Bread Machine Brioche That Will Make You a Kitchen Hero
Sneak Peek: You can make a fabulous bread machine brioche easier than you ever imagined. Brioche can be tricky with so many eggs and all that butter. Thankfully, a bread maker is your secret weapon.
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Yes! You can make classic buttery brioche with a bread maker. I’ve included lots of tips and tricks to help you be successful.
You’ll find instructions for making both brioche burger buns and simple round rolls. Or go for the traditional fluted shape with a little hat. Finally, if you are in a hurry, use the same dough to craft a simple brioche loaf.
What makes brioche special?
Brioche is a finely textured, rich, buttery, and eggy bread. When done right, you can pull the bread apart in layers, and the crust will be almost flaky. Some bread machine recipes claim to be brioche, but the gluten is not well-developed, so the texture is more like cake.
Don’t be tempted to cut back on the butter or eggs. That’s what makes brioche unique. Otherwise, you may end up with something more like traditional dinner rolls. Delicious in their own right, but not authentic brioche.
How do I shape brioche?
Does brioche have to be fancy with a little hat?
No. It’s traditional, but you can make it any way you want.
The French call it brioche à tête (with a hat). I’m guessing this is how they do it in a bakery. But after making many buns with lopsided caps and ugly surfaces, I devised a cheater method. Keep reading for the details.
Could you give me something easy?
How about little balls lined up in rows inside a pan? Simple! If you’re unsure how to make the balls, check out the video about my easy way to make perfectly round balls.
Looking for brioche burger buns?
Brioche is having a moment as a “burger bun.” One of my favorite recipes for fresh salmon patties suggests a brioche bun. The idea launched me into an obsession with making these buns at home.
Buns are as easy to make as balls. Portion them a little bigger and smash them. More instructions are included below.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- Milk: Use dairy milk (with any fat percentage). This recipe has not been tested with non-dairy milk.
- Flour: You can substitute unbleached flour if you don’t have bread flour. Some recipes call for a mixture, but I think 100% bread flour works best with a bread machine because of the higher protein content.
- Eggs: Large-size eggs are all I use. You may have to adjust the liquid if you need or want to use a different size. Judge your dough by opening the bread machine and watching while the dough kneads.
- Sugar: This recipe has only been tested with granulated sugar.
- Salt: Use table salt or sea salt. If using Kosher salt, add a 1/4 teaspoon more.
- Butter: I use salted butter because that’s what I keep on hand. Unsalted butter is a suitable substitute. Margarine is not.
- Yeast: Instant or bread machine yeast is my go-to for all bread machine recipes. Add a quarter of a teaspoon if you must substitute active dry yeast.
Many people who use active dry yeast like to dissolve it first. According to King Arthur Flour, this step is no longer necessary with modern formulations, but it’s OK to do it if you prefer. You may have to add some extra flour to compensate for the liquid used to dissolve the active dry yeast.
Kitchen secrets for making Brioche with a bread machine:
1. Do not warm the ingredients before adding them to the pan.
Unless frozen, you can use the eggs, butter, flour, and yeast straight from the refrigerator. It is important that the dough doesn’t get too warm, or the butter will leak out and cause a greasy mess.
2. Why you might need to adjust the flour:
Do you measure your flour by weight or with a cup? You can do either for this recipe. Measuring by weight is easier and faster in my book. However, it does not guarantee you are using the perfect amount of flour.
Eggs can vary in size, providing more or less “liquid.” Humidity in the air will also vary. Your measuring (or scales) could be slightly off. Any of these factors can cause you to need more or less flour.
Open the lid and look at your dough when using a bread machine. Check after it has been kneading for 10-12 minutes.
You will learn to judge when your dough needs more flour or liquid. Practice helps. An experienced bread-maker looking over your shoulder is even better. Until then, watch the video to learn how your dough should look and how to fix it if it’s too wet or dry.
2. The Tangzhong trick:
The Tangzhong method is a great way to increase the percentage of liquid in a bread recipe without resulting in a runny, sticky mess. The result is a moister bread with a better texture. In addition, the dough is easier to handle. Furthermore, the bread machine blades can engage the dough to knead it more efficiently.
When executing the Tangzhong technique, whisk the milk and flour mixture in a microwave-safe pyrex dish first. Then, put the mixture in your microwave for 20 seconds using HIGH power. Whisk well.
If the milk mixture is not thick like pudding after 20 seconds, put it back into the microwave for another 10-15 seconds. Again, the time will vary according to the wattage of your microwave.
Overcooking the milk and flour mixture may cause it to become a blob, too thick to blend into your dough correctly. Throw it out and start over.
Let this mixture cool slightly before adding it to the bread pan. If it is too warm, your dough mixture may become greasy.
