Brioche Dough Recipe and all of its wonderful uses!

pear pomegranate tarte tatin

Here is a classic fall recipe with a twist. I’ve added the tartness of pomegranate seeds to the mellow sweetness of pears and draped the whole thing in a rich, buttery, tender brioche dough. It is a lovely and quick dessert, especially if you have a bucket of brioche on hand. For those of you who do not already own Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (click here to purchase), here is the recipe and it can be used for all of these wonderful treats: caramel sticky buns, grilled fruit tart, fresh fruit muffins, Brioche à tête, apricot pastries and fabulous doughnuts! Actually the possibilities are endless, just use your imagination and let us know what treats you’ve come up with.

Brioche dough (makes about 4 loaves)

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1 tablespoon Red Star Platinum, Active Dry, or Quick-Rise yeast (1 packet)

1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

8 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten

1/2 cup honey (this is my all time favorite!)

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container.

Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.

Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours. Note: Sometimes with brioche, with so much cold egg, if you don’t use warm enough water, the initial rise can be very slow. Professionals would fix this by letting the eggs come to room temperature, which solves the problem. You can do that, or just make sure that your final mixture of egg/butter/water is nice and warm (but not hot, or you can kill the yeast).

brioche a tete

cinnamon brioche wreath | bread in 5

The dough can be used as soon as it is chilled. This dough is way too sticky to use after the initial rise, but once it is chilled it is very easy to handle. It can be used to create the Tatin or any of these brioche recipes: caramel sticky buns, grilled fruit tart, Fresh Fruit Muffins, Brioche à tête, apricot pastries and fabulous doughnuts! The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that you can freeze the dough.

sticky buns

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445 thoughts on “Brioche Dough Recipe and all of its wonderful uses!

  1. Hi Susie,

    My stone lives in my oven at all times. It helps to maintain a really even and constant heat. There are very few recipes that I remove it for. It is not absolutely necessary to leave it in, but it is also not worth the extra effort to remove it after each loaf!

    If you do use the stone, just place the loaf pan on it as though it were the rack of your oven.

    Thanks, Zoë

  2. Wow, I’d think you could just bake one of those little kings into a brioche. Something like the pannetone or any of the Danish-like creations in the book. Why not?

  3. This brioche dough is great! My 5-year old son and I used it to make a blueberry bread similar to one we bought from the local farmer’s market here in Auckland. We rolled out the brioche on a silicon baking sheet, spread fresh blueberries and cut-up plums from the farmer’s market on it, sprinkled with “coffee sugar” (large sugar crystals), and baked at 175C (~350F) for 35 min. The fruit were pods of intense flavor – it was great! It could probably have used a glaze, but we didn’t do one. My son brings pieces of it in for his morning tea at school – I love it when he helps bake. Thanks for putting the recipe on-line; I left my book with our house-sitter in Calif. Cheers! Linda

  4. Hi Linda,

    This sounds outrageous! I’m so glad you are baking with your 5 year old!!! I do with my little ones all the time and they just love it.

    Thanks, Zoë

  5. If they’re tiny ones, decrease the baking time markedly. Everything depends on how far the center of the loaf is from the surface. If it’s really close, you don’t need anywhere near as much baking time.

    Just check early and see what it looks like.

  6. Can i substitute apple sauce instead of butter??? and stevia instead of honey???

    thanks just trying to reduce the calories

  7. Hi Cat,

    I’ve done that for other recipes, but I’m afraid you would end up with soup if you replace the butter with apple sauce.

    I’ve been developing a lower fat version of this brioche for our next book that comes out this fall. I think you will really love it!

    I’ve not played with stevia, but it is an interesting possibility!

    Thanks, Zoë

  8. hi zoe and jeff,
    I am enjoying making your simple crusty bread recipe that I got from a magazine.It is DELICIOUS!! Will also purchase book soon so I can try other yummy easy recipes.
    Here in Ohio we have cake decorating places that sell their clean lidded plastic icing pails for a dollar. i use a small one for my bread pail. It is sturdy plastic so I also mix in it. Thank you for the easiest yummiest bread ever!!! Rachel

  9. I have been a fan of R E A L Belgian Waffles from Belgian. I found a place in Chicago, Baladoche, that makes them, and I think it’s basicly a brioche recipe with some pearl surgar (I think). Has anyone made waffles using this dough?

