Milk Brioche is a luxurious, tender, and rich bread known for its delicate, fluffy texture and subtly sweet flavor. Originating from the French culinary tradition, this bread is a variation of the classic brioche, distinguished by the incorporation of milk which lends it a softer crumb and a more tender mouthfeel compared to its traditional counterpart.

The dough for Milk Brioche is a masterful blend of high-quality ingredients: fine bread flour known for its higher protein content, fresh whole milk, a generous amount of butter which is often unsalted to control the salt content, fresh yeast for a consistent and reliable rise, granulated sugar for a hint of sweetness, and a few eggs to enrich the dough. The eggs not only contribute to the richness but also impart a beautiful golden hue to the bread. A pinch of fine salt is added to balance the flavors.

The preparation of Milk Brioche is a testament to the art of baking. It begins with the activation of the yeast, typically in warm milk, to ensure it’s alive and ready to help the dough rise. The ingredients are then meticulously combined, often starting with the flour, sugar, and yeast, followed by the gradual addition of eggs and softened butter. The dough is kneaded for an extended period, often in a stand mixer, to develop the gluten, which is key to the bread’s structure and texture. This process creates a dough that is exceptionally smooth, elastic, and slightly sticky.

After the kneading, the dough undergoes a prolonged fermentation or proofing process. This allows the flavors to develop fully and the dough to rise, becoming airy and light. The proofing is often done in a cool environment and can extend overnight, enhancing the bread’s flavor and texture.

Shaping the Milk Brioche is another critical step, where the dough is often divided into equal portions and rolled into smooth, taut balls. These are then placed into a loaf pan or arranged to create various traditional shapes like the brioche à tête, which is characterized by a small ball of dough atop a larger one.

Before baking, the brioche is usually brushed with an egg wash, which gives it a stunning, glossy golden-brown crust when baked. The baking is done carefully, often starting in a hot oven that’s then reduced to a moderate temperature. This ensures a crust that’s not too thick, protecting the tender crumb inside.

The aroma of Milk Brioche as it bakes is warm and buttery, filling the kitchen with a scent that is both comforting and enticing. When fully baked, the brioche presents a crust that’s beautifully golden and shiny, with a crumb that’s light, airy, and slightly pull-apart, with a taste that is delicately sweet, rich, and buttery.

Milk Brioche is versatile in its uses: it can be savored on its own, used as a base for French toast, or served alongside jams and spreads. It also makes an excellent bread for sandwiches or can be enjoyed as a luxurious addition to any meal, offering a touch of sweetness and richness that elevates the dining experience.


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (110°F or 45°C)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)


  1. Activate the Yeast:
    • In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk mixture and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until foamy.
  2. Mix the Dough:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, remaining sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and eggs. Mix until the dough comes together.
  3. Knead the Dough:
    • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Incorporate the Butter:
    • Gradually add the softened butter to the dough, kneading until it’s fully incorporated and the dough is soft and slightly sticky.
  5. First Rise:
    • Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s doubled in size.
  6. Shape the Brioche:
    • Punch down the risen dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Divide it into equal portions, depending on the shape you want to create (loaf, rolls, etc.). Shape the portions into the desired form and place them in greased baking pans.
  7. Second Rise:
    • Cover the shaped dough with the kitchen towel again and let it rise for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  8. Preheat the Oven:
    • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  9. Egg Wash and Bake:
    • Brush the top of the shaped dough with the beaten egg. This will give the brioche a beautiful golden color when baked.
    • Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes, or until the brioche is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  10. Cool and Enjoy:
    • Once baked, remove the brioche from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing and enjoying.

This homemade milk brioche is a true delight with its soft and buttery texture. Whether toasted with a spread of jam or used to make delicious sandwiches, this brioche is sure to become a family favorite.

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