The Very Best Brioche Bread Recipe
Buttery, soft and airy….this bread is “weak in the knees” good. The Very Best Brioche Bread recipe is a labor of love but your time is rewarded with the best loaf you’ll ever put in your mouth.
It’s absolutely freezing lately and I can’t stay warm so I decided to bake up a buttery loaf of the Very Best Brioche. If you’ve never had brioche, you’re in for a real treat.
It does take some time to make but it’s mostly waiting around impatiently while the dough rises….and then rises again, overnight in the fridge. Well, it’s really like a curing process but then you need to wait…yet again….for another rise. But it’s all VERY worth the wait.
First….what is Brioche Bread?
French Brioche is actually a pastry of french origin similar to a highly enriched white bread you’d find in many bakeries around the world. It has a very high egg and butter content which results in a rich and tender interior.
Homemade Brioche Bread is a yeast bread which requires a slow rise and an overnight cure in the refrigerator. It’s not a ton of hands on time at all so don’t let the overnight rest deter you from making this heavenly loaf of bread.
And when you’re baking your French Brioche recipe the smell will reassure you that your work is going to pay off in a VERY big way. I thought my classic white bread was amazing but this brioche just squashed it…literally. It is off the charts amazing.
WHAT MAKES BRIOCHE DIFFERENT THAN MOST BREADS?
Brioche bread contains much more butter and eggs than regular bread recipes. And, most times, brioche recipes also call for added sugar. It’s thought that brioche is a sweet bread due to the added sugar but it’s not as sweet as you’d think and leans more towards a buttery flavor.
What are the steps in making yeast bread?
For this Brioche recipe, there are a few basic steps you’ll need to follow to ensure a perfect Brioche Loaf. All the steps for baking yeast breads are basically the same with only the ingredients differing slightly.
Here are the steps for making a yeast bread:
- Dissolve the yeast in warm water 100 – 110 degrees, this process is called proofing the yeast. After 5 minutes, the yeast will start to bubble….if it does not the yeast may have died. Dump the yeast and start over. Hot water will kill the yeast and your bread will not rise. Using a thermometer to ensure your water is the proper temperature is recommended.
- Sift together the dry ingredients and add the yeast to the mix. Knead the dough either in a stand mixer with a dough hook or with the heel of your hand until the dough begins to come together.
- Finish kneading the dough until the dough feels smooth and elastic.
- After kneading the dough, place it in a bowl coated with cooking spray and cover with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft free location (85 degrees is the ideal temperature) until doubled in size. (30 minutes to 2 hours)
- Punch down the dough and return to the bowl. Transfer to the refrigerator for an overnight cure (this process is only for brioche, standard bread recipes would be shaped and allowed to rise before baking immediately after the second rise.)
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide in half. Shape into a loaf and allow to rise again.
- Bake according to recipe directions.
And to ensure that your brioche is, in fact, the Very Best Brioche you ever make…be sure to use the very best ingredients. For starters, I always use a standard yeast…not a rapid rise…just the normal, from the jar, yeast. It’s never failed me, unless I kill it with water that’s a tad too hot. Be sure your water is like a warm bath…not too hot, not too cold…just right.
HOW DO YOU STORE BRIOCHE?
You can store your brioche recipe at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days…..if it lasts that long.
You can also FREEZE your brioche for several months. Simply wrap your baked brioche loaf with plastic wrap and then foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
OR you can freeze your brioche dough for up to 6 months wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and then foil. To bake previously frozen brioche dough, allow to come to room temperature before unwrapping. Transfer to the baking sheet or loaf pan. Bake according to the recipe directions below.
Once your brioche loaf is done baking…and rested…and ready to eat I recommend slathering a bit of that butter all over a slice while it’s still warm. Then smearing a bit of this jam on it. Then…just go to town. Heck, I’d call this dinner if I were you.
BUT if you’re really looking to up your Brioche Bread game a little bit, here are my favorite ways to use the BEST Brioche Bread:
- Brioche Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding is seriously AHHHMAZING!
- Start your day with this Brioche French Toast Casserole….so good.
- Sausage Cranberry Brioche Stuffing is Thanksgiving goals.
- Make the BEST Turkey Sandwich just like Ross Geller’s!
- Or a fab Monte Christo
- This Brioche makes the BEST French Toast recipe ever. Period.
And if you want even more FABULOUS Brioche recipes….here are a few reader favorites!
- Everything Bagel Brioche Bread….yeah, that’s right.
- Super easy Brioche Dinner Rolls
- Amazing Brioche Hamburger Rolls
- This Panettone is basically Brioche all dressed up for Christmas.
The Very Best Brioche Recipe
- 1/3 cup warm water about 110 degrees
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast not rapid rise
- 2 1/3 cups super fine pastry flour or cake flour
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 6 large eggs
- 8 ounces unsalted butter cut into 1 inch cubes, at room temperature
- Whisk the water and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand for 10 minutes until completely dissolved. Set aside
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, sift together the pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar and salt.
- Turn the mixer on low and add the eggs to the bowl 1 at a time beating well after each addition.
- Slowly add the yeast and continue beating at low speed for 5 minutes.
- Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Turn the mixer on low and beat for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the butter cubes 1/3 at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each addition. Once the butter has been added, beat for 10 more minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 3 hours.
- Turn the dough out on a well floured surface and gently knead out the air bubbles. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide the dough in half.
- Shape the dough into 2 rectangles and place into two buttered 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 3 inch loaf pans.
- Allow the dough to rise, uncovered, in a warm place until it rises about 1/2 inch above the top of the pans, approximately 2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the brioche until it is golden brown on top, approximately 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the bread out of the pans and cool completely on a cooling rack.
- If not serving immediately, wrap the hot bread in foil and set aside at room temperature for up to 2 days.
If not serving immediately, wrap the hot bread in foil and set aside at room temperature for up to 2 days.
To freeze, wrap the hot bread in foil and place in a resealable freezer bag. Freeze promptly. Can be frozen up to 2 months. When ready to use, reheat in foil in a 250 degree oven until heated through, approximately 20-25 minutes