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Food & Recipes

How to Make Milk Brioche Bread: Pro Baker’s Easy Secrets for a Sweet + Airy Loaf

This fluffy and buttery bread takes simple toast or a sandwich to the next level!

It’s no secret that fresh bread, including brioche, makes your morning toast and sandwiches much tastier. So, it’s worth making it yourself as homemade brioche bread can be just as fluffy and buttery as the bakery kind. Plus, when stored properly, it stays fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months. The richness of brioche (sometimes called “milk brioche”) makes it great to enjoy plain, with a tasty spread or in any bread dish. We tapped a pro baker for shortcuts so you can prepare a milk brioche bread recipe with ease. Here’s more on this luxurious bread and two ways to bake your own batch at home!

What is brioche bread?

Brioche is a French treat made from a yeast dough that’s enriched with butter, eggs, milk and sugar. It’s often thought of as a bread and pastry hybrid due to its rich sweetness and pillowy yet flaky texture. But you can use it like other regular bread to liven up sweet or savory sandwiches, French toast or croutons.

The origins of brioche

While brioche’s precise history is debated, it’s long been a French staple that originated in the country’s Normandy region. The word “brioche” was first printed in 1404; however, this bread’s popularity soared in the 18th century. During this time, food storages in France caused bread prices to rise. This led to brioche becoming known as a luxury food item since it’s more indulgent than standard bread. While this bread is now a mainstay at bakeries everywhere, you can recreate it at home using everyday baking staples.

Related: You Won’t Believe How Easy It Is To Make These To-Die-For Croissant Doughnuts

3 baker’s tips for best-ever homemade brioche bread

Traditionally, making brioche is a labor of love — but you can speed up the process in a few ways. Below, baking expert Nathan Myhrvold shares three simple shortcuts that ensure a fluffy and golden brown brioche loaf.

1. Use instant dry yeast over the active dry kind.

Since instant yeast is finer than active dry varieties, you don’t need to activate it for the usual 5 to 10 minutes. Therefore, you can combine the yeast with the rest of the ingredients and still end up with a well-risen dough. (Note: Instant yeast can be substituted for active dry in a 1:1 ratio.)

2. Mix the dough in a food processor.

The quick action from the food processor’s blades does wonders for evenly mixing the wet and dry ingredients together. This ensures the ingredients are fully incorporated without flour going everywhere on your counter. Use the mixing time suggested in your desired recipe for best results.

3. Let the dough rise in the fridge overnight.

Brioche benefits from a long rise time in order to deepen its flavor. Simply place the dough in a greased bowl and refrigerate it covered for around 12 to 14 hours. The dough will be stretchy and doubled in size, which are signs that you’ll have an airy loaf once baked.

How to make milk brioche bread

Below, you’ll find two recipes for this bread — one that’s simple and another that mimics a bakery-style preparation. Whichever method you choose, you’ll end up with a loaf to slice and slather with softened butter, jam or Nutella. Or even better, to make these recipes for Fried Peanut Butter and Jelly, Air Fryer French Toast and a Patty Melt. Yum!

Easy Homemade Brioche

This video from Savor Easy’s YouTube Channel showcases a straightforward milk brioche recipe that produces airy and flavorful bread. You can use Myhrvold’s food processor tip to form and knead the dough for about 7 minutes or until it’s smooth. Other steps including braiding the dough add a wow-worthy touch to your homemade loaf.

Bakery-Style Brioche

Homemade brioche as part of a recipe for milk brioche bread

Myhrvold shares an alternative method of making brioche, which can be found in his cookbook Modernist Bread at Home. The French sweetened pastry dough pâte sablée is the namesake of this brioche recipe, which is borrowed from the traditional pastry-making technique of rubbing or cutting the fat into the flour. A food processor will most efficiently accomplish that task. The eggs and milk are blended in at the end, unlike with most other brioche recipes.


  • 2 cups bread or all-purpose flour 
  • ⅔ cup butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • 1½ tsp. fine salt 
  • 1¾ tsp. instant dry yeast
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk, cold 
  • ¼ cup whole milk, cold 


  • Active: 15 to 20 minutes
  • Inactive: 21¼ hrs
  • Yield: 1 medium loaf

Making the dough:

  1. Place flour in food processor’s bowl. Add butter, sugar, salt and yeast. Pulse until mixture resembles very coarse cornmeal. Add 2 eggs and milk. Mix until combined, scraping bowl as necessary. Continue to mix until shaggy mass forms, about 5 minutes.
  2. Rest covered at room temperature for 2½ hours. During rising process, perform 5 four-edge folds — one just after mixing and then one fold every 30 minutes. To do this, pull each edge of dough to center, cover and continue resting until it’s time to fold again.
  3. Transfer to larger greased bowl, cover and refrigerate 12 to 14 hours.

Dividing and shaping the dough:

  1. Grease 10x4x3-inch deep nonstick loaf pan with cooking oil or spray.
  2. Divide dough into 2 equal pieces. Turn each cut square of dough over so it’s smooth side up. Pick dough up and tuck edges in and under to form rough ball shape. Place ball on work surface seam side down. Allow dough to rest on surface 15 to 20 minutes, covered.

Prep for baking:

  1. Place balls into prepared loaf pan. Combine remaining egg and egg yolk to make egg wash. Apply thin coat of egg wash using pastry brush. 
  2. Rise dough 3½ to 4½ hours, until increased in size.
  3. Apply another coat of egg wash.

Baking and serving:

  1. Bake in 400°F oven 10 minutes. Rotate pan. Reduce heat to 350°F oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes or until golden amber brown.
  2. About 5 minutes before bread is fully baked, take it out of oven. Remove loaf from pan and place on wire rack over a baking sheet. Return to oven to finish baking.
  3. Remove bread from oven and allow it to cool completely. Slice and serve.

Storing homemade brioche bread

For maximum freshness and flavor, place the bread in an airtight container to keep excess air out. Then, store the loaf at room temperature for up to 2 days or in the freezer for no more than 2 months.

Keep reading for more ways to sharpen your home baking skills!

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