A beautiful Flaky Brioche recipe that needs to be in your recipe box! This bread is rich, buttery soft, and extra flaky. What is brioche? Brioche is a French bread that’s made using a high amount of fat (butter). The high use of butter in the dough gives it a really rich flavor and turns the bread a deep golden brown when baking. I’m telling you, this is carb heaven!

A slice of Flaky Brioche laying on a wooden cutting board.

I’ve loaded this post with a lot of photos to show you exactly how to make this flaky brioche recipe. For this recipe we will be laminating the dough. This means we’ll be folding butter into the dough and layering it several times. This layering of the butter and dough will create lots of small layers. When the brioche dough is baked it will result in a lot of airy, flaky layers.

I realize I may have just made this a tad intimidating for you. But I can assure you, this recipe is fun, easy, and delicious!

And truthfully, making brioche isn’t difficult at all. A bit time consuming, yes. But it will be well worth it once you take a bite into the mountain of carbs and layered goodness!

Flaky Brioche bread on a cutting board.

How to make Flaky Brioche Bread

In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the active dry yeast and warm milk. Let this sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.

Pro tip: you can use active or instant yeast in this recipe. They are interchangeable. If you use instant yeast, you don’t *have* to wait the 10 minutes, but I still do. Maybe I wait out of habit? Either way, choose the yeast you want and use it 🙂

Using the dough hook stir in the flour, salt, and sugar. The dough will be really crumbly, hardly resembling a dough at this point. (The photo below was taken after adding all 4 eggs and barely mixing it).

Add the 4 eggs and mix until the dough is smooth, about 6 minutes.

A glass bowl with the start of the brioche dough.

The photo below illustrates what the dough should look like after the eggs have been mixed for 6 minutes (or until smooth).

A glass bowl with brioche dough in it.

Once the eggs are mixed in and the dough is smooth add the room temperature butter 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Continue mixing for 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth and shiny.

Pro tip: my dough was still really sticky at this stage so while the mixer was on low speed I added 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough reached the right consistency.

The brioche dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl but the very tip of the dough should still stick to the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be smooth but not overly sticky. So you may need to add more flour depending on your dough’s consistency.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour.

A parchment paper with a rectangle of flat butter to use in a flaky brioche recipe.

Brioche bread laminating process

While the brioche bread dough is chilling lets prep the butter. This is what we’ll use to laminate the dough with.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the slightly chilled butter until it’s broken up but smooth, about 1-2 minutes.

Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface. Scoop the butter onto the parchment and shape the butter into a 5″x8″ inch rectangle. Fold up the sides of the parchment to cover the butter. Refrigerate until the butter is chilled, about 20 minutes.

Step 1:

Remove the dough from the fridge. On a lightly floured work surface roll the dough out to a 7″x18″ inch rectangle.

Place the chilled butter on the bottom half of the dough leaving a 1 inch border on 3 of the 4 sides.

Brioche dough rolled out, with a large square of flattened butter on one side of the rectangle.

Step 2:

Fold the dough over the butter to cover, then pinch the edges to seal. Tuck the overhanging dough edges under to form a neat looking tucked package.

The brioche dough folded over a large flattened square of cold butter, to resemble a neat tucked package.

Step 3:

Roll the dough into a 7″x18″ inch rectangle. Fold the top third of the dough down towards the center.

Brioche dough rolled into a rectangle, with the top third folded down towards the center.

Then fold the bottom third on top, Like a business letter.

Brioche dough folded in thirds, resembling a business letter.

This completes 1 turn.

Step 4:

Rotate the dough package 90°. Roll the dough into a 7″x18″ inch rectangle.

A long rectangle of brioche dough.

Fold the top third of the dough down towards the center.

Brioche dough rolled into a rectangle, with the top third folded down towards the center.

Then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter.

Wrap the dough envelope in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-25 minutes or freeze for 12-15 minutes.

Brioche dough folded into thirds, like a business letter.

Step 5:

(Repeat steps 3 & 4) as follows…

Remove the dough from the fridge or freezer. Roll the dough into a 7″x18″ inch rectangle. Fold the top third of the dough down towards the center, then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter.

Rotate the dough package 90°. Roll the dough into a 7″x18″ rectangle. Fold the top third of the dough down towards the center, then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter.

