Brioche from the bakery has fluted sides and a dramatic topknot that is formed by using specialty pans. Here, loaves shaped in ordinary pie plates also look quite fetching! The rich dough requires overnight chilling before being shaped and baked. A stand mixer fi tted with a dough hook is preferable to make this sticky dough—which when chilled is child’s play to shape.


Photo by Cathy T.

  • Prep Time


  • Total Time


  • Servings



  • BREAD:

  • 8

    oz (250 g) unsalted butter

  • 5


  • ¾

    cup (175 mL) milk

  • 3

    tbsp (45 mL) granulated sugar

  • 1

    tsp (5 mL) salt

  • 1

    tbsp (15 mL) dry yeast, instant or traditional

  • ¼

    cup (60 mL) water, just warm to the touch

  • 4½ to 5

    cups (1.125 to 1.25 L) all-purpose flour


  • 1

    egg yolk

  • 1

    tbsp (15 mL) water


1 Cut butter into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes. Leave at room temperature to somewhat soften. Butter cubes must still be fi rm enough to be picked up with your fingers. Place eggs in a bowl; warm by covering with hot tap water. Scald milk by placing in microwave for 50 to 60 seconds or until very hot but not boiling; stir in sugar and salt. Cool milk to lukewarm. 2 Proof yeast by sprinkling it over warm water and setting it aside for 5 minutes. Then stir to dissolve. 3 Drain water from eggs; discard soaking water. Turn milk mixture and proofed yeast into mixing bowl. Add 1 cup (250 mL) of flour; mix in on medium speed. Then, still on medium speed, add eggs 1 at a time. When smooth, add another cup (250 mL) flour. 4 With mixer on medium, begin to add butter piece by piece, waiting for 1 piece to be almost completely absorbed before adding another. This takes about 8 to 10 minutes. When all is added and thoroughly mixed, slowly add another 2 cups (500 mL) fl our. Let machine knead dough for a minute or two. Add remaining ½ cup (125 mL) flour as needed to have smooth but sticky dough that is softer than most bread dough. 5 Cover and let rise in mixing bowl for 1½ hours or until doubled. Then turn on machine just to defl ate dough. Oil a large bowl; add dough, turn once so it is oiled on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 6 To bake bread, generously butter two 9-inch (23-cm) pie plates. Turn cold dough out onto a lightly fl oured work surface; divide in half. Working with a half of dough at a time, cut off about a quarter; form into a ball. Set aside. Roll remaining three quarters of dough into a thick rope about 18 inches (45 cm) long. 7 Place rope in circle in pie plate and join ends so the rope is now doughnut-shaped. Place dough ball in centre; gently push down so it fi lls plate centre. Repeat with other half of dough and other plate. Then using kitchen shears, cut halfway into rope from outer edges at a 45-degree angle, making 8 to 10 evenly spaced cuts per loaf. 8 Cover each loaf loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise, uncovered at room temperature (not in the “warm place” often called for in other bread recipes), for 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours or until doubled. 9 Place rack below oven centre; preheat to 375°F (190°C). Stir yolk with water. Uncover loaves; brush each brioche gently with egg wash (all is not needed). 10 Bake loaves for 30 to 35 minutes or until richly golden brown. Cool in pie plates on a rack for 5 minutes. Then loosen edges and use a large spatula to lift out to fi nish cooling on rack. Serve with jam or honey. (One loaf can be covered airtight and frozen for several weeks.) Day-old brioche makes excellent toast and is delicious in Brioche Latte Pudding with Pecans & Caramel Sauce (recipe follows). Makes 2 loaves


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