours to reach the stage where it was just above the rim of the pan. It baked perfectly and I used an inverted baking sheet on the rack above to prevent over browning. This was really good.
  • star rating 03/26/2015
  • Lionel from Tahiti,French Polynesia
  • hello i recently tried this Brioche and followed the recipe to a T. my only concern at first was i refrigerated the dough for 24 hours and when i took it out of the refrigerator it was a deflated flat block and my heart sank but i went ahead and braided both loaves and used the 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 loaf pans.i let them rise 3 and a quarter hours then baked them exactly per the recipe instruction and they came out just perfect. we ate one loaf when it was warm and kept the other for french toast which also was perfect.after 24 hours in the fridge the dough was extremely easy to work with. i have a question would this dough be suitable for making hamburger buns?. this recipe was considerably richer than the two or three "brioche Bun" recipes i am considering but it was so so good what do you think. thank you for this recipe
    I think this recipe would work very well as hamburger buns,Lionel! Generally hamburger buns weigh out in the 3-4 ounce range and will likely bake for 15-18 minutes. You might want to look at another hamburger bun recipe for guidance in shaping and baking. Barb@KAF
  • star rating 03/23/2015
  • Dianne.Columbia from KAF Community
  • I was rather nervous to make this based on some of the reviews, but I am always up to a challenge. First, I read and then reread the insturctions, along with the reviews. I measured ALL the dry ingredients (except salt and yeast). I used KAF flour, bread salt and yeast. It seems to me measuring is the only way to go on this recipe! I also used Kerrygold butter (YUM!). My bread machine did a great job on the dough setting, once it was done mixing, the dough rose almost immediately. I had to put in the fridge in less than an hour because the 8 cup container was full to the top. I left it over night, the top did appear like others said, like Play Doh, but I braided it and set two loaves out to rise. It did take about 3 1/2 hours because my house is set on the cool side for overall temp. I also read where tenting may be needed and to carefully watch the internal temp of 190 degrees. I baked it and set the clock to 10 minute intervals, tenting after 20 minutes and taking it out at 30 minutes. The internal temp had just reached 190 degrees. I am glad I did not bake for 40 - 45 minutes, it would have been over done. WOW, I mean WOW! The bread looked like a loaf of butter due to the rich yellow color of Kerrygold. I did not wait till it cooled, it looked beter than any other loaf of bread I've seen at a market, I dove rignt in and ate a slice. This recipe has been printed with my notes on what I did, and it will remain in my treasures of recipes. Thank you KAF for the recipe!
  • star rating 03/17/2015
  • KathyTobby from KAF Community
  • This was my first attempt at brioche and my result was beautiful and delicious brioche with a feathery and buttery texture. I DO RECOMMEND TRYING THIS RECIPE AS WRITTEN. I don't credit luck to my success either. I was very careful and I read ALL the information King Arthur had to offer both on the recipe and in the blog. I weighed my flour as I always do with bread. If a baker doesn't know how to measure flour accurately by volume (carefully spooning it into a cup) then brioche might be a bit of a reach. I know how to measure by volume but I weigh my flour instead, because it is really the only way to be precise with ANY recipe. I also read the additional precise information offered in Flourish (the link is provided) which even offers photos. I use an osmo-tolerant yeast which I think is very important for this type of dough. I left the bread in the refrigerator for 18 hours and I was worried that I had waited too long. The cold dough was dried out at the top, discolored and felt like play-doh in my hands and was nothing like regular bread dough. I made two braided loaves and sprinkled them with decorative large crystal sugar. It rose beautifully but took a long time even using a Brod& Taylor. It was so big I worried that I have over-proofed it. I had guest so we cut, consumed and finished the first loaf while it was still warm. It smelled like heaven and tasted even better. The second loaf I served at breakfast the next morning and it wasn't nearly as good cold as it was warm our to the oven, but it made wonderful toast. The only complaint and concern was that the crust turned out very dark brown. Next time I plan to tent the bread the entire time. I also want to buy some kind of brioche pan that will hopefully slow the browning. I know brioche is supposed to be dark (all that butter browns) but I wish there was a way to slow it or something. I have an insulated pan but I am afraid that would ruin it. I also wonder if I made smaller individual brioche if I could get a lighter crust? Even with the browning issue, I will make this recipe again. It is very delicious and impressive as well.
  • star rating 03/14/2015
  • danube66 from KAF Community
  • I love the KAF website - very often, it is my go-to website for baking tips and recipes. This brioche recipe however is not well written. Like many others before me, I ended up with a complete failure. The problem with this recipe is the lack of precision. This lack of precision is the reason why some people end up being lucky, and the bread comes out well for them, while others - like myself - ends up with a dense brick instead of a light, airy, buttery brioche. I suspect the problems with this recipe are: -it should be specified IN THE RECIPE to spoon the flour in the measuring cup (not in the comments, where the reader may or may not end up finding it) so that the dough is not too dry and stiff, -the butter should be soft and room temperature, -the eggs should be allowed to come to room temperature before mixed in, -the order of ingredients added in the mixing bowl should be specified. I DO NOT RECOMMEND ANYONE TO TRY THIS RECIPE AS IS - you have a 50-50% chance, and you might waste some expensive ingredients just to try your luck.