  10. I would like to make the Artisan Brioche without honey [allergic to honey] can I substitute sugar, maple syrup,??? What would be best and how much should I use to equal the 1/2 cup of honey?

  11. Yep, any liquid sweetener will swap out well– measure for measure with corn syrup, agave syrup, or maple syrup (which will taste maple-y). With sugar you may need to adjust the liquids a bit (not always though, often you can just swap).

  12. I’m having my first challenge with a recipe in your cookbook — and it’s really a minor problem. But I’m hoping someone might have insight into how to fix this.

    I made brioche with the chocolate ganache filling. My dough was very wet, which mad it a challenge to roll up on the ganache, which was very thin and tended to run off the sides of the dough.

    Is the ganache supposed to be that thin? Should I have added more flour to the dough? This first loaf is in the oven now and it promises to taste delicious, even if it’s not very pretty on the outside! (Keeping my fingers crossed I can get it out of the pan.) : )

    My family thanks you for changing the quality of their meals. We all love your book!

    1. Hi Dee,

      Was the dough fresh when you tried to make the bread? With the brioche dough you have to allow it to be refrigerated for at least a few hours to give the butter time to set up a bit before you can work with it. If the dough was chilled and it was still that runny, I have a feeling that you may have measured the flour incorrectly. That dough is usually a tad tighter than our other doughs and very easy to work with.

      If the ganache was too runny, it can just sit at room temperature for a bit and it will set up. You can speed this up by sticking it in the refrigerator for several minutes. If you do set it in the refrigerator make sure you stir it often so it doesn’t get lumpy.

      Thank you and I hope you bread was tasty!


  13. thanks for getting back to me about the brioche. I will be extra careful in measuring the next time! I think I measured correctly but am worried I didn’t mix it together thoroughly enough, as there were some “bumps” in the dough.

    The bread came out of the pan fine and tasted great. The very center, though, was a still wet chocolate/dough mixture.

    I will try again! Thanks.

  14. hi, this recipe looks great but before i try it i have a few questions:

    1) “powdered yeast” – does that mean active dry or instant yeast?

    2) can bread flour be used to substitute AP unbleached?

    3) if using a standing mixer, would you recommend using the dough hook for a few minutes instead of a spoon or is this best made by hand?

    thanks so much. looking forward to exploring your book – fantastic concept!

    1. Hi Sweetie,

      1) We mean granulated yeast. This can be active dry or instant. You can also use cake yeast, but you will need about double the amount. In other words, all of the yeast we have tried works well!

      2) You can substitute bread flour but you may need to add a few more tablespoons of water so that your dough, when chilled, isn’t too tight.

      3) The stand mixer with the paddle attachment is a wonderful way to make the dough. The dough is much too wet to use the dough hook!

      Thanks for trying the recipes! Zoë

  15. Hi,
    I just started trying to copy off some of the grill recipes and this brioche idea. I wanted to have them handy in the kitchen, near the bbq. It’s just impossible! You guys just keep creating wonderful new recipes.

    Are you already working on a THIRD book? More recipes from the recipes in the third book, like grilled recipes and more advanced sweets?

  16. I plan to make the brioche dough and then the fruit tartlets. First time making brioche dough. Does the dough need to chill overnight after it rests for 2 hours?

    1. Julie: After the two hour rest, you need to refrigerate the brioche dough or it’s very difficult to work with. At least two hours in the fridge is best. Jeff

  17. I saw an article mentioning your book in Womans Day I think it was. I searched the net and found the master recipie and your site. It was fabulous!!! So I bought the book 🙂 I’ve tried several of the recipies in it so far and have been impressed with the versatility and excellent resutls every time. Just made my first brioche today…incredible!! Thanks so much- the best cookbook I’ve ever owned besides the complete Betty Crocker my mom gave me when I got married!

  18. I bought sugar free imitation honey by mistake but didn’t notice until I mixed up the whole batch of brioche dough (my first). It is just starting to rise, but I don’t know if I will need to change something to prepare it. The ingredients are maltitol syrup, flavorings, acesulfame K, & maltic acid. It looks just like real honey in appearance and consistency. We love the master dough!

    1. I wouldn’t change anything, just bake it off as if everything was fine and see what happens. Let us know how you make out. Jeff

  19. The brioche recipe says it can be stored up to five days. Should the dough have a fermented smell on the fifth day? Should I use it or throw it out?

