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how to make a brioche loaf

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  • Author: Emilie Raffa
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: French
  • Diet: Vegetarian


  • 1 1/4 c. warm milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2½ tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 3 1/3 cups bread flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus more for coating the pan


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. In a large glass measuring cup, add the milk, yeast, and sugar. Whisk well and set aside for 5 minutes. Add 2 of the eggs (save the remaining egg for the egg wash) and whisk to combine.
  2. 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.
  3. On low speed, add the milk & yeast mixture. Once combined, increase the speed (I use #2 or #3 on my Kitchen Aid) until a dough forms, about 5-8 minutes. The dough will not come together into a ball; it 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.
  4. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, 1- 3 hours* (see note below). Alternatively, refer to the baking schedules outlined in the post above.
  5. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Generously coat a 9×5″ loaf pan with butter. Set aside.
  6. Remove the fully risen dough onto a lightly floured work surface. It should feel slightly wet and sticky.
  7. Using a floured bench scraper (large knife or pizza wheel) cut the dough into thirds.
  8. To shape into balls, gently flatten each piece of dough. Pull up the sides tucking them in towards the center. If your dough is too sticky to shape, sprinkle a little bit of flour over the top for easier handling. 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). Cup the dough with your hands and gently roll into a smooth ball.
  9. To assemble, add one ball at a time to your prepared pan (it’s like building a snowman). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise about 1 1 /2 inches above the rim of the pan, about 30 minutes- 1 hour (or more). The amount of time will depend on the ambient temperature.
  10. If using an egg wash, beat together the remaining egg with a splash of water. Brush the dough with your mixture. If you don’t have a pastry brush, use a folded napkin or paper towel instead.
  11. Loosely cover the pan with a kitchen towel. Rest for about 30 minutes. Your dough should looked slightly puffed, relaxed, and no longer dense. Adjust the time here, if necessary before baking.
  12. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375 F and continue baking for 30-35 minutes. If the top is browning too fast, loosely tent with foil. Check the internal temperature with a thermometer, it should read about 195-200 F.
  13. When finished, cool in the tin for about 10 minutes or so. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely, about 1-2 hours. Then, cut into slices. A large serrated bread knife is best for this. Store the cooled bead in plastic wrap at room temperature. This brioche is best consumed within 1-2 bays of baking.