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 Red Star Platinum, Active Dry, or Quick-Rise 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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365 thoughts on “Brioche Dough Recipe and all of its wonderful uses!

  1. Zoe, im using what was recommended in the book. Gold medal all purpose unbleached. That flour works for all my other breads. I really like it!!

    thanx Zoe

    • Hi Matt,

      I was just curious if it was something with a really high gluten content. I use gold medal as well and love it. If you have a stand mixer you can try mixing the dough in that and allowing it to blend really well before transferring it to the bucket, this may give the dough a little more stretch. I suspect a longer rise may do the trick though.

      Thanks, Zoë

  2. Zoe,

    Sorry for late reply. School has got me runnin in circles.

    Ok i will try the longer rise time. I do not have a stand mixer. BUT i can try harder to mix with my hands and what not. But whats gettin me is whats the diff between kneading for 10 min vs using a stand mixer for 10 min??

    Thanx again Zoe and Jeff!

    • Matt: Nothing! But if you want to try kneading, do at the initial mix, and then never again. Otherwise you knock all the air out of the dough. Zoe was guessing that this might give your stuff more resiliency and stretch. It’s worth a try. Jeff

  3. Jeff;

    Haha. ok thanx. i wasnt to sure so thats why i asked. haha. im gonna give it a shot. it seems that this is the bread that likes to give me the most trouble!! But once it is done i bet it will make dang good French toast.

    Im gonna let it rise longer and also mix it better!

    thanx

    Matt

  4. Can you make this recipe without the honey for a savory brioche? I’m making an Italian bread called casatiello that has a brioche sort of dough that you incorporate meat and cheese, and Iwould prefer the dough not to be sweet. Would you incorporate the meat cheese after it’s been in fridge or when you’re making the initial batch?

    • Suzanne: you might need to slightly adjust the flour/water ratio, but you certainly can leave out the honey. If all of your batch is intended for casatiello, mix the meat/cheese initially. If not, roll it in as we did under our FAQs page (Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: How do I do it?).

      Jeff

  5. I didn’t have time to read through all the comments, but does the recipe work if I cut it back to make just a single batch at a time? Can I just divide the ingredients by 4, or does it work better in large batches? Thanks! I love this site! I just made my first batch of artisan bread dough yesterday and I am anxious to try my first loaf for dinner tonight =)

    • Hi Cathy,

      You certainly can cut the batch in 1/2 or 1/4, but then you lose the time savings of making lots of dough all at once.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  6. hey zoe, i love love love your site =) and i saw this recipe and i just had to make that cinnamon swirl bread. though i know this sounds stupid but this is my first bread baking experience, so forgive me for the stupidity…is it 1 and 1/2 cps of melted butter? or 1 and 1/2 cups of butter , melted \/??

    • Hi Ninu: Zoe’s on the alternative shift this month, so I’ll take a crack at your question. In theory, with butter, those should be the same, since the volume of that particular solid shouldn’t change measurably when melted (that’s not true for situations like “one cup nuts, chopped” versus “one cup chopped nuts,” where the “transformed” version packs more tightly. The question gets at whether you measure the ingredient before or AFTER the “transformation.” In the case of butter, the easiest way is to use the three sticks we call for, and melt them. It’s not easy to pack solid butter into cups without air spaces, so don’t do it that way. Measure the melted butter if you don’t use sticks as your volume metric.

      Moments like this make me wish we used weights more in the US (one stick of butter is 4 ounces, so we’re calling for 12 ounces of butter (340 grams). Jeff

  7. Thanks Zoe! I definitely appreciate the time saving factor of your method, especially since we enjoy lots of homemade bread around here, but sometimes I know I won’t have time to use the whole batch, but would like just one loaf, so it’s nice to know I can if I need too =)

  8. hey thanks jeff , i went ahead and made the dough. its resting in the fridge as i speak..err type! 3 sticks over here is just 300 gms!! you re so right. weighing is so much more accurate. all our sticks of butter here are 100 gms . anyway gonna make the cinnamon swirl bread. wll let u guys know how it pans out =)
    good day!!

  9. Hi,
    Just wondering when making the Brioche dough and using King Arthur or Red Mill flour do I continue to add the extra 1/4 cup of water? I know from another post that these flours have more protein so you suggested using the extra water.

