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.