  20. Argh! We are up in the mountains and want to bake bread but left our book in FL! Thought of ordering a second copy via Amazon but it will take too long to get here. Can’t find the book in stores, alas. Would love the olive oil recipe but even the boule would be fine-the ones I’ve found online via my BlackBerry don’t look exactly right.

  21. I am so disappointed, I’ve been reading your recipes and had to try the brioche. I divided the recipe in half, just to try it, and it didn’t rise. the yeast was just purchased this morning, so it wasn’t that…what did I do wrong, I’ve baked bread for years.

    1. Joyce: Yeast failures are rare with modern yeast, Zoe and I have had one between us in 30 person-years of baking. Possibilities:

      — too-warm water
      — too-cold water (in which case it will work if you give it more time)
      — left out the yeast by accident (I’ve done that)

      Try the yeast in some tried-and-true recipe and make sure it works there?

  22. Thanks for your quick response, I will give it a try. I am sending for you book and can’t wait to try the different recipes.
    Thanks so much!

  23. jeff and zoe —
    your book is just amazing! i have been baking from it for the past 4 weeks and fully intend to have fresh bread for the rest of my life! my extremely picky 5 yo boy even eats the peasant loaf (he is a fan of good bread, i’ll give him that!). My mother in law says the sticky buns are the very best she’s had and she’s “had a LOT of sticky buns.”

    I’ve also made a batch of sticky buns with apples instead of pecans. Amazing.

    I do have question regarding the brioche. Often times, I’ll form the loaf (or sticky rolls) for the 2nd rise and then find that i have to get the kids to school, etc., so i’m rushed to put it in the oven. Can I leave it for a longer 2nd rise? Can I stick it in fridge after the 2nd rise? Also, can I freeze the dough AFTER forming it into the loaf/rolls?

    Thank you 100 times over for such a fantastic book!

    1. Melissa: So glad the book’s working well for you!

      There’s nice flexibility here. You can rest longer, but often things will spread sideways and you may find the result isn’t quite what you’d like. If you find you need to delay baking, best option is to refrigerate the risen loaves/rolls. The refrigerator is a dry environment so cover loosely with plastic wrap or put it into a roomy plastic storage container with a cover. You can also freeze after forming, but often the final result will droop a bit— spreading sideways. Jeff

  24. I’m wanting to try the Brioche whcih contains eggs. Do the eggs need to be room temp. or can I use them right out of the refrig.?

  25. I just got the book, and have my second batch of boule dough and another of rye in the fridge. We are doing muffalettas for dinner tonight with 5 minute french loaves. I can hardly wait. Anyway, I love the book, thanks.
    My fav way to use brioche dough is to take 3 ounce portions, pat into a flat circle and roll up around a pinch of white chocolate chips. Put into muffin cups, let rise and bake until golden. Once out of the oven, pour lemon glaze over (lemon juice and zest with powdered sugar added ) and try not to eat them until they have cooled and set up- the glaze dries into a crust. Fewer calories than caramel or cinnamon rolls, but so delish!

    1. Hi Nancy,

      Your Brioche pastries sound absolutely amazing. I have got to give them a try! I just happen to have a bucket of brioche in the fridge. 😉

      Thank you! Zoë

  26. I just found out about your revolutionary bread recipes – I’m working on my first batch right now, my first boule just came out of the oven and I couldn’t wait, sliced it 5 minutes after it came out – WONDERFUL! – I won’t be able to get to the local bookstore to get my copies of your books probably until next week sometime – in the meantime, do you have a recipe for chocolate bread – my local grocery store used to make a wonderful boule shaped loaf that was a bittersweet chocolate, I would love to try to something similar for a ‘Chocolate Madness’ fundraiser we’re holding next weekend – it was a dark chocolate color, not very sweet – it had a wonderful texture, made a great bread pudding … do you have something like that?

    1. Hi Sue,

      Wow, you read my mind! You are in luck, it is my very next post and I’ll get it up some time today or tomorrow!

