Bread Machine Brioche That Will Make You a Kitchen Hero

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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.

4 different ways to shape brioche dough including sandwich buns, traditional brioche rolls, raisin buns, and a brioche loaf

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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. You can pull the bread apart in layers when done right, 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 the traditional way, 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.

brioche rolls--one is split open to show the texture

Give me something easy…

raisin rolls made in a loaf pan

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?

a stack of brioche 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:

ingredients needed to make Brioche
  • Milk: Use whatever dairy milk (with any percentage of fat) you have on hand. This recipe has not been tested with non-dairy milk.
  • Flour: If you don’t have bread flour, you can substitute unbleached 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. If you need or want to use a different size, you may have to adjust the liquid. 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. If you must substitute active dry yeast, add a quarter of a teaspoon extra.

    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 make up for the extra 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 they are frozen, you can use the eggs, butter, flour, and yeast straight out of 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.

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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.

When using a bread machine, open the lid and look at your dough. 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.

brioche burger buns, some with seeds
“Skinny” buns.

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.

Be sure you 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 room temperature. As soon as 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 time (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:

mixing milk and flour to make the microwave Tangzhong

Make the Tangzhong paste: Whisk 1 tablespoon of flour and 1/3 cup of milk together and cook in the microwave until thickened. Add to the bread machine pan and allow it to cool slightly.

adding all ingredients to the bread machine pan

Add cold eggs, sugar, salt, chopped butter, flour, and yeast to the bread machine pan. Select the DOUGH cycle and start.

dough should start to clump together after a minute or two

The dough will look dry, rough, and shaggy at first.

the dough will begin to form a ball within 3-4 minutes

Early in the kneading cycle: The dough is not yet smooth and elastic.

dough is smooth and elastic toward the end of the kneading phase.

Later: Can you see how the dough has become smooth and elastic?

Near the end of the kneading cycle, all the dough should be in a single mass. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly. It will be sticky to the touch. If there is a lot of dough covering the bottom of the pan, add 1 tablespoon of flour to help it all come together into one piece.


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:

log of brioche dough

Form dough into a log.

portioning brioche dough with a bench scraper

Cut your log into pieces. I like ten. If you want sliders, cut more pieces. Make more than one size if you want to please everybody.

forming burger buns

Form each portion into a ball and flatten it somewhat with your fingers on the Silpat or parchment-paper-lined baking tray.

flattening burger buns with a pie plate

Cover each bun with plastic wrap and smash it. I like to use a transparent glass pie plate to see how evenly I’m smashing the bun.

glazing burger buns

After rising 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 and sprinkle with seeds if desired, then bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 15 minutes.

plain burger buns after baking

How about brioche loaves?

sliced loaf of brioche

Brioche as a loaf is quick to shape. I’ve tried several ways, but the picture below shows my current favorite. Dividing the dough into four pieces instead of one helps avoid a blow-out on the sides as the bread bakes.

glazing loaf

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:

rolling out dough for a loaf

Roll out the dough into an 11 x 15-inch rectangle with the short side towards you. Roll up, starting with the short side. Divide into four equal parts, as seen below.

making a log and cutting into quarters

Place rolls into a loaf pan as pictured.

placing in a loaf pan

Cover with a shower cap or tea towel. Let rise until almost double in size. Brush with glaze. Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 30-35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190-200˚F.

finished loaf with some slices

A foolproof way to make the classic brioche à tête:

This is my method for keeping the hats straight.

storyboard for making classic brioche rolls
second story board for assembling rolls

A delicious breakfast or brunch brioche variation:

***Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche

SUGAR-CRUSTED RAISIN BRIOCHE
Add raisins or currants to your dough before you shape it. Then, go fancy and sprinkle your rolls with sanding sugar after you glaze them. See the recipe notes for details about this variation.

How to make Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche:

making the sugar-crusted raisin variation
  • 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 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

Can I actually bake this bread in my bread machine?

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.

Why is the dough so sticky? I followed the directions exactly.

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. Any of these factors in addition to human error can cause you to need more or less flour.

This is why it is so important to check the dough as it kneads. You absolutely must do this if you want to make good bread with a bread maker. See the video.

Why is my dough greasy?

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 a bit 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).


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.

