Brioche Dough Recipe and all of its wonderful uses!

pear pomegranate tarte tatin

Here is a classic fall recipe with a twist. I’ve added the tartness of pomegranate seeds to the mellow sweetness of pears and draped the whole thing in a rich, buttery, tender brioche dough. It is a lovely and quick dessert, especially if you have a bucket of brioche on hand. For those of you who do not already own Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (click here to purchase), here is the recipe and it can be used for all of these wonderful treats: caramel sticky buns, grilled fruit tart, fresh fruit muffins, Brioche à tête, apricot pastries and fabulous doughnuts! Actually the possibilities are endless, just use your imagination and let us know what treats you’ve come up with.

Brioche dough (makes about 4 loaves)

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1 tablespoon granulated yeast (1 packet)

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

8 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup honey (this is my all time favorite!)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours. Note: Sometimes with brioche, with so much cold egg, if you don’t use warm enough water, the initial rise can be very slow. Professionals would fix this by letting the eggs come to room temperature, which solves the problem. You can do that, or just make sure that your final mixture of egg/butter/water is nice and warm (but not hot, or you can kill the yeast).

brioche a tete

The dough can be used as soon as it is chilled. This dough is way too sticky to use after the initial rise, but once it is chilled it is very easy to handle. It can be used to create the Tatin or any of these brioche recipes: caramel sticky buns, grilled fruit tart, Fresh Fruit Muffins, Brioche à tête, apricot pastries and fabulous doughnuts! The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that you can freeze the dough.

sticky buns

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352 thoughts on “Brioche Dough Recipe and all of its wonderful uses!

  1. This is absolutely gorgeous. I love the idea of the pomegranate seeds…would love to try a new brioche recipe.

    Oh, and just got message from Amazon…Artesian Bread was just shipped! w00t!

  2. I love your book and I have purchased two ( one for cabin, one for home ). BUT..the books do not have the 2 pages of corrections in them. I don’t know how people will know this info if it isn’t included in the books at the bookstore. I think you should have the printer supply this info.

  3. I definitely need to try this recipe. I made the challah and loved it-I did my first ever blog post about it. :) I’d like to see how its richer cousin behaves. My contribution to Christmas breakfast is always cinnamon rolls and I’m forever looking for the “perfect” recipe. Based on the success I had with the challah, I think the brioche might be the end to my search. Thanks for the great book!

  4. Hi all,

    Thanks for stopping by!

    Kellypea, can’t wait to hear what you are baking from the book. You will love the brioche, great pastry options!

    Sue, that is a great idea. I’ll ask the publisher if they can include the errata sheet with the book?

    Kelly, I’ll look for your post on the challah. Let me know what you think of the richer cousin. ;)

    Best, Zoë

  5. This looks incredibly yummy. I just can’t get past the number of eggs and the amount of butter! If I know they are in there, the calories actually count ;)

  6. What is a good substitution for honey in this and the challah recipe? Someone in my family has a honey allergy and I would like to be able to make some that he could have.

  7. Hi Sarah: We’ve experimented with agave syrup, barley malt syrup and maple syrup, and all of them provide comparable sweetening to honey. Agave has the most neutral flavor; many people would find barley malt or maple syrup to be overly strong flavors in delicate brioche.

    You could also substitute 5/8 cup of sugar plus 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of water– this would give a neutral flavor. Suggestion comes from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Bread Bible.” Jeff

  8. I was on a Wait List for several weeks before I got a library copy of your book. (I now own my very own copy.) A thoughtful previous reader had printed out the errata sheets and stuck them on the inside of the dust jacket. That was most helpful.

  9. Hi Mary,

    So glad you are enjoying the book. I think it is such a great idea to print out the errata sheet and put it in the book. We are trying to get the publisher to send a sheet with the books. I won’t hold my breath, but one can dream.

    Thanks, Zoë

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  11. I love the brioche recipe. One of our favorite tricks with it is to roll some out, cover it with pie filling or some other sweet stuff (I usually add a bit of sugar to pie filling, brown sugar and cinnamon for instance in the case of apple pie filling) then roll it back up like the chocolate brioche recipe in the book and cook it in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper. We’ve tried a lot of different things, but so far the biggest hits have been lemon, apple and cinnamon sugar. We usually frost with confectioners sugar icing. The only problems I ever have with it is how the inside sometimes puffs up and then collapses once it comes out, but it’s still delicious and easy!

  12. Hi Rachel,

    I’ve been playing with that a lot recently for the new book. If you replace about 50% with white whole wheat I think you will come out with a dough that is very nice. Going 100% whole wheat is ending up too dry for my taste.

    Let me know what you think!

    Zoë

  13. Clearly, I haven’t been paying attention – there’s a new book coming? Do tell more Zoe.

    And for the record, this bread is amazingly delicious. For those who haven’t tried it – run, don’t walk to your kitchen and mix up a batch. Go, now, do it, you know you want to.

  14. Hi Mary Beth,

    Jeff and I are busy working on another bread book. This one is dedicated to whole grains and healthy breads. It should be out at this time next year. Fingers crossed!

    Thanks so much, Zoë

  15. I bought your book off of AMAZON, because of this dough recipe. I was so excited, I told every one about it and that I couldn’t wait for this book to arrive. I have not been disappointed either.

    I love this very soft and un-temperamental dough when used cold out of the refrigerator. Of coarse the first thing that I did was, make a loaf of bread. It turned out beautiful. Great flavor, I normally shy away from breads that use eggs because of the strong egg flavor that can impart. This bread has a very delightful flavor.

    Next, I thought sweet rolls. I made the recipe in the book, which were wonderful better than you could buy at the bakery. I even got brave and just rolled out some dough, lightly buttered and spread with dark brown sugar and cinnamon. Rolled it up, sliced and bake. Almost instant sweet rolls if you have a made up dough bucket on hand.

    That was another thing that I struggled with was the dough buckets. I wasn’t ready to make a big investment in dough buckets or think that I could dedicate that much refrigerator shelf space to something of that size.

    I found that the 5 to 6 quart ice cream pails work really well as a dough bucket. I don’t mix in them though because they are too flimsy. I also don’t put the lid on tight I crack it open and check on the dough for the first 12 hours or so after I first put it in the fridge and knock it down it if it decides it wants to escape over the edge of the bucket.

    I normally store my bread in the refrigerator and this is something that has always irked my husband, but I felt that it couldn’t be helped because our small gray cat would always help himself to a couple bites from any kind of bread was left out on the counter. I solved this problem by buying some very nice plastic bread storage keepers in the long loaf and large square sizes. This is getting too long and I have more to write, so I will post again.

  16. Hi Julia,

    Thank you for all of the wonderful suggestions, they will be so helpful to others who are starting out with our method! I look forward to hearing more about your experience!

    Thanks again!

    Zoë

  17. I love playing with this Brioche dough.
    My sister sent me a George Forman Lean-Mean Grilling Machine to play with. My husband quickly upon see it reminded me of the ground rules that he detests his chicken, fish or beef being cooked that way. So I go no problem.

    Now this machine’s inside is no bigger than the length of your hand and both the top and bottom are non-stick and ribbed. I rolled out about a plum size lump of the Brioche dough and made it oblong to fit the grill. I smooched it around to make it fit then turned the machine on. I rolled out the second piece a little more even ready to go with little adjusting.

    After both pieces were cooked with nice grill marks on both sides. I tried to butter them. The outside cooked rather slick and the melted butter would not penetrate the cooked bread. So like a quarter teaspoon buttered the whole top. “Almost instant hot flat bread”. This was wonderful tried with grape jelly, cinnamon and sugar or honey in which I mixed the honey and butter together first. I also used a chocolate spread, which was very good. Next I am going to try sandwiching Italian Roast beef, sharp cheddar cheese and maybe a little sliced onion between the dough. This will be lunch.

    I have also made baked apples with this dough. I peeled and cored some apples that I had on the counters that were still good, but no one was eating. I placed them upright in a heavy Dutch oven, then placed a cinnamon stick into each core out space and also through in some candied ginger root. Poured in a little water, covered and let them low simmer on top of the stove. I don’t remember if I added any sugar?

    When the apples still had their shape but were soft I turned them off and let them sit and stew in the pan to cool. My grand sons were over and I thought that this would be a good project for the ten year old while he was waiting for his mom to come get them. I had him roll out the dough into a large rectangle. I cut it into 8 squares. I removed the cinnamon stick from each apple and centered them on each square.

    Together we added butter and sugar and cinnamon. I showed him how to join the 4 corners on top of the apple. He did a beautiful job in which he was well pleased with himself. And I set them in the baking dish. Bake them at 350 for half an hour in a 10 inch square white corning ware pan. They turned out great. When their mom arrived to pick the boys up the baked apples was just warm enough to wrapped up for them to take home. What we had left was very good.

  18. Magali you are very welcome.
    The hot pocket on the grill idea worked out ok. It made a hot sandwich kind of like a hot pocket. I rolled out the dough supper thin and wrapped the meat and cheese inside like an envelope.

    Next time I will just leave the sides of the bundle free from any dough, because that area( in this machine) is open and it is hard to really cook the sides if your bundle is very thick. I find that this idea works great for instant flatbread though.

    I see no reason why you couldn’t take any of the different bucket-type dough’s from the fridge and bake it in one of these contraptions. I have done both seasoned and sweet type flat breads. You get warm chewy bread that is just a little bigger than a pop tart. If you roll the dough on the thick side it is even chewier.

    Great if you forgot to set out dough earlier in the day to rise or that what you were planning to use to round out this particular meal became an usable option and you are scrambling as to what else to serve. Works great in a pinch.