      Thanks, Zoë

  27. I have a question about the brioche dough. The brioche was 4 days in the fridge when I formed the ovals for the loaf pans. Cloaking and shaping took less than 20 seconds each. Rested 1 hour 20 min. and baked them in a 350 oven. Both loaves were a lovely golden colour but had a fairly deep off-centre split. The bread tasted great but the split was disappointing. The book says to turn the oven to 350 and wait only 5 minutes before putting the pans in the oven. The only thing I can think of is that I preheated the oven to 350 and then put the pans in. Would this be the reason for the split?
    On another note, most of your recipes say “fifteen or twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 350 or whatever temperature” – I am not really getting this. My oven takes 30 min. to get to 450 degrees so it is still on a preheat when I’m supposed to bake?
    Thanks very much and good luck with your new “book baby”!

    1. Denise: The quick pre-heat in our book for the no-stone breads is based on traditional recommendations given by oven manufacturers. Agree that the oven isn’t completely up to temp when the time’s up, but that’s the compromise— we didn’t want people to get impatient and give up on the hobby.

      I’m not sure if any of this is related to your split brioches. If it baked in about the time we wrote, and was properly baked through, then the preheat duration is probably not your problem. How about trying to slash the loaves before baking? Agree that this isn’t traditional, but should solve your problem– you’ll get controlled, artful splits instead of a big ugly one. Let us know how it comes out… Jeff

  28. i just made this for the first time and it’s in the middle of rising now. of course i messed something up though…i forgot the butter and added it in AFTER i added the flour (yikes!). i mixed it in really well. will it be okay? this is only my second time making bread without a machine and am so hoping it will be alright.

  29. Just made the chocolate ganarche brioche! Oooooh my word! SO good. My whole family lived in Italy for 4 years and this book has been a HUGE hit. Thank you! Btw–I used ww spelt and it’s coming out perfectly. Thank you again!

    1. Katrina: Yes, I’ve also found that whole grain spelt is interchangeable with whole wheat, especially in the new book’s recipes where we boost gluten content with vital wheat gluten. Jeff

  30. I was out of Vital wheat gluten so I used regular ww for the boule master recipe as well. I only let it rest an hour instead of the 40 minutes and baked it for the regular 30. Regardless, it’s come out very nicely. It’s very reminiscent of the breads we had in Italy even with it being whole grain. i now have the gluten in hand so I’m interested to see how the loaf changes. In the meantime, this has been a very fun thing for us. I’m not sure we can ever go back to bread machine breads again.
    I have now officially hijacked the brioche recipe post. 😉 I want to say I’m on my 17th loaf in 2 weeks. We’re really enjoying this and we’ve recommended to many folks.

    1. Hi Katrina,

      Wow, you have lots of loaves going, how exciting! I’m so glad you are enjoying them and having fun playing with the recipes. The vital wheat gluten is essential if you are going to store the whole grain breads for more than 24 hours.

      Thanks, Zoë

  31. I agree. I have used VWG consistantly in the past with my traditional bread loaves and would not have been able to make a palatable loaf without it. I was excited to see that the loaves still work well regardless. They never do last more than 24 hours! Are you kidding?! I have kids! 🙂 Anyway, I just put together a batch using VWG now that it’s come in. Again, enjoying and highly recommending.

  32. Katrina: When you’re adapting recipes, when you increase the whole grain and include VWG, you also have to increase the water– I’m sure you’ve already seen that. Jeff

    1. Hi Mairzie,

      You can just roll out the dough and add them as I did for this raisin bread: Just keep in mind that they will release lots of juice when they bake so don’t add too much. You may want to chop them up a bit to incorporate them more easily. They will be wonderful with a bit of sugar and maybe some orange zest. Sounds like something I need to try too! Thanks for the inspiration!

      Cheers, Zoë

  33. Hi, Zoë. Thank you so very much for your help. The loaves are in the oven, almost done. The fragrance here is simply lovely! I can’t wait to try this bread. Your help is greatly appreciated. Have a grand day.

  34. I hope you don’t mind, I just linked to your site and recommended your book to my blog readers. I am enjoying a snow day at home with your fabulous brioche recipe and I am finally going to go buy myself a baking stone so I can try the boules and the rye bread. I so enjoy your book and the attitude you and Jeff have towards baking. Truly liberating. Thank you so much.


  35. Why so many mistakes in the cookbook? According to the Brioche recipe above – 2 packets of yeast are required. According to the actual BOOK – only 1.5 packets of yeast are used (this mistakes occurs in the Master Recipe as well). Now I know why my dough didn’t rise. I’ll have to throw the old dough away and start over, which is especially frustrating considering the wealth of ingredients used in the recipe. More precise editing would be appreciated. This is a cookbook for goodness sake!!

