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brioche buns on a red plate

Brioche Bread Recipe Italian Style

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5 from 2 reviews

Brioche is sweet pastry treat that are as common in Italy as the croissants in France. A classic brioche is made of sweet dough and has the most amazing buttery flavor with a flaky crust and a fluffy inside. 

  • Total Time: ~3 hours
  • Yield: 2 Standard Bread Loaf Pans 1x


Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) warm water at 110 – 115 degrees F
  • 1/2 cup (120 grams) warm milk
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
  • 3 1/4 cups (400 grams) bread flour
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (82 grams) sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 cup, 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1 tablespoon pieces
  • 1/2 cup Apricot jam for glaze (optional)
  • Pearl sugar for decoration (optional)


  1. Stir the warm water and yeast together and allow the yeast mixture to sit for 2 minutes.
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment add the flour. In a separate bowl, combine all of the ingredients except for the salt and butter. Mix wet ingredients well and add to the flour.
  3. Mix the ingredients on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough has come together.
  4. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as needed, pushing the dry ingredients into wet patches. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for 3-4 additional minutes. The dough will be stretchy and sticky.
  5. Add the salt. On low speed, add the butter a little at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough.
  6. Then, continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. It is important for all of the butter to be mixed thoroughly into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer to break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.
  7. Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn the mixer to medium speed and beat for another 8-10 minutes, or until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny. Continue beating until the dough turns smooth and silky. 
  8. Then, turn the mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1-2 minutes. You should hear the dough making slapping sounds against the sides of the mixer bowl. Test the dough by pulling it and stretching it thin.
  9. You want the dough to stretch, but also give a bit. If it feels too loose, easily breaks off into pieces, or looks shaggy, continue to mix on medium speed for 2-3 additional minutes. It’s ready when it’s smooth and stretchy and can be gathered together and picked up in one piece. The dough will remain sticky. 
  10. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 60 minutes in a warm place. Optional: place dough in fridge overnight to allow the dough to proof and develop flavor. At this point, the dough may also be frozen or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  11. To make two brioche loaves, grease two standard loaf pans liberally with butter. Divide the dough into two halves, and shape the dough into loaf shapes by stretching the edges under creating a rounded surface. Place the shaped dough into the loaf pans.
  12. Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap and place them in a warm spot (75-85 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal) for 45-60 minutes, or until the loafs have nearly doubled in size.
  13. They should have risen to the edge of the pan and have rounded tops. The dough should feel soft, pillowy, and delicate.
  14. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  15. In a small bowl, microwave the apricot jam for 15 seconds. With a pastry brush brush the top of the bread with a thin layer of the jam. Add a sprinkle of the pearl sugar.
  16. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, until the tops and sides of the loaves are completely golden brown and the internal temperature reads 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
  17. Cool the loaves in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let them finish cooling completely. The bread may be stored for up to three days wrapped tightly in plastic, and makes great French toast when stale.
  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Category: Sweet/ Dessert
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian