Explainers

How to make brioche, step by step

Elevate any breakfast table with this freshly baked French favourite.
Aerial view of a golden plaited brioche loaf, sliced, with raspberry jam.

Photo: Alicia Taylor

Alicia Taylor
12

Brioche is a rich, buttery, and slightly sweet bread of French origin. It is famous for its tender crumb, golden crust, and delightful taste. One of the defining features of brioche is its high butter content, which contributes to its rich flavour and soft, delicate crumb. Incredibly versatile, it can be served as a standalone bread or enjoyed with butter or jam. It is also commonly used as a base for French toast, sandwiches, or in modern times, hamburger buns

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Step 1

Whisk 14gm (4 tsp) yeast, 80ml warm milk and 1 tbsp caster sugar in a small bowl until yeast dissolves. Cover; stand in a warm place until mixture is frothy (10-15 minutes).

Step 2

Step 2 – combining dry and wet ingredients.

Mix 600gm plain flour, 1 tsp fine salt and 2 tbsp caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, until just combined. Make a well in the centre then add yeast mixture and 5 beaten eggs; mix on medium until a smooth dough forms (4-5 minutes).

Step 3

Step 3 – adding butter.

While mixing, gradually add 225gm butter, one-third at a time, and beat until dough is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Remove dough from fridge, divide into three equal portions; roll each portion into a 45cm length. Place dough lengths on a large, greased oven tray; cross lengths over and under each other to form a plait. Cover; stand in a cool place for 1 hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.

Step 5

Step 5 – plaiting brioche loaf

Ingredients

Method

1.Whisk yeast, milk and 1 tbsp caster sugar in a small bowl until yeast dissolves. Cover; stand in a warm place until mixture is frothy (10-15 minutes).
2.Mix plain flour, fine salt and 2 tbsp caster sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with a dough hook, until just combined. Make a well in the centre then add yeast mixture and beaten egg; mix on medium until a smooth dough forms (4-5 minutes).
3.While mixing, gradually add butter, one-third at a time, and beat until dough is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl (8-10 minutes). Transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight.
4.Preheat oven to 180°C fan-forced. Remove dough from fridge, divide into three equal portions; roll each portion into a 45cm length. Place dough lengths on a large, greased oven tray; cross lengths over and under each other to form a plait. Cover; stand in a cool place for 1 hour or until dough has nearly doubled in size.
5.Brush plait with extra beaten egg; sprinkle with extra sugar. Bake brioche for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 160°C; bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Serve warm with your choice of jam or marmalade.

Use the brioche dough straight from the fridge when plaiting so it

holds its shape.

Plan ahead – brioche requires time for proofing and rising, so

it’s essential to plan accordingly.

The dough needs ample time to develop flavour and achieve the desired lightness.

Brioche relies on just a few key ingredients so make sure they are excellent quality.

Brioche can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Notes

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