This buttery and soft French brioche bread is easy to make. Let the stand mixer do all the work!
There is this little French bakery in the hip part of town that people talk about. “Oooh, you need to go there!” they would say. Since I don’t live near downtown, I haven’t visited the bakery much.
After my family and I returned from France, we were obsessed with French pastries so we made it a point to visit the French bakery. One Saturday afternoon, we schlepped all the way into town and ordered several items. Pain au raisins, croissants, éclairs, you name it.
We took a bite of the pain au raisins, and it was dry. The croissant was pale, a bit soggy, and definitely NOT flaky. The éclair was… stale? Much to our disappointment, everything we ate was bad. I was devastated.
So I decided to make something French at home. While I have made French pastries before, I opted to bake a loaf of bread instead. Initially, my dough didn’t come together. I had to stop the machine a few times to knead it by hand before placing it back in the mixer again. After that, the dough came back together and looked normal. Whew.
The prep work only took about 20 minutes. Once my dough rose, it required a few quick minutes to shape them into smaller balls and bake them in the oven. My husband commented how amazing the house smelled while the bread was baking.
This bread was soft, buttery and amazing. I enjoyed slices with a slab (OK, two) of Nutella. I bet it would make an awesome breakfast, French toast, or even bread pudding. Don’t tell that that little French bakery, but I’m pretty sure this bread would beat theirs any day.
4 egg yolk brioche bread
- 500 grams (about 4 cups) bread flour
- 2 and ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- 80 grams (about 3/8 cup) granulated sugar
- 200 millileters whole milk warm
- 4 egg yolks
- 60 grams (about ¼ cup or 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature
- In a measuring cup, sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk. Let sit until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, whisk together the flour, salt and sugar.
- Turn the mixer on low and slowly drizzle in the yeast mixture. Your dough may appear dry.
- Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the butter, a little bit at a time until the dough is smooth, shiny and pliable. Mix on low for another 2-3 minutes.
- Knead the dough into a ball and place in a well-oiled bowl. Cover and allow to double in size in a warm area (I turned my oven to 175° F, turned it off, then placed my bowl in there).
- Once the dough has risen, divide it into 8 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place in a greased 9"x5" loaf pan. Cover and allow to rise and double again, about 1 hour.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Brush the top of the bread with a beaten egg and bake for 30-40 minutes or until the top appears golden.
- Allow the bread to cool before serving.
I love brioche bread. My favorite way to eat it is topped with laughing cow cheese and fried Italian peppers.
Ooooh that sounds amazing!!!
I found a recipe for Starbucks Egg White Bites and made two batches yesterday, leaving me with 8 egg yolks. I doubled your recipe, still used my stand mixer, and used two loaf pans, putting 8 x 150 gram balls in each. The dough looks and smells really nice. The bread came out looking just like your picture!
Thank you I had 8 left over as well good to know it doubles well
Can All Purpose flour be substituted in place of brad flour?
Yes, but it may not have the same fluffiness that bread flour creates. Let me know how it goes!
Can you add chocolate chips to this without changing the recipe? My whole family is very fond of chocolate brioche and we have a lot of leftover egg yolks.
Yes, I believe you could. I haven’t tried it myself so please let me know how it turns out.
delicious and tender. My only other comment is that my bread pans are 4.5×8.5, and this FILLED 2 bread pans. I made the dough into 16 balls and put 8 per pan, the size was just right and would have never fit in just one pan
Thanks for your baking notes, Jenelle! Glad this bread worked out for you!
This bread is so good. I made pavlova’s and had leftover yolks. I made this bread but instead of using 4 egg yolks, I used 6 bc that’s how many egg whites I used. I have a long loaf pan (like 2 loaf pans but it’s one). I made 8 balls and it was great. I’ve made the milk bread too and I prefer this over it. (Milk bread is still good and very light)
If i could add a picture I would. This is definitely a bread I would make again!
That’s fantastic! Thank you for letting me know that the bread worked out for you. Happy new year!
I’m confused about the butter….4 Tbls is not 1/2 cup….so and when I weighed the 80 grams I was about 7 tlbs.
Thank you for noticing this mistake, Georgia! I mistakenly wrote down 80 grams of butter – it should be 60 grams, or about 4 Tablespoons.
Hi! This recipe looks amazing, thanks for sharing. Have your ever tried making it with a bread maker?
No, I haven’t. I don’t own a bread maker so I haven’t tried it that way. If you do use a bread maker, will you please let me know how it turns out?
Amélie, did you have success with this recipe in a bread machine?
Can you use instant yeast here?!
While I haven’t personally tried it, I’m sure you can. Just watch the rise time – it may not need the full hour to double in size. Let me know what you find out if you attempt using instant yeast!
I would think so but I haven’t tried it myself. Watch the rise time, since it might not take as long for the dough to puff up.
What happens if you use more than 4 egg yolks? I have 5 egg yolks left over from making Swiss meringue…
Hmm – I haven’t tried it, but it could make your bread denser since egg is usually a binding ingredient.
Thank you, that makes sense. Good to know!
Hi! Thanks so much for this recipe. I’ve only got easy bake or instant yeast – how much of this would I use instead please? Thanks!
You should use the same amount of yeast but your dough resting/rising time will be shorter since it’s instant yeast. Just keep an eye on it and move onto the next step after it’s doubled in size.
We followed the instructions exactly and the dough is pretty solid. It’s not fluffy or rising. Any thoughts?? We make bread all the time, but the first time making brioche. Thanks
Did you bake it yet, or is it still proofing? I’d double check your yeast to make sure it’s still alive. If it’s cold where you are, keep the dough warmed (you can put it in the oven with the light on). It should puff up in 1-2 hours. If it doesn’t then the dough is either too cold or your yeast is dead.