    Thanks,

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Great question! Due to all of the butter and eggs in this recipe it is not necessary to increase the water in the brioche. Enjoy, I love this recipe!

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Oh, I forgot to say all my other loaves are doing just great. I made the olive oil loaf, the sticky buns with pecans, and I have never ever baked a sticky bun from scratch. I have even gotten compliments, and turned at least 10 people onto your books and website. Thanks sooo much this has transferred over to just being more creative in cooking healthier meals for my family.

    • Thank you so much Vanessa!

      We are thrilled that you are baking so much and sharing with all your friends!

      Cheers, Zoë

  11. I made a batch of brioche dough yesterday. I decided to use all of it today to make 2 small and 1 large tete brioche breads in traditional brioche pans that I already had in the house. I ended up having to cook the smaller ones much longer than the recipe called for and the larger one even longer. Unfortunately I will not know till tomorrow morning how good they turned out because it much too late to sample. If possible can you tell me how big a brioche pan should be for the 1 lb size and the 2 lb size. Perhaps tell me how much liquid they would each hold would help me alot.
    I did make your cover artisan bread the other day and it was a big hit. Thank you.

  12. This is my favorite, go-to bread recipe of all time. I recently veganized it using flaxseeds, margarine and agave. It came out beautifully! Thank you!

  13. I / We LOVE the artisan bread, just made the pain d”epi and it was a huge hit! I wanted to make the cinnamon swirl bread with the brioche recipe for this weekend —- but it didn’t rise. Is this rich dough supposed to rise or is it just supposed to look wonderfully rich? Did I do something wrong?
    Thanks for all of your sharing!!!

    • Hi MaryLea,

      Did the Brioche rise after you mixed it in the bucket? Or is that the problem you are having? This dough rises considerably so something must have gone wrong with the yeast. Is it possible that the water you used was too hot? That will kill the yeast. On the flip side if you use cold water, it will not kill the yeast, but it will take considerably longer to rise.

      Thanks! Zoë

  14. Love your books, love your methods. Thanks to you, now, I can bake. ^^
    Have one question though, the Brioche dough that I mixed earlier doesn’t seem to rise fast enough to be double the size (in 2 hours time,) considering the cold and damp weather we have, I let it rest a bit longer. But what is the safe rest time for the Brioche dough to be at the room temp? I worried about the raw eggs…

    • Pandora: See the post I just added to on our FAQs page, about “Yeast: Can it be decreased in our recipes.” In there I talk about USDA’s recommendations for eggs at room temp, and how to get around it. Basically, finish the rise in the fridge. Jeff

    • Hi Pandora,

      It can sit out for several hours. However, you can leave it out for a couple of hours and then allow it to finish its first rise in the refrigerator over night.

      Thank you! Zoë

  15. I made the brioche dough this weekend. First we had beignets and they were great. Tonight I made a loaf. It was so good and my husband raved about it. However, The top completely split and was not at all pretty. Should I have slashed it?

    • Hi Windy,

      Yes, if you slash the loaf it will open up in a more predictable way, instead of having that rustic look. I am so glad that you are enjoying the brioche. The beignets are one of my favorites!

      Thanks, Zoë

  16. Hi,
    I really enjoy the book, my breads are coming out great. I tried the brioche the other day, 1/2 the recipe, but it never really firmed up. The dough was more like a thick batter. I baked it anyway and it came out fine, the texture and flavor was quite good. However my original intention was to make the chocolate ganache version and the dough just wasn’t stiff enough. Maybe I messed up a measurement but has anyone else had this experience?

    • Hi Joe,

      It sounds like you were short a bit of flour? The dough is very wet and sticky when it is first mixed up, but after it is refrigerated it is much stiffer and should be very easy to roll out.

      If you are having success with the other recipes I assume you are measuring the flour with a scoop and sweep method and not spooning the flour into the cup.

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. Can you use wild yeast starter in the brioche dough? If so, could you advise how you would decrease liquid and flour and possibly yeast?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Hmmm, this is an interesting question. I’m sure you can, but I have yet to try it. The issue with using a starter is that the rise times are quite a bit longer and I am a little nervous to advise you to leave the egg filled doughs out for as long as it might take to get a nice initial rise. You may want to compromise and add a small portion of commercial yeast. If you want to try it, start by adding a cup of your starter and just reduce the flour and water equally.

      Thanks and let me know if you try it!

      Zoë

  18. Hi!

    I prepared the dough yesterday, but it didn’t rise so much…

    I read some comments where you said the reason may be the hot butter ??
    I don’t remember it was hot, maybe just lukewarm… but I realize my dough isn’t soft like your picture, there are some “grain” of butter…

    I’m still trying to make some small brioches in muffin pans (the dough is resting) but i’m pretty sure it won’t work…

    Thanks!

    • Celine: Need more info; some possibilities:

      1. House too cool? 66-68 is what we tested at.
      2. Yeast expired?
      3. Water too hot? too cold? If the butter was really hot and you mixed it right in, might have warmed the water too much. Unlikely, but possible.
      4. Unusual flour? We tested with ordinary supermarket unbleached all-purpose, like Gold Medal
      5. Didn’t wait long enough?
      6. Which of our books are you using, which exact recipe?

      Don’t worry about the appearance of butter as little lumps in the dough, that’s fine, will work out as bakes.

  19. 1. it’s about the same temperature
    2. oh i didn’t think about this!! maybe!
    3. the water was lukewarm. the bowl of butter wasn’t hot, i don’t think the butter was!
    4. i live in france, and we don’t have the same names for flour… i checked websites, and all-purpose seems equivalent to “farine T55″ (starch : 68 à 72 %)
    5. 6. i just follow the recipe on this page, i let the dough rise about 2-3 hours!

    thanks for the quick reply!
    i baked them, it wasn’t fluffy at all, like a brioche. it was more like cake??

    • Hi Celine,

      Did the brioche rise the nearly the top of your bucket after you mixed it? This dough usually gets quite a good rise.

      The texture of the brioche is a little more cakey than you are used to in France, but it shouldn’t be dense. I think you may need to let the dough rest a bit longer and if you want a stretchier bread give it a bit more stirring when you mix it.

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. made the dough yesterday and today i sauteed some pineapple chunks, apples and some weird berry i found in the asian store. then i smothered it with the brioche dough and put it on the grill outside. MMM! after dinner we had it with some tea and, i mast say, it was wonderfully good! fluffy, not sweet, not chewey…. thank you. the rest of the bucket will be baked into desserts for the holiday weekend.

    • Monika: What I like about this recipe is that the sweetness is subtle– Zoe’s recipes from the pastry kitchen are very sophisticated… Jeff

  21. I have just mixed up the brioche recipe but I do not have any baking instructions and I can’t buy the book till later today. I want to bake it when I wake up as a birthday treat for an out of town guest. I have both the mini brioche and medium brioche pans, Iam just not sure if I can bake them using baking instructions from say the King Arthur online brioche recipe. I can’t wait to get my book later today.

  22. I too have had a problem with too wet brioche dough. The first loaf, I put lots of flour on the counter when rolling it out, and had to scrape it up as I rolled it into the loaf for cinnamon bread. The second loaf I kneaded a little flour into it, and it was better to work with, but still stuck to the counter even with extra flour. I also had some spots of un-mixed flour and wonder if that has a lot to do with it. I will also plan to mix with the Kitchen Aid next time, but I’m not sure if mine will hold all the flour! Thanks so much for sharing your recipes on this website. I do plan to buy a book soon.

  23. Sheri: It’s possible that you didn’t get enough flour into the initial mix, but I doubt it. First question– which of our recipes are you using, and what’s the source? Some of the web recipes have errors in them.

    You need a big Kitchen-Aid to handle one of our recipes. May have to half it.

    If stuff’s too wet, just add more flour…

  24. OK, I’m SO excited to try this recipe, because anything I’ve tried has been nothing short of AMAZING and no-fail, and I know this is a crazy question because this bread is incredibly rich anyway, but, can you substitute out the water for milk or evaporated milk, and get the same results? Thanx!

  25. Aha; that’s good to know; I would not want to mess up this rich, decadent bread by possibly making it over-dense. Thank you for your FAST response, Jeff, and to and Zoe for making it possible for people like myself who USED TO fear making bread, to LOVE to make LOTS of bread!!!

  26. Hi – I’ve made the honey sticky buns several times successfully and I am sure you’ve answered this before but I can’t find it. Can I set the buns up and refrigerate until morning and then bake? Should I leave them out before I refrigerate, after I take them out, or both? I would like to serve these for brunch but I don’t want to start from scratch the morning of!

    Thanks, in advance….

    Suzan

  27. I made lemon pastries today, using the apricot sunny side up recipe, getting rid of the apricots, adding lemon juice to the pastry cream, and then sprinkling lemon zest over the whole thing. My husband is very happy.

  28. I have been baking your breads for a year now and I love all of them! I can’t wait to try the brioche recipe for dinner rolls that I just read & after reading all the posts here, I’ll have to try some of the other variations too. One question, can I use soy milk instead of regular? Thanks

  29. Hi, those Brioche look super nice and deliouse I wanted to know if you can let your dought in the refregirator, is the dought going to fall down or all ways grow/expand.
    thanks

  30. Hi Zoë & Jeff –
    I’ve really been having fun baking all the great breads, and as the weather turned I decided it was time to make my attempt on Brioche, my favorite bread of all. I followed all the steps, but the one thing that tripped me up a bit is that on all of my 4 loaves, the tops cracked. They all taste great, but they lack that polished, perfect dome. The eggwash gave the right sheen, but for some reason they all split right down the middle. What did I do wrong?

    Thanks!
    Josh

    • Hi Josh,

      This is often just part of how homemade bread behaves, often having a mind of its own in this manner. You can try letting the dough rest a bit longer, so that it is not having such a powerful oven spring. You can also control the split by slashing the top with a sharp knife, this way it will open up, but in a more expected way.

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. Is it okay to use bread flour for this recipe? Your method is different from what I am familiar, but seems to work for so many people that I want to give it a try….just not sure if it will substitute well for AP.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Roger,

      The bread flour has much more protein than AP, so you may have to add a bit more water to the dough. With the brioche I would try adding another 2-4 tablespoons water. This will depend on the brand of flour you are using, some has a higher protein content than others.

      Thanks, Zoë

  32. Hi, Jeff and Zoe:
    I was wondering . . . instead of making this into four one pound loaves, can you succesfully bake this in one big loaf, or will the middle be “doughy”? If it can be baked successfully into one big loaf, how long would you suggest baking it for? Should the top be covered with foil for most of the baking time so it doesn’t brown too quickly? Thank you!

    • Natalie: doughy is a risk yes… usually countered by a longer baking time; the baking time may need to be doubled. Don’t make the bread too tall…

      I haven’t had to use foil with that strategy.

  33. Extra Large eggs – Costco sells extra large eggs. I wonder – if I use this on the brioche or the panettone – would it mess up the consistency of the breads? would it hamper their rising ability?

  34. I am looking forward to trying this dough!
    I must ask, am I the only one who buys dry yeast in the 1 pound vacume packs?
    I cant imagine using the individual packs, it seems so costly.
    Once I open one of these packages, I jar it and keep it in the fridge, and it seems to keep fine.

    • Hi RonYon,

      Both Jeff and I buy it in bulk packages like the one you described. I go through it pretty quickly, but for those who don’t they can store it in the freezer for about 6+ months.

      Thanks, Zoë

    • absolutely. which of the books are you using? I think we put in correction factor, if memory serves me (it’s not serving me that well, because I’m not remembering the correction factor!). But this isn’t in both books…

      Jeff

      • Oh no, Ellen, it’s in our third book, which isn’t going to be released till October. Publisher twists our arm to make us promise not to disclose info from not-yet-published books, sorry! Jeff

  35. I too by my yeast by the pound and put it in an air tight container in the frig. I also have a brown glass jar that I keep full and at room temp to use daily. I started making all of our bread almost two years ago. My husband love it. I ordered your book this evening, after I found your web site. I will mix up the brioche dough in the morning.
    I have been making my white bread with buttermilk powder, can it be used in your recipes?
    Miriam

    • Miriam: I assume it behaves about the way skim milk powder does. I use about a 1/4-cup in a full batch to tenderize loaves when I’m looking for soft-crusted breads. It doesn’t absorb much water so I don’t change the liquids or anything else. Jeff

  36. Thanks Jeff: I just mixed a batch of dough and added the 1/4 cup of buttermilk powder. Will let you know the results.
    Miriam

  37. Hello,

    I was so excited to make your cinnamon swirl loaf for french toast tomorrow, but unfortunately my brioche dough didn’t rise. I took some of the yeast I used and it failed to proof! I just bought it a couple weeks ago so I wasn’t expecting this to happen at all.
    Is there any way I can save all that dough? Would adding good yeast work without changing the flavor too much?

