Brioche is an enriched pastry-like bread originating from France. A thin golden crust, rich buttery flavour, and soft crumb make it irresistible! Brioche requires a lot of mixing and kneading time; using a stand mixer is ideal for making this recipe.
1/2 cup warm milk (230ºF/110ºC)
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 1/2 cups (620g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the milk, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes.
To the yeast mixture, add the flour, salt and 4 of the eggs. Mix until a loose ball forms. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until a smooth elastic dough forms, about 10 minutes.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high to fully incorporate the butter, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl if need be. *Important notes for this step: The dough should start to make a *slapping* sound against the side of the bowl while mixing, and it may come apart during the first few butter additions. This is normal and it will come back together as you continue to mix.
After all of the butter is incorporated, continue mixing for another 10-12 minutes or until a very smooth elastic dough forms. The dough should not stick to your hands. If it does, knead in a little more flour.
Cover the dough and let it rise at room temperature for 2 to 2 ½ hours, or until doubled in size.
Deflate the dough by scraping around the sides, then lifting around the circumference and bottom where the dough meets the bowl. Use your fingers to gently lift the dough away from the bowl. It will slowly go down in size.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4-6 hours, or overnight (it should double in size again during this time).
Generously butter two 9×5-inch loaf tins. Deflate and transfer the dough onto a clean work surface.
Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, weighing about 3.5 ounces each. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and arrange, seam side down, in the prepared loaf tins in two rows of three balls. Cover the with a tea towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1½ hours or until the dough fills the pans.
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF/180ºC.
Lightly beat the remaining egg and lightly brush over the top of the dough. Be careful not to get egg on the side of the pan as this can impede a proper rise during baking.
Bake each loaf for 30-35 minutes or until puffy and golden. Cool 5 minutes in the pans before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For fresh bread in the morning, start the dough at 6pm the night before and proof overnight in the fridge. The next morning, shape the dough, give them the final rise in their tins, and then bake the loaves.
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