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If you’re looking for a quick and easy Brioche Bread recipe, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll need just 7 everyday ingredients and less than 30 minutes of active time, including making and shaping the no-knead brioche dough. Convenient for any time of year, this recipe makes just one loaf, but is easily doubled during the holiday season when you have more loved ones around the table.
Rich, buttery, fluffy brioche is a traditional French bread that has cultivated a following all over the world. With your first bite, you’ll know why it is beloved by so many people. Enjoy a slice, warm from the oven, slathered with butter; as toast or French toast, or piled high with leftover turkey and all of your favorite sandwich toppings at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Table of Contents
- Ingredients You Need to Make Brioche Bread
- Tangzhong – A 5 Minute Step that Makes a World of Difference
- What sets this recipe apart from others like it.
- How to Store and Freeze Brioche Bread
- The Easiest Way to Shape an Even Bread Loaf
- Compare Loaf Shape in Two Standard Loaf Pans
- More Must Try Brioche Recipes
- How to Make this Brioche Bread Recipe
- Brioche Bread Recipe Recipe
Ingredients You Need to Make Brioche Bread
- All-purpose Flour: or bread flour
- Yeast: instant yeast or active yeast (see recipe note #1)
- Sugar: granulated white sugar
- Salt: kosher salt or half the amount of fine sea salt
- Butter: if using unsalted butter, add another ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
- Milk: ideally whole milk
- Eggs: large or extra large
Tangzhong – A 5 Minute Step that Makes a World of Difference
Tangzhong is an Asian cooking method that uses a small portion of the flour and liquids in a yeast recipe to create a thick slurry (starter) that’s combined with the rest of the ingredients. Using this technique requires a dough with a higher hydration, about 75% (the ratio by weight of flour to liquid in the recipe), compared to standard bread recipes where the hydration ranges from 60% to 65%.
Using this method in a yeast dough makes the starches in the flour gelatinize, so that it absorbs more moisture. In hot milk or water, flour will absorb twice as much liquid than with lukewarm or cold liquids and be able to hold onto it. It’s a 5 minute process with the incredible result of a much softer, more tender brioche bread loaf that stays fresh longer.
What sets this recipe apart from others like it.
- A no-knead brioche dough made even better with the tangzhong method (described above) that’s made the night before you plan to bake it. (During the holidays especially, it’s nice to have make ahead recipes!)
- This recipe is lighter than many recipes, but delivers the signature rich, buttery flavor and tender crumb of all great Brioche loaves.
- You can bake this loaf in either size of the standard loaf pans: 9×5 or 8½x4½ inches with a slight difference in baking time. (See photos of loaf shape and size comparison below.)
How to Store and Freeze Brioche Bread
Store Brioche Bread in a plastic zip top bag or carefully wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. Or freeze completely cooled bread in a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw in the bag at room temperature and enjoy within 2 months.
The Easiest Way to Shape an Even Bread Loaf
To avoid a lopsided bread loaf, follow this simple 3-step method (see photos below):
- Transfer risen dough to a floured surface. Gather dough into a ball with lightly floured hands and pat into a rectangle that’s slightly shorter than your loaf pan length.
- Starting from one short end, roll the dough into a tight coil, pressing along the seam as you go until you have a cylinder. Turn seam-side is down and tuck the ends under so you have a smooth top without seams.
- Transfer the dough, seam-side down to a buttered loaf pan.
Compare Loaf Shape in Two Standard Loaf Pans
Either of the standard loaf pan sizes work well with this recipe. With a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, you’ll have a wider shorter loaf, and a taller, more narrow loaf with a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan (see photo comparison below). If using the 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ size, increase the baking time by about 5 minutes, until the loaf center reads 190°F on an instant read thermometer.
More Must Try Brioche Recipes
Because of its delightful texture and buttery sweet flavor, brioche is an elevated alternative to your everyday bread choices. Here are more recipes to try:
- Brioche Dinner Rolls
- Brioche Cinnamon Rolls with fluffy Cream Cheese Frosting
- Brioche Buns, Brioche Slider Buns and even Brioche Hot Dog Buns!
