This is the brioche bread of your dreams! It is slightly sweet, fluffy, buttery, and rich! Plus, the aromas of the fresh bread baking will make your home feel like a little bakery off the streets of France. With only a couple ingredients and a lot of love, this fresh brioche will come together within just a couple hours and be ready for french toast, sandwiches, and many other delectable dishes.
I love the origins of brioche bread. Unlike other bread, brioche uses a lot of fresh butter that is entirely incorporated into the dough, making it very rich! Back then in France, butter was popular among peasants as a cheap source of nourishment. Opposed to flour, which was hard to get your hands on unless you were quite wealthy. Therefore, if the people couldn't afford to buy bread or wanted to extend the quality and amount of the bread they made, they would make brioche. Even Marie Antionette responded to the high price of flour with, "Let them eat brioche!"
Well, Marie, I will happily eat my brioche! I may even turn it into some decadent french toast!
Buttery Brioche Bread
- 1 ¼ cups milk lukewarm
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 7-7 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 eggs plus one for egg wash
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- In a glass bowl, combine milk, ¼ cup sugar, and yeast. Give a quick stir, and let sit for a couple minutes to activate the yeast. You will know your yeast is activated when there is foam on top of the liquid.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 7 cups of the flour, salt, and ¾ cup sugar. Then pour the yeast mixture into the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and then add them to the rest of the large bowl's ingredients. Add the vanilla extract. Beat the dough until it comes together.
- Add the softened butter, ½ cup at a time, and knead for about 10 minutes until elastic. If the dough isn't coming together well, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour.
- Place the dough into a lightly floured surface and round into a ball. Place into a lightly oiled bowl and oil the top of the dough as well. Cover in plastic wrap and place in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has proofed, evenly divide in half (this will make the 2 loaves of bread). Starting with one of the two dough halves, evenly divide into thirds. Roll the thirds into short strands, a little bigger than the size of the loaf pan. Seal all the strands together at the top, braid, and then pinch and seal the bottom. Repeat with the other dough half.
- Place the braided dough loaf in a loaf pan. Cover with a hand towel and let proof for another hour or until doubled in size.
- Once the dough has proofed, brush in egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water). Bake at 350F for 40 minutes until golden brown.