3. Adding the butter:
Over time, I have changed the way I do this. The easiest way with a bread machine is to chop the cold butter into small chunks. It should not be at room temperature. When you can cut the cold butter with a table knife, chop it and add it to the bread machine when indicated in the recipe.
4. Removing rolls from the pan:
Getting rolls out of the pan uninjured can be challenging. Try using a spray butter/flour mixture like Baker’s Secret. (I can’t tell you how handy this stuff is if you bake a lot.) Generously spray each cavity if you use a standard muffin pan.
MY TROUBLES WERE OVER when I discovered these individual silicone plastic pans/molds. All was right with my brioche. You don’t have to grease them ahead of time. Nothing sticks to them.
5. Make the dough ahead of time.
Brioche is a bit of trouble because the prepared dough needs a long chill (6-24 hours). On the plus side, you can make the dough the day before. This detail makes them perfect for your Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Sunday dinner menu.
Also, the rising period after forming the rolls is usually 1-3 hours, depending on the ambient temperature. So you will have plenty of time to focus on other last-minute details.
6. Use exam gloves when shaping the dough.
The dough should be well-chilled when you are ready to shape it. Gloves will help protect the dough from getting too soft due to your body heat while handling the dough.
How to mix and knead bread machine brioche:
Allow the DOUGH cycle to complete. Then, cover the pan or remove it to another bowl and put it into the refrigerator to chill for 6-24 hours.
How to shape brioche burger buns:
How about brioche loaves?
Brioche, as a loaf, is quick to shape. I’ve tried several ways, but the picture below shows my favorite. Dividing the dough into four pieces instead of one helps avoid a blow-out on the sides as the bread bakes.
Sliced brioche makes a sophisticated grilled cheese sandwich or French toast. You can also make a scrumptious bread pudding with day-old cubed brioche bread.
How to shape a brioche loaf:
A foolproof way to make the classic brioche à tête:
This is my method for keeping the hats straight.
A delicious breakfast or brunch brioche variation:
***Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche
How to make Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche:
- Add 3/4 cup of raisins or currants to the dough a couple of minutes before the kneading cycle ends in the bread machine. Some machines will beep when it’s time to add fragile ingredients.
- For rolls that look like those pictured, divide the dough into 24 equally-sized portions after the overnight chill, then roll them into balls.
- Place two balls side-by-side into each cup of a muffin pan.
- Next, allow the formed rolls to rise for about 2 hours.
- Finally, glaze and sprinkle rolls with sugar and bake.
FAQ about Bread Machine Brioche
I do not recommend making brioche from beginning to end in a bread machine. Instead, let your bread maker do what it does best–mix and knead the dough. After the dough sits in the refrigerator overnight, shape it by hand and bake it in your oven for bread worth sharing.
Do you measure your flour by weight or with a cup? You can do either for this recipe. Measuring by weight is easier, faster, and more accurate in my book. However, it does not guarantee you are using the perfect amount of flour.
Eggs can vary in size, providing more or less liquid. Humidity in the air and the ambient temperature will also vary. Your measuring cups or scales could be slightly off. In addition to human error, any of these factors can cause you to need more or less flour.
This is why checking the dough as it kneads is so important. You absolutely must do this if you want to make good bread with a bread maker. See the video.
At some point, the dough has become too warm.
1. Did you warm the ingredients? Not necessary.
2. Did you let the Tangzhong mixture cool down before adding the other ingredients?
3. Was the area too warm where you placed the bread machine or the shaped bread to rise? If you have a quick-read thermometer, check it. The optimum temperature for proofing this dough is around 75˚F (24˚C).
Parting thoughts: Make cinnamon rolls or challah-like shapes if you are more adventurous. Just about anything you can do with a standard sweet-roll recipe, you can do with brioche. The variations are truly endless.
Looking for more recipes you can make in your Bread Machine?
If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately for a quick answer: Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon!
Bread Machine Brioche Recipe
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- ⅓ cup milk - 80 g
- 1 tablespoon bread flour - 9 g
- 3 large eggs - (cold) 150 gr
- 1¼ teaspoon table or sea salt - 7.5g
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar - 25 g
- 12 tablespoons butter - (cold) 168 gr
- 2¾ cups bread flour - 330 g
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast - 7 gr
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- Combine 1/3 C of milk and 1 T of flour in a microwave-safe container. Whisk until smooth. Microwave this liquid paste mixture for 20 seconds on High. Remove and stir. Place back into the microwave for 10-20 seconds or however long it takes to turn the mixture into a thick "gravy" consistency. Let this mixture cool to room temperature. Pour into the bread machine pan.
- Add 3 eggs, 2 T granulated sugar, 1¼ t salt, 12 T chopped butter, 2-3/4 C bread flour, and 2 t instant yeast to the bread maker pan.
- Select the DOUGH cycle and push START. After 2minutes, open the lid of your bread machine. Make sure the paddles are engaged and the dough is gathering into clumps or a ball.
- Check the dough again after 8-10 minutes. If the dough is too slack, add additional flour one tablespoon at a time, letting the dough absorb the flour before adding more. The dough should be thick enough to hold its shape, stick to the sides, then pull away. This dough should be stickier than the average bread dough. But it must be firm enough for the bread machine blades to get traction as they knead the dough.
- During the last 5 minutes of the kneading phase, the dough should be smooth, shiny, and pulling away from the sides. Allow the DOUGH cycle to complete. The dough should be doubled in size. If the ambient temperature is chilly in your kitchen, you may need to allow the dough to rise longer until doubled.
- Gently release the dough from the sides to remove some of the air.
- Cover the bread machine bowl and place it into your refrigerator for 6-24 hours. (You can also transfer the dough to another bowl before placing it into the fridge.) Do not skip this part. If you don’t have time for the chill, you might want to make another kind of bread.
Mixing the glaze:
- Whisk together the egg and 1 T heavy cream.
Instructions for shaping burger buns:
- Form dough into 2 logs.
- Cut each log into 5 equally-sized pieces. If you want sliders, cut more pieces. You get to decide. Make more than one size if you want to please everybody.
- Form each portion into a ball and flatten it somewhat with your fingers on the Silpat or parchment-paper-lined baking tray.
- Cover each bun with plastic wrap and smash it. I like to use a transparent glass pie plate so I can see how evenly I’m smashing the bun. Cover with a tea towel and allow to proof.
- Preheat a conventional oven to 425˚F (220˚C).
- After rising to almost double their original size, press each bun gently and evenly with your fingers. Don’t worry. They pop right up once you put them in the oven.
- Paint with the glaze. Turn oven temperature back to 350˚F (180C) and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove buns onto a cooling rack. Slice horizontally with a serrated knife to use as buns.
Shaping a classic brioche with a topknot:
- Place dough on a lightly floured board. Lightly knead and mold into a ball. Divide in half. Cut each half into 6 pieces.
- Pull a small amount of dough from each of the 12 balls to make hats. Roll all portions into little balls. The smoother the better and practice helps. Place one large ball in each mold or fill a muffin tin. Place all small balls (future hats) on wax paper, parchment, or a silicone mat on a cookie sheet.
- Cover rolls with a tea towel and allow them to rise in a warm place until almost doubled. This may take 1-2 hours.
- When rolls have almost doubled in size, use a greased thumb or the handle end of a wooden spoon to carefully depress dough in the center (all the way to the bottom.) Don’t worry, it will spring back once it hits the oven. Brush with glaze.
- Place a small ball in the center of the roll and again brush the entire roll with glaze, taking care not to let the glaze pool at the edges between the dough and the mold.
- Place individual molds or muffins pans onto a cookie sheet to keep the bottoms from over-browning.
- Preheat a conventional oven to 425˚F (220˚C). Then reduce tje temperature to 375˚F (190˚C) and bake the rolls for about 15 minutes. Loosely cover rolls with foil if tops are getting too dark. Internal temperature should reach 185-190˚F (88˚C).
- Allow the rolls to cool for a couple of minutes. Turn out onto a cooling rack.
- Best eaten the same day but also good toasted the next day.
Shaping a brioche loaf:
- Roll out the dough into an 11 x 15-inch rectangle with the short side towards you.
- Roll up dough, starting with the short side. Divide into four equal parts.
- Place each roll perpendicular to the long side of a greased 9 x 5 loaf pan. (I use Baker’s Joy.)
- Cover with a tea towel or shower cap. Allow dough to rise until it reaches the top of the pan.
- Preheat a conventional oven to 425˚F (220˚C).
- Brush the loaf with glaze.
- Set oven temperature back to 350 degrees F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil if the top starts to get too brown.
- Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to a cooling rack.
- Add 3/4 cup of raisins or currants to the dough a couple of minutes before the end of the dough cycle. Continue with step #7 in the general directions above.
- Divide the dough into 24 equally-sized portions after the overnight chill, then roll into balls.
- Place two balls side-by-side in each cup of a muffin pan.
- Next, allow the formed rolls to rise for about 2 hours.
- Finally, glaze and sprinkle rolls with sugar and bake according to the directions above.
Paula Rhodes, author
I’m a retired home economist, wife, mother, grandmother, and creator of Saladinajar.com. I believe you don’t have to be a chef to find joy in creating homemade food worth sharing. Here you’ll find time-saving tips, troubleshooting advice, and confidence-inspiring recipes to make life in the kitchen more fun, appetizing, and satisfying.