First off, you might be wondering: is brioche a bread or pastry? In truth, brioche is a French pastry that resembles bread, but is made with milk, butter, and eggs. To get a better understanding of how this phenomenon came to be, here's our brioche encyclopedia. We offer a few words on the history and origins of brioche. We share our (top secret) authentic brioche recipe for our famous hand-braided brioche. We even give an overview of the different types of brioche you can find in France and recipes to best taste the true brioche flavor.
a little history on the origins of brioche and brioche recipe
The recipe for brioche dates all the way back to the Middle Ages (though not as good as today). Over the years, bakers from all over France perfected the art of making the brioche bread we know and love today. During the reign of Marie Antoinette, the price of flour was so high that people could not afford to buy bread. With little concern for her people, the queen infamously replied: "Let them eat brioche!" Little did she know, flour is necessary for baking brioche ... and a lot of it!
the real brioche recipe
After some reflection, we’re happy to share our long-awaited secret brioche recipe with you! We suggest that you gather the ingredients beforehand. Here’s what you’ll need for 12 people (1 brioche loaf):
- 1 cup (200ml) of milk
- 2 whole eggs
- 3 to 5 oz (80 to 120g) of butter
- 18 oz (500g) of flour
- 3 to 4 oz (80 to 100g) of sugar
- 3/4 oz (20g) of fresh yeast
- 1/4 oz (6 to 8g) of salt
- 1 egg for the glaze
Now that you have all the ingredients, you can start baking! There are 5 steps to complete before you can put that beautiful hunk of dough in the oven.
- The first step is to grab a bowl and mix (by hand or electronic mixer) the flour with the eggs, milk, sugar, salt, and finally the yeast. If you're using an electronic mixer, the mixing time is around 7 minutes. By hand, expect at least 20 minutes of mixing.
- The second step is to add the butter (don’t forget to cut it into small pieces) and mix it for another 7 minutes until the dough is soft and homogeneous. The dough needs to be flexible, smooth and elastic. If you find it sticky or too soft, don’t worry, that’s completely normal. In fact, that’s how it should be. The stickier the dough, the more airy and delicious the brioche will be!
- Step three involves letting the dough rise for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours minimum. Ideally, it should be set at ambient temperature for 30 minutes and the rest in the fridge with a sealed cover on top of the bowl.
- Step four, once your dough has finished rising, break it with the fist (this process will remove some gas bubbles formed by the yeast while rising and produce a finer grain) and start forming your brioche. After that, let it rest for 45 minutes to an hour at ambient temperature. While it rests, preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
- The last step is baking, but to get that golden glaze finish you need to whisk the yolk and brush it evenly over the top of the brioche. Once that’s done, let it bake for approximately 30 minutes in the oven to 350 Fahrenheit.
Et voila!! Freshly out of the oven.
Are you still hesitating to make brioche bread yourself?
Read this article about a brioche baker and lover.
how to check if it’s a “real” brioche in your local neighborhood store?
Today, there’s a variety of different types of brioche recipes that exist. Some of these brioche breads that are said to be “brioche” aren't really. To be considered “real” brioche you need to look for the real ingredients (milk, eggs, butter and flour). So between us, if you don't have time to bake your own brioche, make sure the ingredients list is real. Look for real milk, real butter, real flour and real eggs when you’re buying your brioche bread. Or you can simply head over to our brioche page to check out the types of brioches we have and find them at your closest store. They’re real and delicious brioches and if you have a minute to share your feedback with us, we would love to get your opinion!
how and when to eat brioche? delicious recipes using brioche bread
Now that you’ve baked your first loaf of brioche bread, the question is how are you supposed to eat it, or better yet, when are you supposed to eat it?
You can eat brioche at any time of the day!
If there’s one only one thing to know with brioche bread, it’s that you can eat it at any time of the day! Whether it’s for breakfast, lunch, a snack or a dessert after dinner, there’ll always be a recipe.
For breakfast, one typical way of eating your brioche is to make french toasts. Just whisk some eggs, milk and sugar into a bowl, dip your slice of brioche into the bowl and then place it in the frying pan until the slice of brioche becomes brownish. Once you’re done with breakfast, on with your day!
For lunch, it’s nice to have a sandwich (especially if you had french toast for breakfast). Knowing that the shape of the brioche may vary, we recommend a simple ham-and-cheese sandwich with a leaf of lettuce (for the green). You can even spread some butter to accentuate the delicious taste of your homemade brioche.
In the afternoon, usually around 4, your tastebuds may be in need of brioche (again!!). Our recommendation for you is pure and simple. Get some jam (your favorite flavor), spread it on a slice of brioche bread and enjoy the sweet sweet taste of France.
For dinner... it’s the end of the day, but let’s say you’re having some friends over and you want them to try your delicious brioche. You can’t just give them a slice with nothing on it (well you could, but that’s not really the point…). Make them some brioche pudding!
a special message about burgers and hot dogs
On a separate note, you can also eat hamburgers and hot dogs with a brioche bun! How? Well, it’s very simple. We’ve used our brioche-based recipe and transformed the outcome into a delicious burger bun and hot dog bun.
The brioche burger bun is something that has become very popular in the past few years. Nowadays, wherever you go to have lunch or dinner, or even breakfast, you have the option of a “gourmet style” burger. It’s the idea of mixing the salty and sweet taste to bring out the actual flavor of the juicy patty you’re about to eat.
The same goes for the delicious brioche hot dog bun. You can have a very “gourmet” hot dog in a fancy restaurant, or you can have a “regular” hot dog from the stand down the street. Either way, it’s a hot dog. The only difference is the brioche deliciousness you can’t seem to get enough of.
different types of brioche found in France
In France, brioche bread recipes vary from region to region.
candied fruit brioche bread
This is a special kind of brioche bread. It’s very close to the panettone (a long lost cousin if you will). It comes from Modane, a city in the Maurienne valley in the French Alps. The legend says that during the construction of the first tunnel, workers happily ate brioche bread filled with dried raisins. Over the years, each baker slowly developed their own version of this kind of brioche.
the gache brioche
The brioche called “La Gache” is a brioche from Normandy. It’s a traditional brioche for that region because it’s made with “crème fraîche”! Physically, it looks like a small brioche, but is just as buttery as the Parisian brioche.
the pogne brioche
This brioche is shaped like a crown. It comes from Romans-sur-Isère (near the city of Valence) and is made with pralines and scented with orange blossom.
the Saint-Genix brioche
This one comes from the city of Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers. It’s a big round brioche filled with pralines and covered with big pieces of sugar. A typical brioche in the Savoyard region of France.
Bonifacio brioche bread
The Bonnifaccio bread or bread of the dead is a Corsican speciality. It’s prepared before and served on the day of the dead (November 2nd). It has become THE reference for Corsican bread. Locally, it’s called “Panu di i Morti.” It’s made with wheat flour, dried raisins and nuts.
you're a brioche expert!
Now that you’ve read all the way to the end of this article, you can officially declare yourself an expert on French brioche. You’ve learned a little about its history, our famous recipe (what everyone was waiting for), how to eat it, and a few local recipes from different regions of France. We hope you enjoy your homemade brioche, but if for whatever it doesn’t taste like it’s supposed to, you can always count on us to provide you with delicious brioche when you’re in need!