I made this today and it worked perfectly to use up the egg yolks I had leftover. Added an extra splash of milk to get the dough smooth after adding the butter but the recipe is brilliant and the taste of the bread is light and delicious. Great recipe, thanks!
Yay – I’m so happy the recipe worked for you, Hilary! Thanks for reading my little blog!
Tates yummy! My bread didn’t rise like I thought it would, but my yeast was active… Is there any reason why it may have done so? I’m assuming user error. I had let it rise on my counter for a few hours and it didn’t seem to do anything, so I stuck it in my oven at 212F (as low as my oven goes) and it seemed to rise more, but it wasn’t nearly as much as I would think a bread with that much yeast would. What do you think?
It could have been the temperature in your kitchen. When my bread doesn’t want to rise, I sometimes will trick it and either stick it in the oven at a low temperature or zap it in the microwave for a few seconds. Either way, I am glad you found a way to help your bread rise!
What size loaf pan would you suggest I use?
Thank you for your help! 😀
I would suggest a standard 9”x5” bread loaf pan 😄
Thank you for the quick response! Looking forward to trying this! 😀
Love this made into brioche rolls. However I have a kitchen aide stand mixer. 2 years old couldn’t handle the dough. Had to knead by hand. Anyone else have this issue. Is it sometime I did.
Yes, I also have an old Kitchenaid that couldn’t handle the dry dough but, on the plus side, the dry dough was very easy to kneed.
Found your recipe & it was the perfect amount of egg yolks I had! Lol (I did double it because I had 8 egg yolks to use up). Since the dough was pretty thick, I thought my kitchenaid wouldn’t hold up… but it did! 🙂 I ended up putting an icepack to cool the motor since it was definitely working hard haha My first rise took about 2.5 hours & the 2nd rise took an 1 hr 45 min. I baked mine for 25 minutes (convection) & it came out AMAZING! Had a nice crust on the outside, soft & fluffy on the inside. The waiting is the hardest part, but absolutely worth it!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the bread, Jamie! Hope you enjoy both loaves!
I made this using 5 egg yolks and subbed cashew milk for the regular milk. The flavor was amazing and the top browned nicely. It did split underneath right along the middle and hollowed out a bit. It did come out a little dry. I did use a slightly smaller loaf pan so the bread rose quite a bit. Any idea what may have caused the split and slight dryness?
Am wondering if it’s due to the smaller loaf pan or the change in ingredients.
My guess is that the smaller loaf pan could have caused it to split. It’s a bit like if I eat too much, my pants threaten to split – so I wear stretchy ones instead. 🤪 It’s possible that the dough had nowhere else to go so it split, and that caused the moisture to creep out and dry out your bread.
I needed to use up some yolks after making icing, came across your recipe. First time making a loaf of bread and it turn out pretty dam good. Will be keeping this recipe for when I need to use up tho yolks. Thank you.
Thanks for letting me know this recipe worked for you, Clare!
I don’t know what I did wrong but my dough didn’t rise at all and the bread turned out as hard as a rock, could you help me?
If your dough didn’t rise, it’s possible that your yeast has gone bad or never activated. I sometimes will “trick” my dough into proofing by popping it in the microwave for 30 seconds or putting in Proof mode in my oven to let it rise. If the dough doesn’t rise, then yes, it will be hard and inedible.
Thank you for letting me know.
To use extra egg yolks, I made this using instant yeast and mixture of bread and all purpose flour. Milk and yeast never frothed, but worked fine. It did strain my KitchenAid stand mixer. Had to hold the bowl in place. Bread came out great, and I will definitely make it again.
Wow, great Brioche. I doubled the recipe to use up 8 egg yolks. By loaves are massive and beautifully round, even prettier than the images in the post. This is a keeper recipe.
Awesome – glad to hear that your brioches baked up beautifully, Justin!
I did make this in my bread machine. I weighed all the dry ingredients as I know that is more accurate. However, as the machine was kneading, I had to add more milk. Instead of baking it in a loaf pan, I braided it and am baking it on a sheet pan. Can’t wait to taste it!
Thanks for letting me know that you needed to add more milk during the kneading process. I hope that your bread turns out amazing!
I baked it for 30 minutes at 350F and when I tapped it, it sounded done. However, when I sliced it, it was not cooked in the middle. Tried putting it back in the oven but I’m not sure that worked.
My guesses as to what could have happened: your oven was too hot so the outside baked and the inside did not. Or, your bread wasn’t at room temperature when it got baked. If and when this happens again, you can tent the outside with foil and bake for additional time in the oven. Did you let the bread cool completely before slicing it? If so, that could also be a root cause. Bread needs to fully cool so the steam on the interior can fully disperse and escape. Hope this helps!
Thanks for that advice. I did remake it without the foil tent so it is quite brown on the outside. It is pretty much done though on the inside and still tender. Toasted with jam it is quite good. The dough was at room temperature and my oven, if anything, runs cool. I think I just needed to give it 45 minutes instead of 30. I will make this again when I have leftover yolks!
This was fantastic and a great way to use up extra egg yolks. I followed the recipe exactly using the weights and it was a giant loaf for my pan. Impressive and delicious. I froze half (15oz of bread) for bread pudding later on in the future. Thanks for a good recipe. I’ll make this again!
I’m so happy that you enjoyed the bread, Elizabeth!
I just bought a bread machine and had a lot of yolks leftover. This recipe is what I needed. First knead, the dough seemed a bit dry so I added a few tablespoons of water, it then became too sticky, sprinkled a bit of flour. Finally, dough came out smooth. Baked it as a loaf. I’m impressed with how it looked and tasted. Next time I’ll bake it in the oven rather than the machine. Thanks Eva.
Thanks for sharing, Yaz! I’m glad this worked out for you after a few modifications. 😊