Wrap the dough envelope in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

A bread pan smeared with butter with a loaf of unbaked brioche in the pan.

Baking Brioche Bread

When ready to bake, brush two standard 9″x5″ loaf pans with butter.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and roll the dough into a 12″x18 inch rectangle. Roll the dough into a log, trying to keep it tight as you go.

Cut the dough log in half so that you have 2, 9″ inch logs in length. Place the dough logs seam side down in the prepared pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour or about double in size.

When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl and brush the egg over the tops of the bread loaves right before placing them in the oven.

Bake until loaves are golden brown about 35-37 minutes. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 5-10 minutes then turn them out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.

Serve warm or cold.

A loaf of flaky brioche on a cutting board.

Whew! Do you think you can handle making your own homemade brioche bread? It’s a process, but most of the time consists of the dough chilling in the refrigerator.

If you love this brioche recipe try these:

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A slice of Flaky Brioche laying on a wooden cutting board.
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5 from 1 vote

Flaky Brioche Recipe

A delicous and rich brioche recipe that bakes up to be perfectly golden brown with layers and layers of flaky bread!
prep time 1 hr
cook time 35 mins
Chill time 3 hrs
total time 4 hrs 35 mins
servings: 2 loaves
author: Salt & Baker

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup warm milk
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast active or instant
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 3/4 - 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup unsalted butter slightly chilled
  • 1 egg for the egg wash

INSTRUCTIONS

Make the Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine the yeast and warm milk. Let sit for 10 minutes until yeast is foamy and activated. Add in the flour, salt, and sugar. With the dough hook, stir to combine. Add in 4 eggs*, and mix until dough is smooth about 6 minutes. 
  • Add the room temperature butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing well after each addition. Continue mixing for 3 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and shiny. If your dough is still really sticky add 1 T of flour at a time. The dough should pull away from the sides of the mixing bowl, and the very bottom of the dough will still be stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough into a ball. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 1 hour. 

Prepare the butter and layering

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cold butter until it’s broken up but smooth, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Place a piece of parchment paper on a work surface. Scoop the butter onto the parchment and shape the butter into a 5x8 inch rectangle. Refrigerate until the butter is chilled about 20 minutes. 
  • On a lightly floured work surface roll the dough out to a 7x18 inch rectangle. Place the chilled butter on the bottom half of the dough leaving a 1 inch border on 3 of the 4 sides. Fold the top half of the dough over the butter to cover, then pinch the edges to seal. Tuck the overhanging dough edges under to form a neat looking tucked package.
  • Roll the dough into a 7 x 18 inch rectangle. Fold the top third of the dough down towards the center, then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter. This completes 1 turn. 
  • Rotate the dough package 90 degrees. Roll the dough into a 7 x 18 inch rectangle. Rold the top third of dough down towards the center, then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter. Wrap the dough envelope in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 25 minutes or freeze for 12-15 minutes. 
  • Remove from fridge or freezer. Roll the dough into a 7 x 18 inch rectangle. Fold the top third of the dough down towards the center, then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter.  
  • Rotate the dough package 90 degrees. Roll the dough into a 7 x 18 inch rectangle. fold the top third of dough down towards the center, then fold the bottom third on top, like a business letter. Wrap the dough envelope in plastic wrap and freeze for 12-15 minutes or refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight. 

Bake the Brioche

  • When ready to bake, brush two standard 9x5 inch loaf pans with butter.  
  •  Remove the chilled dough and roll the dough into a 12 x 18 inch rectangle. Roll the dough into a log, trying to keep it tight as you go. When you reach the edge, pinch the edges to seal. 
  • Cut the dough log in half (so that you have 2, 9 inch logs in length) and place seam side down in prepared pans. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. 
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk 1 egg in a small bowl. Brush the egg over the tops of the bread loaves.
  • Bake until loaves are lightly golden, about 35-37 minutes. Let the loaves cool in the pans for 5 minutes and then turn them out onto a wire rack to continue cooling. 
  • Serve warm or cold. 

RECIPE NOTES

*The dough will appear quite dry and crumbly at this stage, but don't worry because with time it really comes together and evens out.
Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart
Course: Snack
Cuisine: French
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