Ed Baines demonstrates Marie-Antoinette's beloved brioche, a rich, golden French bread, delicious for breakfast or used in desserts
By Ed Baines
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 12
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus rising time
  • Effort: medium


For the yeast batter

  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp dried yeast, or 15g fresh yeast
  • 25 g strong bread flour
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten, plus 1 extra, for glazing

For the loaf

  • 200 g strong bread flour
  • large pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50 g butter, plus extra for greasing


1. Warm the milk until it is hand-hot, then place in a large bowl and stir the yeast into it. If using dried yeast, leave it to stand for 5 minutes.

2. Mix the flour and sugar into the yeast mixture and leave in a warm place until frothy, about 20 minutes.

3. To start the loaf, sift together the flour, salt and sugar. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.

4. Beat the eggs into the frothy batter, then stir in the flour mixture and work to a soft dough.

5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until it is smooth and no longer sticky. Cover the dough and leave it to rise until doubled in size - about 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Meanwhile, grease the brioche tins with butter.

6. Knock back the risen dough and divide into twelve equal pieces. Cut off a quarter from each piece and shape the largest portion into a ball. Place in the greased tins.

7. Firmly press a hole in the centre of each ball and place the remaining small piece of dough in it, like a knob. Glaze with beaten egg.

8. Cover and leave the dough to prove until light and puffy, about 30-40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8 and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.

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