how to make brioche rolls

how to make brioche rolls |

Yes! Yes! Yes!

You can totally do this!

Even if you’re not a professional bread baker, you can still make incredible brioche at home.

Traditional brioche is a soft enriched bread, made with eggs, butter, and a touch of sugar. My version is not quite as rich, making it suitable for everyday fare. Everyone goes crazy for brioche in our house.

My secret?

Use a stand mixer for easy, hands-off kneading. Personally, I wouldn’t make these rolls without one (total prep time, 10 minutes!).

This step-by-step tutorial will show you exactly how to do it. It’s geared towards both beginners and seasoned bakers alike.

And because time is of the essence, I’ve also included 2 simple ways to fit bread baking into your busy, everyday schedule.


how to make brioche rolls | theclevercarrot.comhow to make brioche rolls |

The Dough

Tip your fully risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface.

Cut into 10 pieces. I like to use a floured bench scraper for this, but a large knife or even a pizza wheel will do the trick.

Take two pieces of the dough and cut them in half, creating 4 smaller pieces. These smaller pieces will fill the center of your brioche (think: center of a sunflower).

You now have 12 pieces in total.

how to make brioche rolls |

Shaping & Assembly

To shape each piece of dough, gather up the sides and tuck them in towards the center.

Flip the dough over (seam side down) and cup with the palm of your hand. Then, roll into a ball. If it’s too sticky to handle, sprinkle extra flour over the top, but not too much.

The trick here, is to create enough surface tension to shape the ball nice and tight. Do this on an un-floured work surface for best results. Too much flour present will make them slide around.

To assemble your brioche, generously coat a 9″ cake pan with butter.

To the pan, place 1 ball of dough at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

Fill in the gaps with the remaining dough, placing the 4 smaller balls (you made earlier) in the center. Doing it this way will ensure that the dough is evenly spaced.

You don’t want lopsided brioche.

how to make brioche rolls | theclevercarrot.comhow to make brioche rolls | theclevercarrot.comhow to make brioche rolls |

Egg Wash & Short Rest

For the egg wash, lightly beat 1 egg with a splash of water or cream. Brush the dough with your mixture.

If you don’t have a pastry brush, use a folded napkin or paper towel instead. I do this all the time.

Next, cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Your dough should looked slightly puffed, relaxed, and no longer dense.

how to make brioche rolls | theclevercarrot.comhow to make brioche rolls |


Bake your brioche at 400 F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Your kitchen will smell sweet and buttery, like a French Patisserie!

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack.

Enjoy your warm, homemade brioche ‘share & tear’ style with butter, jam, or creamed honey. Eat plain with soup or salad, make mini sandwiches, etc.

Good luck eating just one.

how to make brioche rolls |

Baking Schedules

Now that you understand how to make brioche share n’ tear rolls, let’s find the time to actually do it.

Here are two options to fit bread baking into your busy, everyday schedule.

Option #1: Overnight Rolls

Let’s say you want warm, fresh rolls for Saturday morning breakfast.

Here’s what you do:

On Friday evening, when you get home from work, mix up a batch of dough (alternatively, make the dough in morning before you leave the house).

The dough will be ready in 1-3 hours depending how warm your kitchen is. To speed up the rising process, either place your dough in the oven (proof setting), or near a heater.

When the dough is ready, shape into balls, place in your greased pan, and chill (covered) overnight in the fridge.

The following morning, brush with egg wash and bake cold.

Option #2: Overnight Bulk Dough

Let’s say you have every intention of baking on particular day, but life hijacks your plans and you’re suddenly out of time.

Here’s what you do:

Mix up the dough as directed.

Instead of the dough rising at room temperature for 1-3 hours, chill the bulk dough overnight.  It will continue to rise even in a cold environment. It just happens at a slower rate. I allow the dough to rise directly in my stand mixer bowl (covered). For best results, leave the dough at room temperature for 2-4 hours, then pop it in the fridge.

The following day, cut and shape the cold dough into balls (if it hasn’t doubled in size yet, let it rest at room temperature until ready). Brush with egg wash. Allow to rest again 30 minutes-1 hour, or more. The dough should looked puffy, not dense before baking.


The secret to baking great bread at home is embracing flexibility.

