A brioche recipe that is easy enough for the home cook, this bread is soft and light and buttery. It is perfect with butter and jam, or as French toast the next morning!
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 4 eggs, room temperature, divided
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon water
- Heat the milk to about 110ºF. Add the yeast and about 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Set aside until it starts to foam.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, combine 3 of the eggs, the remaining sugar, the butter and the salt. Mix to combine. Add the proofed yeast mixture.
- Start adding in the flour, 1 cup at a time. When you have added about 3 cups of the flour, switch to the dough hook.
- Continue to add the flour until you have added 4 cups. Continue to knead with the dough hook until the dough starts to come together. This will usually take 15-20 minutes. The dough will still appear a bit sticky, but should be starting to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If it’s not, continue to add flour by the tablespoon, up to 1/2 cup of flour more. (It’s ok if the dough is still a little sticky.)
- Once you are finished kneading the dough, turn it out into a bowl that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lightly oiled. Turn the dough over so that all sides are oiled. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a countertop that is lightly dusted with flour.
- At this point, you can shape it into a basic loaf, or you can braid the bread. (Braiding instructions are included in the notes below.)
- Place the dough in a 9×5” loaf pan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and let the dough rise until it almost reaches the top of the pan, 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- When the loaf has risen, make the egg wash by lightly beating together the remaining egg and teaspoon of water. Gently brush this over the top of the loaf. (You won’t need to use it all.)
- Bake the loaf until it is browned and cooked through, about 28 minutes. I like to cover my loaf with foil about halfway through to prevent over-browning.
- Remove from the oven and let the bread sit for a few minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
HOW TO BRAID:
- Take the dough and separate into 4 equal sized pieces.
- Roll each piece into a long rope, about 12 inches long.
- Take the tops of each and pinch together.
- Start with the farthest right hand side rope and take it over the rope just to the left. Now take the farthest left hand side rope and take it under the rope to its right and then over the next rope.
- Repeat with what is now the farthest right rope, taking it over the piece next to it. Then taking the farthest left rope under the rope next to it, then over the next rope.
- Continue until you reach the bottom.
- Tuck the top ends under the top of the loaf, and the bottom ends under the bottom of the loaf.
SUBSTITUTIONS: I use 2% milk with success, but whole milk would be even better. Instant yeast can be used instead of active dry yeast. I would not suggest using salted butter – stick to unsalted butter for this recipe.
FREEZE: The fully baked loaf can be frozen for up to 3 months.
STORE: Keep any leftover bread in an airtight bag or container.
Nutrition information provided as an estimate only. Various brands and products can change the counts. Any nutritional information should be used as a general guide.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 278
- Sugar: 9 g
- Sodium: 225 mg
- Fat: 9 g
- Saturated Fat: 5 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 3 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 40 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 7 g
- Cholesterol: 81 mg
Keywords: brioche, brioche bread, brioche recipe