French Brioche Braided Bread

Authentic French brioche braided bread recipe (called Pain brioché tressé in French) – step by step – for the perfect breakfast & brunch. Better than Aldi’s, bread machine compatible.

Today I’m going to show you how to make the perfect basic French brioche – braided loaf bread. French brioche traces back to the 1400 books, across the Normandy region in France. As many other European recipes, it evolved with time to become a beloved French pastry across the globe. Rumor has it, a French chef made Brioche by mistake by adding generous amounts of butter at the end of bread making. Through the centuries brioche bread was reserved for the wealthy, who had access to butter – an expensive ingredient back then. Now, many have the opportunity to make this gorgeous bread at home.

The beauty of this recipe is that it’s a basic French brioche recipe that can be shaped as buns, rolls, croissants and more. It might be the only recipe you’ll ever need. The dough can be knead by hand, in bread machine or kitchen robot.

Brioche Ingredients

  1. Eggs – beaten, free range taste always better in my view.
  2. Milk – cow’s milk (around 1,5-3% fat will do).
  3. Flour – all purpose flour, or Italian type 00 works great.
  4. Butter – room temperature, cubed.
  5. Sugar – I prefer brown sugar, however use white instead if you wish.
  6. Yeast – I prefer to use fresh yeast (cubes) but you can substitute with instant dry yeast too.
  7. Pinch of salt – optional

NOTE: Add chocolate chips, fresh orange or lemon peel, cinnamon and raisins or other ingredients to elevate the taste further.

How to make French Brioche – braided bread

1st: Mix eggs, milk, sugar, yeast and flour. Knead for a minute. Add cubes of room temperature butter and knead to get an elastic, smooth but slightly sticky dough. Do not be tempted to add more flour.

2nd: Shape with floured hands and let rise for 1-2 hours or overnight in the fridge. Divide in 3, then make 3 long, equal length sticks.

3rd: Braid the brioche and tuck the ends inwards. Brush with egg yolk and bake in preheated oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy. Bon Appetit.

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French Brioche Braided Bread

The European Dish
Authentic French Brioche braided bread loaf for the perfect Brioche bread.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Resting time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 45 minutes
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine European, French
Servings 10 people

Equipment

  • 1 bread loaf pan 9×5 inch/23 cm
  • 1 kneading bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g white flour
  • 20 g fresh yeast cube (7 g/1 pack instant dry yeast)
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) brown sugar
  • 200 ml (0.85 cups) milk, lukewarm
  • 2 eggs, size M
  • 80 g soft butter, in cubes
  • pinch of salt optional

Instructions
 

  • In a small bowl add fresh yeast, a few tbsp. warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Let sit until yeast activate 910 min max). Skip if using instant dry yeast.
  • Add flour, eggs, remaining sugar, milk, (already activated) yeast and salt to a bowl and knead (by hand/bread machine/kitchen robot) – approx. 5 min.
  • Next, add cubes of room temperature butter and incorporate in the dough. Knead around 7 minutes or until fully incorporated. The dough should be smooth, soft but slightly sticky. Do not add more flour.
  • With floured hands shape the dough and let rise for approx. 2 hours in warm-ish environment. Or cover with cling film and let rise overnight in the fridge. Remove from fridge 30 min before baking and leave at room temperature.
  • Once dough has risen, divide in 3 parts. Shape each part into a long thick, stick. Braid as shown in the photos and place into loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven on 180C/360F until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and serve.

Notes

  • The dough should be smooth, elastic but slightly sticky. Do not add more flour to it.
  • Use bread machine or kitchen robot to knead the dough.
  • If you let dough rise overnight in the fridge, make sure to cover with cloth/cling film. Also take out the fridge 30 minutes before baking and allow dough to rest on room temperature. 
Keyword authentic recipe, braided bread, vegetarian
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