Honestly, what could be better than baking this classic brioche loaf bread in your kitchen? Not much. Not much at all.
Here’s why: This loaf is bonkers delicious. And while yes, it takes a little bit of time and effort to make, the results are SO. VERY. WORTH IT. If you’ve never made homemade bread before, this is a great recipe to get you started. It’s made with simple ingredients, easy (and forgiving!) to assemble, and the flavor is unlike anything you’d ever buy at the grocery store. This is what brioche bread is supposed to taste like, and we are so very happy about it.
This past week, we’ve parked ourselves on my husband’s uncle’s farmland in southeast Iowa — a whopping 40 acres of wide open spaces, trees, creatures, sunny skies and starry nights. We’ve enjoyed the fruits and vegetables from their garden and generally really enjoyed this time to have some space and peace and quiet. It makes me all the more anxious to buy a plot of land of our own someday so I can live out my dream of having a hobby farm with a pig and a goat and chickens and a gigantic garden (none of this may happen, but a girl can dream).
Having access to fresh produce straight from the ground has further reinforced in me the notion that homegrown and homemade foods are just better. A melon straight from the earth is that much sweeter, a green bean plucked from the vine is that much crunchier and bread kneaded by hand and baked in a home oven is often that much softer, fluffier and more flavorful — at least that’s the case for this classic brioche loaf bread.
What I love about brioche is that it’s an enriched dough, which means the dough is made with milk and eggs. That’s what gives this loaf its tender crumb and soft-fluffiness. But what the homemade version has that most grocery store varieties don’t is that gentle chew. If you’ve tasted fresh-baked bread, you know what I’m talking about. This alone is why I could never quit carbs.
You have to let the dough rise and rest overnight, though, in order to achieve all of these factors. That’s what makes brioche, well, brioche. There’s just nothing else like it. But it is so worth the wait.
Do yourself a favor and carve out some time soon to make a loaf or three of this bread. It’ll be therapeutic and relaxing and fun all at the same time, and the best part is you get a fresh loaf of bread to eat at the end of it all. And PS — there may or may not be another recipe coming soon that involves this brioche bread + blueberries + French toast + casserole. Just saying. It’s worth getting some practice in baking this bread now, so you can be ready for the next recipe.
Wide open spaces + fresh bread = all I really need in life.
- 2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup warm 2% milk (about 110-115 degrees F)
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened, cubed
- 1 egg
- Generous pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon water
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast, sugar and milk until yeast is dissolved. Let stand 7-10 minutes until mixture is foamy.
- Whisk in eggs. Attach paddle attachment to stand mixer. Add salt and 2 cups flour to stand mixer bowl; stir on low speed about 2 minutes until sticky dough forms. Increase speed to medium and add butter, one cube at a time. Add remaining 2 tablespoons flour. Mix on medium speed 2 minutes more until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Stop mixing. Cover stand mixer bowl with plastic wrap or tea towel. Let dough sit 15 minutes. Mix on medium speed 5 minutes more. Dough will be stickier than usual, but don't worry. Use spatula to transfer dough to lightly greased large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
- Punch down risen dough. Fold into thirds (like a business letter), then return to greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or up to 12 hours.
- Grease bottom and sides of 9x5-inch loaf pan. Punch down chilled dough and divide into 5 equal portions. Gently press each piece of dough into 5-inch square. Roll up each square into log, and place seam-side down in loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap or tea towel and let dough rise 1½ to 2 hours until dough just reaches top of pan. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare egg wash: In small bowl, whisk egg wash ingredients until smooth. Gently brush risen dough with egg wash. Bake bread 35-40 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until crust is deep golden brown. Cool bread in pan on cooling rack 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on cooling rack.