On some days your dough will rise faster than others, whereas on other days, it will take forever to rise no matter what you do. Sometimes your dough will require extra flour to prevent stickiness, whereas on other days, you barely need any at all.

It’s just the way it is.

Go with the flow and you will excel.

how to make brioche rolls |

So, what do you think?

Are you ready to make brioche rolls?!

how to make brioche rolls
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 12 rolls
  • 1¼ c. warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 3⅓ cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for coating the pan
Note: This is a sticky dough. After the initial mixing process it will not come together into a ball; the dough will be smooth, elastic, but still 'wet.' Once fully risen, it will be easier to handle.
  1. Preparing the dough:
  2. In a large glass measuring cup, add the milk, yeast, and sugar. Whisk well. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Then, add 2 of the eggs and whisk to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, salt and butter. Using the paddle attachment, mix until the butter blends into the flour. You don't want large chunks.
  4. On low speed, add the milk & yeast mixture to the bowl. Once combined, increase the speed (I use #2 or #3 on my Kitchen Aid) until a dough forms, about 5-8 minutes. It will not come together into a ball; the dough will be smooth, elastic, but still wet or sticky resembling thick 'batter.' Once fully risen, it will be easier to handle. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  5. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, 1- 3 hours* (see note below). Alternatively, refer to the baking schedules outlined in the post above.
  6. Cutting, Shaping & Assembly:
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Generously coat a 9" cake pan with butter. Set aside.
  8. Tip your fully risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. It should feel slightly wet and sticky.
  9. Using a floured bench scraper (large knife or pizza wheel) cut the dough into 10 pieces.
  10. Take two pieces of the dough and cut them in half, creating 4 smaller pieces. These smaller pieces will fill the center of your brioche (think: center of a sunflower). You now have 12 pieces in total.
  11. To shape into balls, gently flatten each piece of dough. Pull up the sides tucking them in towards the center. Flip the ball over (seam side down) and move to an un-floured part of your work surface (it's easier to roll this way). Place your palm over the top and gently roll into a smooth ball. If your dough is too sticky, sprinkle with a little bit of flour for easier handling.
  12. To assemble the brioche, to the coated pan, place 1 ball of dough at 12 o'clock, 3 o'clock, 6 o'clock and 9 o'clock. Fill in the gaps with the remaining dough, placing the 4 smaller balls (you made earlier) in the center. Doing it this way will ensure that the dough is evenly spaced.
  13. With the remaining egg, beat together with a splash of water. This is your egg wash.
  14. Brush the dough with your mixture. If you don't have a pastry brush, use a folded napkin or paper towel instead.
  15. Loosely cover the pan with a kitchen towel. Rest for about 30 minutes. Your dough should look slightly puffed, relaxed, and no longer dense. Adjust the time here, if necessary.
  16. To Finish:
  17. Bake 400 F. for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  18. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
  19. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
*Giving your dough enough time to rise is crucial in bread baking. Rise times will vary, so be patient. Remember to watch your dough and not the clock! To speed up the process, either place your dough in the oven (proof setting), or near a heater.



  1. says

    Quelle beauté! sweet & buttery ~ swoon…perfect for soup season. You sure make it look easy, approachable and most of all, desirable. That is one gorgeous looking brioche. Love the illustrated photos too – very helpful. ps. beautiful hands Emilie.

    • Emilie says

      Merci beaucoup! Kelly, you are always so kind! Thank you! You know I love my bread, and this (lighter) buttery brioche is soft, tender and scrumptious. And it’s funny you mention my hands- apparently, so I’ve been told, they look just like my mom’s. xo

  2. says

    We absolutely love brioche and will give this recipe a try. It certainly wouldn’t last long once the boys saw it, bread disappears in a heartbeat around them. Brioche is a brunch favorite here with a piece of chocolate in the middle or dried fruit. Your step by step instructions are fantastic. I make here boys who will want to help make this soon. Overnight is perfect for a special school day breakfast.

