A classic brioche has a very thin crust with a soft and buttery crumb inside. This brioche dough is perfect to make loaves of bread, rolls, or many assorted sweet treats. It is also perfect for French toast.
The first time I ever made this dough was for a French toast meal I made what feels like 800 years ago. Since then I have been in love with the texture of this dough and started making many other dishes with it. My favorite dish so far are my brioche sticky buns. This bread as a pull apart loaf is perfect for dinner rolls.
In this recipe
What makes brioche bread so amazing is the sheer amount of butter that is used in the recipe. This recipe calls for 2.5 sticks of butter. That is what will give this bread is luxurious texture and flavor after baking.
This dough is considered an enriched dough. That means that the dough is “enriched” with ingredients other than flour, water, salt, and yeast. Enriched doughs tend to be softer and have a thinner crust than doughs made with just flour, water, salt, and yeast.
The milk, eggs, and butter will also leave the dough more prone to scorching and cannot tolerate the higher heat requirements for baking. Also by adding this additional ingredients the fermentation, rising, time will increase.
When making this dough it is important to make sure that the butter and eggs are at room temperature. By doing so this will allow for even mixture of the ingredients. The other and more important reason is that cooling off the mixture too much will slow the rise of the dough even further.
I suggest using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment to make this recipe. This dough is very soft and very greasy feeling due to the high butter content. Trying to knead this by hand will be very difficult and time consuming to get it to the proper texture. It will take about 10-15 minutes in a stand mixer to achieve the necessary results.
Additionally the dough will pull away from the sides but may not form a consistent dough ball. This is ok as the long rise in the refrigerator will solidify the dough quite a bit.
Authentic Homemade Brioche Dough
- Stand mixer with dough hook attachment
- 2 Bread loaf tin
- Large bowl
- Cling film
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cup butter unsalted, softened
- ⅓ cup whole milk slightly warm
- ⅓ cup water slightly warm
- ¼ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp salt kosher
- 4 eggs room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp heavy cream
- In a stand mixer add the water, milk, and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the mixture starts to foam. Add the flour and salt. Mix until the mixture becomes a shaggy mass. It will not hold together at this point.
- Add the eggs and sugar. Mix on medium-low speed until the dough forms a ball. It will look a little dry. That is ok. Add the butter in half stick increments allowing each to completely incorporate into the dough. Once all of the butter has been added continue to mix for 10-15 minutes until the dough starts to pull away from the sides.
- Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and cover with cling film and let rise for an hour. Knock the dough back down and cover that bowl again. Allow it to rise for 30 minutes and then knock down. Repeat this for the next 2 hours. Then cover and place in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
- Place divide the dough in half, then divide each half into fourths. Place the 4 balls of dough in the tin, cover loosely with a towel and allow to double in size. You can also divide each half into thirds, roll the dough into ropes, and braid the ropes tucking the ends underneath before placing in the tin.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or gas mark 4. Mix the egg and cream together.
- Lightly brush the tops of the loaves with the egg white and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing.