5 March 2009


Brioche Bread

BRIOCHE BREAD RECIPE : My mother-in-law has a black-belt in bread making, especially when it comes to her famous Swiss tresse (braided pain brioché). But I am getting ahead of myself and if I am going to tell a story it’s best told from the beginning.

Before I met Olivier’s family, breakfast for me was a non event. It was generally eaten quickly, on the run, out the door to work. So it will come as no surprise to you that a quick fruit, piece of toast or cereal, was all that was on the menu.

My sad petit déjeuner habits were interrupted one Sunday, when I was invited to Olivier’s parents for breakfast. Sweet idea I thought – though someone really should have warned me not to eat for several days before, entering what I can only describe as, a Roman feast…..

There were four of us for breakfast and surly enough food for at least twice that. The table was laden with fruit salad, muesli, cereal, a platter of cheese, croissants, boiled eggs,  luncheon meats, whole wheat toast with butter (salted & unsalted) and at least 5 types of homemade jam. Of this delicious banquet, what really caught my eye and later taste-buds was the golden braided bread in the corner. This was Josiane’s famous tresse – a braided brioche bread made with egg and butter, giving  it a smooth golden crust and rich, tender crumb.

After only one slice I was hooked – it was like a Ratatouille portal back to my childhood, of my mother’s baking & comforts of home. I quickly understood how breakfast could turn into a religion, that pleasantly lasted most of the morning, over several coups of tea and good conversation.

Josiane kindly gave me her family recipe, that has become a breakfast staple in our house. I make it with or without an egg-wash, saffron milk, dried fruits, bits of chocolate, cinnamon & sugar, or plain as nature intended. She traditionally splits her dough into 3 long lines and braids them. However, I have come up with this easier method using a loaf tin!



  • 500 gr white all-purpose flour
  • 250 mL milk
  • 1/2 cube fresh yeast  (12g)
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • extra egg for egg wash
  1. Cut the butter into small cubes and let come to room temperature.
  2. Take 2 tablespoons of the cold milk and mix with the fresh yeast until completely dissolved. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining milk until just warm to the touch (not hot!). Remove from the heat & add the sugar, salt & yeast mix.
  4. In a mixer with the bread paddle, add the flour & butter. Start mixing & slowly add the milk mixture.
  5. Finally add the egg & continue kneading the dough for 5 minutes until a nice dough forms.
  6. Place a damp cloth over the bowl and let rise in a warm area of 1 hour
  7. Line a loaf tin with baking paper
  8. Split the dough into 4 even pieces. One by one form into an oval ball and place in the lined loaf tin
  9. Place in the uncooked loaf in the fridge for 15 minutes
  10. Optional : using a pair of scissors, horizontally cut the top of each of the 4 oval balls
  11. Beat the extra egg well & using a pastry brush (or your fingers) evenly paint the top of the bread
  12. Place the uncooked loaf in a COLD oven. Put the oven at 200°C / 400°F and time the bread for 45 mintues.
  13. Remove & let cool before eating.

13 Responses to “BRIOCHE BREAD”

  1. Olive Says:

    You have taken up the family torch, this is great! I think I could eat this bread for lunch, breakfast & dinner 🙂

  2. Marjorie Says:

    MMMMMMMMM – there is nothing like fresh bread – especially for breakfast!
    I know that O could actually eat it three times a day but alas, not I for obvious reasons!!!! I know bread is not that easy to make but your recipe seems simple and straight forward so maybe my trial run will be with you sometime soon! Nice intro from Josiane!

    • Marjorie: Hi long time no see, was missing your comments 🙂 This bread is SO EASY TO MAKE! And the taste fresh out of the oven in a little bit of heaven. I think I will try making it this weekend with sweet dates, brown sugar & cinnamon. Please let me know how yours turns out.

  3. Fiona Says:

    Mmmmmmm – my favourite!!

    Simple, fresh, light … a taste of childhood. Especially with a dollop of nutella! Cannot wait to make this one.

    • Fiona : thanks for leaving a note. you are so right, this bread really is the taste of childhood 🙂 It makes a lovely rich dough, which rises well and has a light consistency, despite the eggs & butter. It was recently Nutella Day – too bad I had not posted this recipe earlier!!!

  4. Anonymous Says:


  5. Baboon Says:

    I’m a bit confused on the oven part…Shall I put the bread in the cold oven, pre-heat to 200 and THEN bake for 45 minutes? or does the time it takes to pre-heat the oven counts (i.e. it’s within the 45 minutes?). I bought the yeast today and planning to bake tomorrow….! This recipe sounds marvelous…!

    • Hi Baboon,
      Re the oven part, the time it takes to pre-heat the oven counts within the 45 minutes. Therefore, time the bread to cook for 45 minutes from the minute you put the bread in the cold oven.

      Let me know how it turns out!

      • Baboon Says:

        It came out SO SO good! I have to say there’s room for improvement on my part: I think my oven’s temperature is set a bit high so the brioche was done-done in 35 minutes. Also, I may have accidentally put 50 gr less of flour because my scale has become capricious but the result was really excellent! And it was my first time baking any kind of loaf…Thank you for sharing the recipe!

      • So pleased to hear that the bread turned out so well. Dough is great in that it is felxible, a little more or less flour will not make that much difference. Each oven has it’s own personality, so I find you have to make a recipe at least twice to determine just that right cooking time for you. Have a lovely weekend 🙂

  6. Baboon Says:

    Thank you so much!! I’ll let you know!

  7. amatuerbaker Says:

    Nice post..what wud be your suggestion for replacing fresh yeast with dry or active dry yeast and how much?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: