Brioche dough

Warm milk, plenty of butter and a yolky glaze are the secrets behind Michel Rouxs melt-in-the-mouth French brioche
By Michel Roux Snr
Brioche dough
  • Rating:
  • Serves: Makes about 1.2kg dough
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus 9.5 hours resting time
  • Effort: medium


  • 70 ml tepid milk
  • 15 g yeast
  • 500 g plain flour
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 350 g butter, slightly softened, plus extra to grease
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, mixed with 1 tbsp milk, for egg wash

Tips and Suggestions

This classic French dough can be frozen, well wrapped, for up to 2 weeks. To use, leave to thaw in the fridge for 12 hours before moulding it into the required shape and cooking as usual.


1. Pour the milk and yeast into a bowl and stir to dissolve the yeast. Put the flour, 1 tsp fine salt and beaten eggs into an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and pour in the milk and yeast mixture. Mix on slow speed to combine and knead the dough for 5 minutes.

2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then knead at medium speed for about 10 minutes. By this stage, the dough should be smooth, elastic and combined well.

3. Meanwhile, in another bowl, mix the butter and sugar together. Add a few small spoonfuls of the butter mix to the dough, then with the mixer running at low speed, add the rest a piece at a time. When the butter mixture is all incorporated, increase the speed and work for 6-10 minutes, until the dough is very smooth and shiny and comes away from the bowl with perfect elasticity.

4. Remove the dough hook, leaving the dough in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel or cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in volume.

5. Knock the dough back by flipping it over 2 or 3 times with your hand. Cover the bowl again and refrigerate for at least 6 hours (but not more than 24 hours). The dough is then ready to use and mould.

6. To shape a large brioche: divide 600g dough into two-thirds (400g) and one-third (200g). Shape the larger piece into a ball and place it in the bottom of a well-buttered brioche mould, measuring 16cm across the top, 8cm across the base. Make a deep indentation.

7. Shape the small piece of dough into an elongated oval and gently press into the indentation in the large ball, so that only a little is left visible, resembling a head. Lightly brush the dough with egg wash. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1.5 hours, until it has at least doubled in volume.

8. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush the brioche lightly again with egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the setting to 180C/160C fan/gas 3 and bake for another 30 minutes. Leave the brioche in the mould for 5 minutes, then tip out onto a wire rack and leave to cool.

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