    • Emilie says

      Oh, I know. The boys devoured it here too! I like your idea of putting chocolate in the middle of the brioche. I’ll have to try that next. The overnight version is fantastic; it’s so easy to just pop them in the oven! And then you can sit back, relax, and dust off your cape ;)

  3. says

    Oh yum! So perfect for a (rainy – here, yes) weekend. If I make these (well, I will make them) it will be my first time EVER working with yeast. Yes, as a devoted cook & baker, I am so embarrassed to admit this. Always have managed to tiptoe around recipes with yeast ;) Any advice? Thank you for sharing this beautiful recipe. Have a lovely weekend everyone

    • Emilie says

      Hello Sabine! Don’t be embarrassed at all ;)

      Here are two important tips to keep in mind when working with yeast & dough. They have helped me tremendously.

      1.) Make sure your yeast is fresh. You’ll find an expiration date on the back of the packet. If it’s old, it won’t work. Always start fresh.

      2.) The key to successful bread (whether leavened with yeast or sourdough culture), is that you cannot rush the initial rising process. And this is tricky, because recipes can be misleading. For example, some directions might say, ‘leave the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.’ So, you follow the directions, bake your bread, and it comes out hard as a rock! Why? Because your dough wasn’t actually ready at the 1 hour mark. Regardless of the directions, the dough needed more time for the gluten to develop. Fully risen dough will yield light bread.

      So, the key here, is to watch your dough (not the clock). You’ll find in the recipe below, I give a range (1-3 hours) for the initial rise time. The warmer the temperature, the faster the dough will rise. Sometimes, I’ll mark the bowl with a piece of masking tape to visually judge how much the dough has risen. That helps a lot!

      Good luck with the recipe! Hope this helps! Have fun, and let me know if you have any other questions! xo

        • Emilie says

          Hi Beverly, bread baking can definitely seem foreign or intimidating at first, but once you understand a few details (like yeast) you will be that much closer to nailing it! It’s all about being flexible and getting to know your dough. But you are a fabulous baker- I’m sure you already know this! xo

  4. Megan Stern says

    Mmm, I do love brioche. I’ll give this recipe a try! One thing I do to help the rising process along is to put a warm rice pack under or wrapped around the base of the bowl holding the dough.

    • Emilie says

      Megan, that is a fantastic idea! Sometimes, I’ll even take the bowl of dough in the shower (not actually in the shower- just left on the counter) and allow the hot steam to do its thing! The things we do for homemade bread, right? ;)

  5. says

    Perfect timing. I was only just looking for a brioche roll recipe to make sliders. This recipe looks just perfect. I’ll let you know how I go. Xx

  6. Sheri Nugent says

    Hi Emilie! I would love to make a brioche loaf. For sliced sandwich bread. Have you tried that using this recipe? If so, any tips on baking time or if it would even work? Thanks!

    • Emilie says

      Hi Sheri! Absolutely!

      Before you begin, below are two methods for shaping the dough into loaves. Both require a generously buttered loaf pan (9×5).

      1.) When your dough is fully risen, cut into thirds. Roll each piece into a ball (follow directions above). Place into your prepared pan one at a time (like a snowman). This is the most traditional method for brioche loafs.

      2.) Shape dough into a fat ‘log’ about the same length or a tiny bit shorter than your loaf pan.

      Regardless of which method you choose, allow the dough to rest in the pan until it rises about 1 1/2- 2 inches above the top. Time will vary depending on how warm your kitchen/house is, about 1-2 hours or more. Be patient. Do not rush this step. Brush with eggs wash before baking.

      Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes. Then, reduce temp to 350 F and bake for another 30-35 minutes or so. If the top browns too quickly, and it might, loosely tent with foil. Do not remove from the oven too soon because of its dark color; it will be under cooked in the center. I’ve done this a million times. Check internal temp with a thermometer- 190 F is good.

      • Sheri Nugent says

        Oh Emilie – Thanks so much for the help! I will try it this weekend. I love your blog, read it every day and cannot wait for you book!!

  7. says

    Emilie! I love brioche! I’ve only made it at home once and this post is reminding me that I need to make it again. . and this time, try your recipe! beautiful post! AND I got your book yesterday and your card today! you are so sweet!!! and your book is beautiful! (I knew it would be!) it’s going to be my weekend reading this weekend! Cheers! I’m so happy for you!

  8. Andrea says

    My dough mixed up way too wet and sticky to shape into balls, but I baked it as it was and the taste and texture were perfect, so I guess I wouldn’t change anything. We ended up with a 9-inch loaf yesterday, and I feel sheepish about admitting that it is almost gone.