If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula


If you have questions or suggestions, email me privately to Paula at saladinajar.com. Hope to see you again soon! Paula

baked brioche on a tray

Bread Machine Brioche Recipe

Now you can make classic brioche in your bread machine, then shape it by hand to meet your specific needs before baking in a conventional oven.
4 from 23 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 15 mins
Additional Time 8 hrs
Total Time 10 hrs 15 mins
Course Savory Bread Machine Loaves and Yeast Rolls
Servings 12 rolls

Ingredients

Tangzhong Paste

  • cup milk - 80 g
  • 1 tablespoon bread flour - 9 g

Dough:

  • 3 large eggs - (cold) 150 gr
  • teaspoon table or sea salt - 7.5g
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar - 25 g
  • 12 tablespoons butter - (cold) 168 gr
  • cups bread flour - 330 g
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast - 7 gr

Glaze:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

Variation: Sugar-Crusted Raisin Brioche
  • 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.
Shaping Raisin Brioche
  • 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.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Bread Machine Brioche Recipe
Serving Size
 
1 roll
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
242
Calories from Fat 117
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
13
g
20
%
Saturated Fat
 
8
g
50
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
85
mg
28
%
Sodium
 
367
mg
16
%
Carbohydrates
 
24
g
8
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Author: Paula Rhodes
Course: Savory Bread Machine Loaves and Yeast Rolls
Cuisine: American
Keywords: bread machine, brioche, egg bread
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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hey there! I found your brioche recipe via a search for brioche on Foodgawker. I simplified it even more but baking it in a pullman loaf pan. The result is most beautiful toast ever to grace the planet.

    I wanted to thank you for posting this recipe. I have made many types of bread before but never tackled brioche as I thought it would be too complicated (I don’t know where I got this idea!) and your encouragement to just dump in all the stuff and mix for 15 min – really worked! It was a very beautiful dough, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t cool the dough, against your warning, and still achieved a slice of toast the likes of which I have never encountered.

    Really, thanks so much!

  2. Hi. I plan to try the brioche recipe, but I have a question before starting. Milk is listed as 1/3 cup in the ingredients section, but the instructions indicate making the tang zhong with 1 tablespoon of flour and 1/3 cup of milk, and then adding an additional 1/4 cup of milk. So which is correct, (a) 1/3 cup of milk or (b) 1/3 + 1/4 cups of milk?

    1. Mel, You are very observant. I tested and changed this so many times. Looks like I missed deleting the instructions to add additional 1/4 cup of milk. I have corrected the recipe.

      Let me say it another way so there will be no misunderstanding. You will need only 1/3 cup of milk to make the Tangzhong. You WILL NOT need to add any more milk.

      Let me know how these turn out for you if you try them.

  3. Can I use unbleached enriched artisan bread flour For the brioche recipe? I plan on making the brioche with the raisins and sanding sugar…The brand of the flour is bobs red mill..Also, can the milk be either whole milk or low-fat milk? Thanks for your reply!

    1. Hi Ingrid,
      I have not tried a high-protein flour in this recipe so I can’t say for sure. Seems like it would make the Brioche chewy. Brioche is meant to be a tender, almost flaky bread. Regarding the milk: whole milk will result in a richer (and more delicious) product, but low-fat will work, too.

  4. I just wanted to say that this is a really fantastic recipe, I’d tried others before that didn’t work but this really does. I even managed to make it using dairy free butter for my son who’s allergic to dairy and it worked a treat. Thank you!

    1. Oh Lissie, I’m so glad to hear this. I’ve never made these with dairy-free butter. Happy to know that’s an option.

  5. Wonderful recipe. I wanted a slightly more cake like stollen, so thought I would try this recipe and add red & green candied cherries. It was just what I had hoped for. Thank you!

    1. Fantastic Jori. You’re my kind of cook. Experiment until you figure out what suits you perfectly. Good job!

  6. Margaret Ford says:

    My bread machine has a receptacle for adding the dry yeast. Can I still add it there or should I bypass that and add according to the instructions?

    1. Hi Margaret,

      My recipes are written for the yeast to be added immediately. My Zojirushi doesn’t have that feature and I assume most other people using bread machines don’t have it either.

      Hope this helps.

  7. I have my bread in my machine right now, but I’m following your directions, I don’t think it will come out correctly. I set timers to check the dough and to add the butter, but by the time I added the butter it’s not incorporating because the dough is already in a ball. I’ve restarted the knead cycle in hopes to salvage it, but I don’t think there’s any hope. I guess I’ll try again at some point and adjust my times. Do you have any other suggestions?

    1. Hi Melissa,

      Was your butter soft and squishy? How did you measure the flour? Did you weigh it? Sounds like the dough might be a little dry. If so, you can always add liquid one tablespoon at a time until it sticks to the side and then pulls away cleanly. If it is doing that, the dough should accept the soft butter. I really hope it turns out for you.

  8. Absolute disaster. I followed your recipe to the letter and came out a buttery mess! Maybe this recipe works for some people but not for me! Ouch!

    1. Hi Rick,
      I’m so sorry your bread did not turn out. Usually, a buttery mess happens because the dough got too warm at some point, usually in the rising process. Is that possible? If you would like to troubleshoot, send me more details such as how you measured the ingredients, etc.