How to Make this Brioche Bread Recipe
Make the starter (tangzhong) in a small skillet by whisking a small amount of flour, water and milk together over medium heat until it becomes a thick slurry; allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together (flour, sugar, salt, and yeast).
Add milk and to a small saucepan and heat just until butter has just melted; remove from heat.
Whisk egg and warm water together in a medium bowl; add milk and melted butter mixture and whisk to combine. Pour milk mixture over dry ingredients and add tangzhong; stir until fully combined using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
Transfer risen dough to floured surface and shape into a loaf (see step by step instructions and photos in post above). Loosely cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until puffy and light to the touch. 1 to 2 hours or longer if the dough is straight from the refrigerator.
Brush top with egg wash and bake until top is golden brown and the center reads 190°F on an instant read thermometer. Cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes and transfer to rack to cool before slicing.
Brioche Bread Recipe
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast see recipe note #1
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons butter plus more for greasing loaf pan (see recipe note #2)
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 large eggs divided (one for egg wash before baking – see recipe note #6)
For the tangzhong (starter)
- Whisk together the starter ingredients (water, milk and flour) in a small saucepan until smooth.
- Place saucepan over medium heat and cook, whisking constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes until mixture has thickened and the whisk leaves visible lines at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
For the brioche dough
- Whisk together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
- Heat butter and milk until butter has just melted in a small saucepan. Remove from heat to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together warm water and one egg. Whisk in warm milk and butter mixture until combined. Pour over flour mixture and add tangzhong; stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until no dry flour remains and you have a shaggy, sticky dough. Tightly cover bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and chill for 12 to 24 hours to rise slowly in the refrigerator.
- Butter a 9" x 5" loaf pan well to prevent sticking (a 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan will also work, increasing the baking time ~5 minutes).
- Remove dough from refrigerator. If it has not risen fully, allow it to continue to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
- Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and with lightly floured hands, gather dough into a ball, then pat into a rectangle with short ends that are slightly narrower than your loaf pan length (~8-inches for a 9" x 5" loaf pan and ~7 1/2-inches for a 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan). Starting from one short end, roll the dough into a tight coil, pressing down along the seam as you go to minimize air bubbles in your final loaf. Once you've rolled the dough into a cylinder, adjust it on your work surface so that the seam-side is down; pinch the seam on each edge and tuck under so that the top is smooth (no seams). Transfer the dough, seam-side down to prepared loaf pan. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise until loaf is puffy and light to the touch, about 1 hour or up to 2 hours or longer if dough is straight from the refrigerator.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Whisk together remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush over loaf with a pastry brush. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and an instant read thermometer reads at least 190°F at the center of the loaf (tent with foil if top is getting too brown). Remove from oven and let cool in pan 5 to 10 minutes. Carefully turn loaf out onto rack to cool before slicing.
- To substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast, increase the amount to 2 teaspoons. In step 3 of the recipe, whisk a teaspoon of sugar into the warm water and sprinkle yeast over the top. Let stand 5-10 minutes until yeast is foamy. Whisk in egg and slightly cooled butter and milk mixture. Add this yeast mixture to dry ingredients and proceed with recipe.
- If using unsalted butter, add another 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt.
- If your room temperature isn’t warm enough for the dough to rise, use this tip from Cooks Illustrated magazine to create a proofing oven: place the dough in the covered bowl on the middle shelf of your oven and a loaf or cake pan filled with 3 cups of boiling water on the bottom shelf. Close the oven door and you’ve created a great atmosphere for the dough to rise.
- If you prefer a softer topped loaf, brush with melted butter before baking and while hot, straight from the oven if you like.
- To freeze unused bread, allow it to cool completely and transfer to a freezer safe bag or container. Thaw in the bag at room temperature. Use within 2 months.
- If scaling the recipe (2x, 4x), note that you’ll need to reference the number of eggs in the ingredient list for step 3 of the recipe as the quantity is text and won’t change. One egg for the egg wash will likely still be enough if you double the recipe, but you may need a second egg if you make a larger quantity.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.