    • Emilie says

      Hi Andrea!

      Wonderful! Yes, the dough is definitely wet and sticky. As a solution, maybe a sprinkle of extra flour might help next time when shaping the balls? That seems to do the trick for me, especially when my kitchen is warm (my hands too).

      I’m glad your loaf worked out- no shame in eating the whole thing ;) xx

  9. Racine says

    Hi Emilie!

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have been dying to try bread baking and I absolutely LOVE a good brioche.

    In the initial dough cutting instructions you say to cut it into 8 pieces, then take 2 of the 8 (leaving 6 original pieces) and cut those 2 in half which I thought makes 10. Your instructions say I would have 12 pieces. What step am I missing?

    • Emilie says


      Oh my goodness- you are not missing anything! It’s not you, it’s me! I can’t count! Cut the dough into 10 pieces, remove 2 of the 10 (leaving 8 original pieces) and cut those 2 in half to make 12! Does that make sense? Adjusting instructions now. Thanks so much for pointing this out!

  10. says

    OMG! You did it again girl. I make my own brioche in a loaf pan, but never tried the rolls version. But with this tutorial, it is a piece of cake.
    Thank you my friend. I am putting this on my short list of recipes to try.

    • Emilie says

      Hey you! I bet you could even use your own brioche recipe for these rolls. It’s all good! I know they will be beautiful either way! xoxo

  11. says

    Hi – lovely looking rolls. I started making them tonight (overnight fridge bulk rise) but oddly my dough was more like batter at the end of eight minutes of mixing. Adding another whole cup of flour (a fourth) got me to a very sticky dough that’s now in the fridge. Any thoughts about what the issue may be in this case?

    Thanks, Bill

    • Emilie says

      Hello Bill!

      Sticky dough is 100% normal! What you experienced is correct, even the thick ‘batter’ like appearance. I never thought to describe it this way, but it’s a great observation so I made a notation to my instructions (thank you!). Now to clarify further- this particular dough does not come together in a stiff ball, which is what gives this brioche its light and fluffy characteristics in the first place. Adding an additional 1 cup of flour to compensate is fine, but keep in mind- if the dough is too stiff, it changes the texture. Sticky dough takes a little getting used to ;) Hope this info helps!

      PS- once the dough is fully risen, especially when cold, sticky dough is much easier to handle.

  12. says

    Beautiful work, Emilie and I can smell the scent of these rolls wafting through the house! You’ve reminded me that it’s been far too long since I’ve made brioche. It is divine. You always inspire me. Thank you for this my dear! xo

    • Emilie says

      Thank you, Traci! Isn’t brioche something special? What’s nice about this particular version is that it’s not egg & butter heavy (not necessarily a bad thing, but you know) so it’s great for everyday stuff. I even went out and bought more loaf pans to bake the masses! xoxo

  13. connie raffa says

    So delicious looking. Please send some over for breakast. In Sicily a brioche is eaten with gelato as an ice cream sandwich. Lets do that. Aunntie

    • Emilie says

      Oh yes! I remember that. So good. I think there’s going to be some gelato stuffed sandwiches in our future… yum!

  14. says

    Lovely, as always, and ever so tempting. This is one time when saying a woman’s rolls are great is OK! Your brioche looks beautiful, with a shine, deep caramel exterior and a perfect texture inside. I love brioche, and I often make an Italian version – filled with nuts and spices. The thing that is so good about breads like these, ones that reign supreme at breakfast, is that as you note, one can do them overnight and enjoy them with no hassle the morning of. For so long that aspect of the bread making equation was ignored by food writers. I am pleased to see it addressed here. Bravissma!

  15. says

    You make it sound so easy Emilie and thanks to you I fear bread making no more! I love you for that!! I felt like supergirl when I first tried your brioche buns and these look just as good!!! I’m definitely making these this weekend… Pinned girl! <3

  16. Kathy Greenawalt says

    I printed this recipe before you added the word “warm”. I made this today and of course I did not warm the milk. Thought unusual not to warm the milk but you did not have it on your original recipe.

  17. Katie says

    I baked these today and hey turned out wonderfully! The only question I had was that they turned out to be massive should I not allow hen to rise as long? What is your suggestion?

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