This Brioche Bread is rich, buttery, and eggy and the perfect bread for French toast or bread pudding recipes. It makes two loaves so freeze one for later.
- 1 packet (.25 ounces) active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)*
- 5 tablespoons lukewarm milk at 100 to 110 degrees
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled (1 pound 2 ounces, if weighing), plus more for work surface
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter slightly softened, not quite at room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees and turn off. Slightly crack the oven door. Generously butter a large bowl and set aside.
- Proof the yeast: In a measuring cup, add the yeast to the lukewarm milk and let proof for 5 minutes. I use a spoon to push the dry yeast down into the milk so that all of it gets wet. Set this aside while starting the next step.
- Add the eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the eggs for a few seconds to break them up. Add the flour, salt, and yeast mixture. Mix on low speed for 5 minutes to combine and start kneading. Turn mixer to medium speed and continue to knead until the dough is smooth and elastice, about 10 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix the sugar into the butter, combining well. Drop a few pieces of the butter mixture into the bowl, while mixing on low speed. Continue adding the butter mixture a little bit at a time, mixing on low speed until all of the butter has been incorporated. Don’t drop too much butter in at a time. It takes a little while for the butter (fat) to be incorporated into the flour & egg.
- Once the butter is totally incorporated, increase the mixer to medium speed and knead the dough for about 6 to 8 more minutes. The dough should be shiny, smooth, and elastic, and it should easily pull away from the sides of the bowl. It will also be pretty thin, almost like pancake batter. See the picture in the post above.
- Using a spatula, transfer the dough to the prepared (buttered) bowl. Lightly spray a piece of plastic wrap and place over the top, sealing it tightly.
- Place the bowl in the slightly warm oven, leaving the door ajar, until the dough is doubled in size, about 2 hours. I preheated my oven to 160 degrees before starting this recipe, turned it off, and slightly cracked the oven door. Alternately, you can place the bowl in a warm area in your kitchen that’s free from drafts.
- Remove the dough from the oven and uncover it. Lift the dough up in the air from the bowl and drop it back into the bowl. Do this twice more. This deflates the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap again and place the bowl in a refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Make the egg wash: Whisk together the egg and water. Set aside.
- Generously butter 2 loaf pans that measure 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches on the tops and 7 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches on the bottoms. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 2 equal pieces on a lightly floured work surface. Divide each piece into 8 equal pieces. Form each piece into a ball. Arrange 8 balls side by side in each loaf pan. Cover the pans with lightly sprayed or buttered plastic wrap (buttered side down) and place in a warm place (or oven) until the dough has risen to about 1-inch above the top of the pans. Uncover the pans and lightly brush the tops with the egg wash.
- Preheat conventional oven to 425 degrees. **see notes below for convection oven.
- Bake the bread for about 15 minutes, until it’s just beginning to turn golden on top. Reduce the heat to 375 degrees, and bake for approximately 20 to 25 minutes, until the bread is a deep golden brown or an internal temperature of 205 degrees. It’s important to not underbake this bread. Note: If the bread seems to be browning too quickly on top, place a foil tent over it.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Remove the bread from the pans and allow to cool completely. Use a serrated knife and cut the bread into 1/2-inch slices.
- This bread is best if eaten the day it’s made. Use the leftover bread to make french toast. It makes excellent french toast. You can also freeze slices to use in french toast later.
- *If using fresh yeast, use 1/2 ounce.
- **If using a convection oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for approximately and bake until deep golden brown on top, about 20 to 25 minutes, or an internal temperature of 205 degrees.
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