  19. Ok, where on earth can I find the recipe for the sticky buns pictured there in the last picture of this post? They look like my ideal sticky buns.

  20. Ok — am I missing something? I have the recipe for the brioche dough — but how do I prepare the wonderful pear/pomegranate temptation?

  21. OK HERE IT IS THE 23RD and i cannot find a local bakery with brioche for a bread pudding dessert what would be a good substitute???

    help,

    marc

  22. hi zoe

    tried brioche jus once years ago shaped it into a plait. wasn’t too thrilled with the outcome. thinking of trying it ur way. so far have made several breads using just the master recipe. very happy with it. tried the epi loaf plain as well as stuffed with cheese. beautiful.

  23. I am going to try this to make flat bread like Quiznos serves with their salads. I like the idea that Julia gave about the George Foreman grill and flat bread.

  24. Hello,
    I’m writing to you from Spain.
    I knew about your book through a website. Someone put a link to an interview talking about this way of making artisan bread in just five minutes and a lot of people are becoming fans of you.
    I wondered if… have you ever thought about an Spanish edition?
    Think about it and have a look at this web, it’s fantastic!
    Congratulations for your job!!
    Sorry for my English level. I think I have to improve it a lot.
    Pat.

  25. Thanks Pat, your English is great. We’re so honored to meet people from all over the world this way, it’s really humbling. I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the recipes, come back anytime with questions.

    Unfortunately we haven’t been able to convince the publisher to translate our book. Stay tuned, I suppose that may change. Jeff

  26. Hello,
    I’m writing to you from Spain.
    I knew about your book through a website. Someone put a link to an interview talking about this way of making artisan bread in just five minutes and a lot of people are becoming fans of you.
    I wondered if… have you ever thought about an Spanish edition?
    Think about it and have a look at this web, it’s fantastic!
    Congratulations for your job!! Have a nice day.
    Tuxa

  27. Well, in fact, we don’t know each other in person, but we both are members of the same website and I posted a message encouraging people who want your book being translated to leave you a message here. So, I think that she really wants the book but doesn’t know a lot of English so she decided to copy mine.
    By the way, have you visited the website I mentioned in my other message? I have noticed that you have deleted the link I put. I don’t want to make publicity, I just wanted you to see all the messages that your video has generated.
    Thank you for your answers.
    Pat

  28. Thanks Marsu: Unfortunately we can’t get the publisher to commit to publishing it in non-English languages. Thanks for your enthusiasm about our method!

    Come back and visit anytime you have questions. Jeff

  29. Sorry, I don´t speak english. My name is Susana, I´m from Spain. Lo siento pero es casi todo lo que se de inglés pero no quiero dejar pasar la ocasión para felicitarles por sus recetas. También me gustaría saber si el libro que van a publicar, está en versión española pues me parece muy interesante.

    Thank you very much.

  30. Susana: Gracias por todo! Desfortunado, nuestro publicador no quiere hacer una version en espanol.

    Que error, pienso, porque hay muchas personas que lo quieren. Jeff

  31. Hi – Just got the book and trying the doughs for the first time. I made only 1/3 of the brioche recipe and its not rising at all. I know the yeast was good (I used the other 1/2 packet in the boule recipe and it rose like crazy) but not sure if reducing the overall volume would also reduce internal temp, and thus increase the time to rise. (?) Also, would it be okay in this (or any) situation in which yeast doesn’t rise to just add more yeast dissolved in a bit of warm water? Will this result in overly-yeasty tasting bread? Thanks for your advice!
    Susie

  32. Hi Susie,

    The only explanation I can come up with is that the yeast may have come into contact with something that was too hot??? Is it possible you added the hot butter and it came into contact with the yeast or the water was too hot?

    If you think this may be the case, you can avoid this by adding all of the wet ingredients and yeast, then the flour and pour the butter over the flour. This sets up enough of a barrier so that the hot butter won’t kill the yeast.

    This dough does normally rise quite well, so if it hasn’t, there is something wrong. I’ve never tried adding additional yeast to the recipe, but it may be a worthwhile experiment!

    Good luck and please report back!

    Thanks, Zoë

  33. Hi Zoe,
    Thanks for your suggestion! The dough did rise after 5 1/2 hours, and after chilling for another 3 hours I made the Chocolate Ganache Brioche with it! Yum! (I gave it help for the second rise in a warm oven).

    I looked at the yeast packet and realized it only held 2 1/4 tsp. of yeast, unlike the 1 Tbsp. I thought it did. Thus with 1/2 a packet I didn’t use enough yeast in the mix to begin with. I will try it again for sure. (I didn’t have enough eggs to spare today or I would have made the whole recipe.) Mystery solved! Thank you!

    I did have one more question – please excuse my inexperience here – in the book you mention preheating the baking stone for this recipe. My question is, if this is baked in a loaf pan then what use is the stone? Is it to place the loaf pan on? Thank you once again. I really am enjoying this book!
    Susie

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