    We're so sorry you had such a bad experience with this dough! Please give our Baker's Hotline a call at 1-855-371-2253 so we can help you figure this one out. Laurie@KAF

  • star rating 03/10/2015
  • Mike from Wichita, KS
  • Chilled dough overnight in fridge after one hour of rising per the recipe. After the dough was divided and placed in the pans they did not rise. Bread was very dense and tasted more like cornbread. A total waste of ingredients and time.

    Your under-risen brioche may be related to the way you are measuring your flour. If you scoop your measuring cup into the bag and pack it into your measuring cup, you can get almost 5 ounces of flour in 1 cup. We recommend stirring the flour using a large spoon or whisk to aerate it and then gently spooning the flour into your measuring cup to ensure a nice, light cup of flour that weighs about 4 1/4 ounces. This will give a brioche that should be light in texture and sweet and buttery in flavor. If you would like to trouble-shoot your brioche further, please call us at the Baker's Hotline at 855-371-2253. Happy baking! --Kye@KAF

  • star rating 03/01/2015
  • Cynthia from Phoenix
  • This brioche turned out just lovely! I'm a new baker with no great inborn talent but first try, this was tender, flavorful, crumb and crust something to be proud of. Reading comments gave me lots of good hints. Like don't freak out when it looks cold and hard and unappetizing when you take out of fridge. My hint: I accidentally cut and braided it BEFORE The final rise in the morning. I let it sit out to warm up about 30 min, then braided one big beautiful loaf, put it in my 9x5" pan with parchment paper, and let it rise a little less than 2 hours. It had great oven spring and nice browning (no tent) and hit 195 degrees in exactly 30 min. Proud of myself and can't wait to make other things with this buttery dough! P.S.Tto the writer who says these reviews aren't real, I'm WAY real and KA products make real difference.
  • star rating 01/29/2015
  • Bonnie from Markleeville, CA
  • I made this bread couple weeks ago. It turned out wonderful. I never had brioche. I cut the finished bread into squares. Made the best breaking pudding. I am I fact doing this recipe today so I can have another bread pudding for dessert on Super Bowl Sunday
  • star rating 04/20/2014
  • blueflower from Livermore ca
  • It's good recipe. taste good too.
  • star rating 03/22/2014
  • wellasylvia from KAF Community
  • I'm wondering what I may have done wrong. I placed all the ingredients to this recipe into my bread machine in Dough setting. After it completed the kneading cycle, I followed the directions. Next day when I took it out of the refrigerator, I was surprised it had not risen very high and the dough seemed dense. I let it sit at room temp for 1 hour, divided the dough into 2 loaves and let rise the specified time in the recipe. The dough still was not light or airy as I had expected from other breads I have done. I formed them into a rope and placed them into the pans. When they baked, they did not rise but half way in the pan. They looked pretty and brown, the inside was a nice eggy color and tasted nice. Just wonder why the dough was 'heavy' and not light and why they did not rise. Thanks for any suggestions.
    I am sorry your brioche did not rise well. This recipe is a rich dough so rising times are longer than say with a leaner dough. Also the rising times (as with all yeast bread recipes) are just bench marks so it could take longer than what the recipe suggests. Sometimes a little patience is needed. The dough should be very soft and pretty tacky. If it was on the heavy and dense side then perhaps more liquid was needed. Usually a teaspoon or two is all it may need and should be added in the beginning of the knead. Once you are pleased with the consistency of the dough, continue to knead (the bread machine does a super job by the way). You also may need to check your yeast for viability. We hope you will try this again and please contact our toll free Baker's Hotline if you need further assistance, 1-855-371-BAKE. Elisabeth@KAF
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