In a rush? You can skip straight to my Beginner Brioche Sandwich Bread Recipe at my Tumblr. Or you can jump to my Just the Basics section.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve discovered the joys and challenges of making macarons. They’re such finicky cookies, but I get a rush with every improvement I make.
However, macarons require egg whites as a key ingredient, so I end up with a lot of leftover egg yolks that I’m not sure how to use. Most of my usual recipes require the whole egg, not just the yolk. And I’m not a fan of scrambled egg yolks on their own.
Lucky for me, I found a bread recipe that’s perfect for leftover egg yolks: brioche.
Brioche is such a fun bread to make. It’s essentially a bunch of tiny rolls pressed together until they form a loaf. With a light egg wash, the crust has a pretty shine that makes the bread look fancy and difficult when, in fact, it’s surprisingly easy to bring together.
Better still, brioche is amazingly soft, fluffy, and slightly chewy. I love pulling it apart and eating large handfuls of it by itself. But if I can exhibit some self control, I love eating brioche with a smidgeon of jam, butter, or honey. And if I’m feeling in the mood for something savory, brioche pairs nicely with my husband’s apple wood smoked pulled pork.
I will admit that shaping Brioche so it fits perfectly in a bread pan does take a little practice. Fortunately, your bread doesn’t have to look beautiful to taste heavenly. And once you get the hang of things, you can then impress your friends and family with amazing loaves whenever you have a free afternoon.
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Rise time: 3 Hours
Cook time: 30 to 35 Minutes
Total time: 4 Hours
Brioche requires a few basic pantry staples to make:
- 7.75 Grams (2 1/2 Teaspoons) Dry Active Yeast
- 207 Grams (1 Cup and 2 Tablespoons and 1 Teaspoon) Warm Milk
- 450 Grams (3 3/4 Cups) Bread Flour
- 9 Grams (1 1/2 Teaspoons) Salt
- 80 Grams (1/4 Cup and 2 Tablespoons) White Granulated Sugar
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 60 Grams (4 Tablespoons) Butter, Melted
- 1 Large Egg (for the Wash)
Keep in mind that you can make a few substitutions. If you don’t have butter, for example, you can swap for vegetable oil. If you don’t have milk, you can use water.
Don’t Have Bread Flour?
Bread flour helps brioche keep its shape. But if you don’t have any bread flour on hand, you can make your own with a combination of all-purpose flour and vital wheat gluten:
- 425 Grams (3 1/2 Cup) All-Purpose Flour
- 25 Grams (3 Tablespoons) Vital Wheat Gluten
If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, you can purchase some on Amazon. Or you can try making the recipe with just all-purpose flour. Your loaf won’t hold its shape as easily and won’t have as much chew, but it should still bake nicely.
Brioche may sound fancy, but it’s not a difficult recipe to make. With the following tools, you’ll be baking in no time:
- Mixing Bowls, Measuring Cups, and Spoons
- Kitchen Scale
- Container with Lid
- Dough Cutter
- 9 Inch by 5 Inch Bread Pan
- Oven Mitts
- Cooling Rack
For this recipe, I also like to use a Kitchenaid standing mixer because it’s a fast and easy way to knead the dough. If you don’t have one, you can mix the dough by hand.
Have all your ingredients together? Are your baking tools readily available? Then let’s get started!
To make brioche, combine the dry active yeast with the warm milk in the bowl of the standing mixer. Let the yeast proof for about 10 to 15 minutes until foamy.
In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the bread flour, salt, and sugar.
With a dough hook attachment, set your standing mixer to low and gradually work the flour into the yeast mixture. Add the egg yolks one at a time, and then mix in the melted butter.
Continue to mix the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will feel smooth and have some elasticity to it. Shape the dough into a round and place in a lightly greased container.
Cover and let rise until double, about 1 hour to 1 and 1/2 hours (though at colder temperatures, I’ve let it rise as long as 2 hours).
After your dough has risen, turn out your dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide into 6 pieces, about 147 grams each. Or, if you’re up to the challenge, divide the dough into 8 pieces, about 110 grams each.
Place each dough ball into a lightly greased bread pan, filling the entire pan.
