Breakfast/ Breads & Baked Goods

Light & Airy French Brioche

Light & Airy French Brioche

Print Recipe
Serves: 3 loaves Cooking Time: 2 hr 20 min


  • 4 cups flour, plus extra for dusting workspace
  • 3 eggs ( at room temperature)
  • 1 1/4 stick and 1 tbsp butter ( at room temperature)
  • 5 tbsp and 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 packet yeast
  • 3-4 tbsp warm water
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp orange juice
  • grated zest from 1 orange
  • dash salt



In a small sauce pan place in 3/4 cup orange juice and heat until it comes to a simmer. Shut the heat and add 3 tbsp of brown sugar and 1/2 stick of butter. Let sit for about 10 minutes at room temperature until the butter has melted.


Place the yeast with 1 tsp of brown sugar in a cup and mix with 3-4 tbsp warm water, let sit to activate the yeast for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to proof or 100 F and shut when done, leaving the door closed.


In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups of flour and 1/2 of your orange juice and butter mix, beat with a hand mixture and add 3 eggs. Shift from using the hand mixer to a spoon and start incorporating the yeast mix, the rest of the orange juice/ butter mix and the remaining 2 cups of the flour shifting between all three until all ingredients are in and until a soft sticky dough forms.


Flour a clean working surface such as a counter top and take out the dough diving it in half. Work very gently, careful not to add too much flour (only about 3-4 tbsp), and just enough so its manageable but can still have a stickiness factor to it. Place each half in a buttered bowl and place in the preheated oven to proof until doubled in size ( about 45 min-1 hr). While the dough proofs, make the filling by using the cleaned hand mixer to beat the remaining 3/4 stick of butter, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp orange juice and the grated orange peel.


When the dough has proofed, remove from the oven and check to make sure the oven is is on the proof setting or at 100 F. If the temperature has fallen, reheat the oven and close to prepare for the second proof. While the oven resets, on a clean and lightly floured working surface, divide in 3 equal parts. Roll out each section to a rectangle and fill with equal parts filling, ensuring all corners are reached. Roll each brioche by starting on the shorter end of the rectangle so you get a nice cylinder. Once all 3 brioches are rolled place each one into a separate buttered baking pan or rectangular loaf pan and proof again until doubled in size (45 min).


Once proofed bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven, let cool for 15 minutes and dust with powdered sugar before serving.


You can freeze the brioche in ziploc bags and just pop in the oven or toaster to re-heat!

Out of all the breads that I love, brioche has to be the at the top of the list. The mix of the air bubbles created from the yeast and double proofing that adheres to the butter and orange peel creates these delicate light flakes that just can’t be replicated. I can barely contain myself just thinking about it. There is a HUGE difference between the store bought brioche and homemade. When you buy it at the store, its got a ton of stuff that requires a medical degree to be able to pronounce, but more importantly it tastes like sugary white bread. If you buy it at a bakery, the taste it far superior to the one on the shelf, but your not going to have control over the ingredients. Sometimes you just want to add butter to brioche ( or go savory with a pesto, ham and cheese topping) instead of toasting a piece of butter. This light, airy, french brioche is a gift to me from my French grandma and now its my gift to you.

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