    1. Hi Karli,

      Just in case you have not yet seen it we have a full errata sheet for our books. We find it is better to identify the mistakes and give people the best possible experience with the book. You can find it here: Nearly all of them are very minor and will not adversely effect the recipes.

      The difference in the amount of yeast between 1.5 and 2 packets is not really great enough to make any perceptible difference in the dough. We only felt it necessary to point out the discrepancy so as not to confuse anyone when they tried to measure the packets out. All of our recipes actually work with a fraction of the yeast, it just won’t rise quite as quickly. Tell me more about your dough not rising, because 1.5 tablespoons of yeast is more than enough to get the rise you need. It may be something else all together.

      Glad to hear you liked the sticky buns! I do hope you enjoy the rest of the bread as well, Zoë

      I am glad you are

  36. Well, i either suck at making bread or doing math. haha.. I halfed the recipe for the brioche dough from your first book and it was way way liquidy. i had to add another 3/4ths a cup of flour to get it to a somewhat uniform sticky dough.. It looks questionable.. haha. Ill let you know how it goes. Maybe i added to much butter. i thought 3/4ths was right but i think i might have added a lil extra since i used exactly 1.5 sticks of butter rather than 3/4ths a cup of butter..

    any way ill let you know how it turns out.. thanx zoe and jeff


    1. Hi Matt,

      Is the dough too wet even after it has been chilled? This dough is generally very sticky when first mixed, but once the butter sets up in the refrigerator it stiffens right up.

      How did you measure the flour? We use the scoop and sweep method. If you spooned the flour into your measuring cup you will have much less flour than you would if you just scoop it straight out of the container. This will result in a very wet dough.

      Let me know how it goes when you make the full batch! Thanks, Zoë

  37. Well, the bread did not turn out. LOL, i messed up somewhere. Very very blan. tasted like flour.. thats bout it. No sweetness or anything.. So im going to follow the recipe to a T. gonna make a full batch and see what happens. Maybe my flour is bad. I have had it since june.. Any ideas would be nice. thanx


  38. I used the scoop and sweep like in the book but i used my finger as the scraper rather than a knife. The dough was really really wet. i think i added a 1/4 extra butter by accident. I just melted 1.5 sticks of butter rather than measuring out 3/4 cup melted butter. that might account for the blandness of the bread..

    The second batch looks way way better. It doubled in size and smelled sweet. Now hopefully it wont taste bland like the other one did. Well as it chills and rises i better go finish my physics homework.. Ill let you know how it goes. trail and error my friend.

    Thanx for the help


  39. Matt: The extra butter will throw off the consistency but shouldn’t have made it bland. Lets see what you get here— one thing is that our sweet breads are subtly sweet, not intensely sweetened like most commercial products. Feel free to increase the honey a little to taste….


  40. This dough is amazing! I added both orange and almond extract to the dough, rolled out like a jelly roll with some pecans and GrandMarnier plumped raisins, sliced and baked as individual sweet rolls; frosted with a simple orange zest glaze and slivered almonds. People are still raving! Love both of your books and can’t wait for another CCH class – e

  41. Jeff and Zoe;

    I followed the recipe to a T and this time after i backed it, it tasted good but really really dense like thick angels(angle) food cake or shortcake.. I have never had real brioche or ever seen it so i have no idea what it is supposed to be like. Is it supposed to be fluffy and airy?



  42. Yes i have tested the oven temp, but that was about 9 months ago and it was right on. I did allow it to rest and rise per the instructions in the book. Maybe my fridge is to cold! haha. The bread was very crumbly. it would fall apart when i would cut it. Dense and heavy but yet crumbly

    Thanx Jeff. I really appreciate the help

    1. Hi Matt,

      What were you using the dough for, a loaf? It is not unusual for the dough to break apart instead of having a stretch like the master recipe! It sounds like you may need to let it rise longer before baking.

      Thanks, Zoë

  43. Zoe and Jeff;

    Thanx for all the help. I know it seems that i post ALOT of questions on here. I have never baked bread until i bought your book. So its a whole new art form for me.

    Yes i used it as a loaf bread. Almost like brioche a tet but with out the fluted pan. I will let it rise longer and see what happens. I just see all these images on google of what it is supposed to look like and its nice and fluffy. For example the brioche rolls are soft and delicate lookin. Photoshop maybe. haha

    thanx you two


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