Cover and let rise until the dough reaches above the lip of the pan, about 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours depending on room temperature.
If you’re not sure whether your dough has finished rising, lightly press on the dough. If it springs back quickly, it could use more time. If it springs back slowly, it’s ready to back. If it collapses, it has over proofed, but it will still bake nicely.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). While your oven heats, brush the top of your loaf with egg wash. You don’t have to use the entire egg, just enough to glaze the bread.
Bake for 20 minutes. Tent your loaf with aluminum foil to keep the top from browning too much. Bake for an additional 25 minutes. It’s internal temperature should read at least 195 degrees Fahrenheit (90 degrees Celsius).
Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 to 15 minutes, and then turn the loaf out on the rack to finish cooling completely.
As tempting as it is to cut into that gorgeous loaf right away, don’t do it! The bread will finish baking with the residual heat from the oven. If you cut into it prematurely, the middle of the loaf will have a gummy, unpleasant texture.
Once your bread has cooled, feel free to slice and serve with a bit of butter or jam. It stays fresh on the counter in a sealed bag for three to four days, and it makes for excellent French toast.
Just the Basics
Beginner Brioche Sandwich Bread
- 7.75 Grams Dry Active Yeast (2 1/2 Teaspoons)
- 207 Grams Milk (1 Cup and 2 Tablespoons and 1 Teaspoon)
- 450 Grams Bread Flour (3 3/4 Cups)
- 80 Grams White Granulated Sugar (1/4 Cup and 2 Tablespoons)
- 9 Grams Salt (1 1/2 Teaspoons)
- 4 Large Egg Yolks
- 60 Grams Butter (4 Tablespoons)
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine warm milk with dry active yeast. Let proof for about 10 to 15 minutes until foamy.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt.
- Using a dough hook attachment on low, gradually add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture.
- With the standing mixer still going, add the egg yolks one at a time, followed by the melted butter. Continue to mix until the dough pulls away from and cleans the sides of the bowl.
- Shape dough into a round and place in a lightly greased container. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours depending on room temperature.
- Turn out dough onto a lightly greased surface and divide into 6 pieces, about 147 grams each (or 8 pieces 110 grams each).
- Shape each piece into a small ball and place in a lightly greased 9-inch by 5-inch bread pan. Cover and let rise until the dough reaches past the top of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (176° Celsius).
- Bake bread for 20 minutes. Tent with aluminum foil. Then bake for another 25 to 30 minutes. Internal temperature should read at least 195° Fahrenheit (90° Celsius).
- Turn out bread onto a wire cooling rack and let bread cool completely before slicing and serving.
Secrets to Success
Brioche bread looks gorgeous and fancy for just about any occasion, but it’s not a fussy recipe. As with many sandwich bread recipes, the most difficult part is shaping and waiting.
I will admit, the first time I made the recipe, I didn’t do a great job at either.
Yeah, my loaf exploded out of the pan.
However, not all of that mess was my fault. The original recipe was far too big, and it didn’t specify bread pan size. I had to scale back the recipe several times before I found proportions that yielded consistently beautiful results.
Luckily for you, I did all the hard work for you. If you measure your ingredients by weight rather than volume, you’ll have a much easier time making your beginner Brioche sandwich bread than I did.
As far as shaping goes, I found that I had a much easier time dividing the dough into 6 equal pieces rather than 8. And when I took the time to measure each piece by weight rather than eyeballing the size, I didn’t have to worry about one side getting much bigger than the other.
Brioche bread is enriched with egg yolks, milk, and sugar, so it does have a few more calories per slice than a simpler loaf. Here’s a glance at the nutritional information so you can keep your health in mind:
I had no problem cutting my beginner brioche sandwich bread into 12 slices per loaf. However, your slices may be larger or smaller than mine and that will affect the nutritional information per serving.
Did You Try It?
I love sharing my recipes with friends and family, and nothing brightens my day more than knowing that someone out there tried one of my recipes. If you tried my beginner brioche sandwich bread, let me know in the comments below. Feel free to leave me some feedback or a star rating and explain what worked (or what didn’t) work for you.