    • Ornella: You can add more yeast; I like to make a slurry with a little water, mix it in and work in a little flour to make up for the extra water. Let sit two hours on the counter and you should be OK. Make sure you have fresh yeast…

  38. Thanks Jeff. I did pretty much exactly that yesterday: I added in the yeast in 1/4 cup of water and about an extra 1/4 cup of flour. It rose beautifully but today it was so wet that it made rolling and shaping difficult. I think I just needed more flour. Anyway, it’s in the oven now and it smells and looks great even though it’s cracking on the top. Is that because of how wet the dough was? It might also be because I couldn’t shape it as tightly as I would have liked.

    • Hi Ornella,

      You can try to control the cracking top by slashing the loaf. The cracking happens as the dough rises and stretches in the oven, a crust forms and then cracks as the dough continues to rise. Slashing the dough eliminates or reduces this!

      Thanks, Zoë

  39. Hello everyone,
    This is my second comment on your page, and I said before, we’re loving using your book!
    Yesterday I made the Brioche dough for the first time, and just baked it without any filling. The bread looked and tasted beautifully, but on the salty side. I know salt can be modified by personal taste, so I’ll reduce it next time, but then I asked myself: Is this Brioche dough salty? Or it is just because the honey was not so good (The only one I found on the supermarket. It didn’t look pure…)
    The resulting bread tasted wonderfully with ham and ricotta cheese, with its nice buttery flavor, but I don’t know how it will taste with sweet fillings (as a pastry). To tell you the truth, I was expecting a sweeter flavor (More like a french croissant)
    What do you think? It is only my misconception of the term “brioche” or my dough did actually come salty?
    Thanks for your help :)

    • Carlos: We tend to like things salty– our brioche is saltier than some other recipes. Just decrease to your taste. You can push up the sweetness with a little more honey if you like, might need a little more flour to balance that. Or even use granulated sugar. Jeff

  40. I just made the Chocolate Ganache bread from the brioche dough and it is heavenly! My two friends raved over it as well. The stickey buns I made on Sunday were awesome too. I will have to make some more of both with the rest of my brioche dough.

  41. A quick question – can this dough (or others, like the master recipe) be frozen safely? I was mostly wondering if the yeast would survive, after all. Or if it can be frozen, what steps would be needed before using?

    I live alone, and while I love bread, I shouldn’t eat too much at a time – freezing, so I can bake as needed, would be helpful. Especially a richer dough, which I should eat more carefully.

  42. Hi,
    I wish you have the ingredients in metric system, since I am so use to measuring my flour in grams. It makes the recipe more precise and eliminates the guessing about the wetness of the dough. Please give me the ingredients in metric
    thank you kindly,
    Sophia

    • Sophia: We have gram weights in the new book, for all the Master recipes. In the 2nd book, we have it for the primary Master in Chapter 5. But unfortunately, we don’t have it for the first book at all. Can easily convert using our tables in the 2nd and 3rd book. Jeff

    • Hi Karen,

      You can use buttermilk, but the dough will only last for about 5 days in the refrigerator because of the dairy.

      Thanks, Zoë

  43. I have tried the basic dough from the first cookbook and have some “technical” issue.

    1) the final products(I made two breads) have very strong yeast odor

    2) the grapefruit size bread was half done – the top is cook, but the bottom part was not. However, a palm size bread was cooked all the way but have odor.

    3) the chilled dough doesn’t look like the one you have in the above picture. It looks like spider web and very sticky. Will that because I add a bit too much yeast?

    Could you have me to find out what’s go wrong, and could I do something to alter the existing dough instead of sending it to the crash can.

    Thanks alot!

    • Joy: Odor– consider venting the container better, or using the low-yeast version of our recipes (FAQs/Yeast, can it be decreased…). If that doesn’t work, you’re not fond of sourdough, which is what you get– just use it up quickly or freeze rather than refrigerate the leftover dough.

      Check your oven temp with something like http://bit.ly/czmco2 . Sounds like you are way low.

      Yeast amount isn’t the problem with your too-wet dough. Just decrease the water a bit, or increase the flour– can add more now. And if you’re using bleached flour, switch to unbleached, which absorbs more water. Jeff

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