Pour le petit-déjeûner du dimanche matin au lit – Brioche tressée façon pain au lait toute légère


One thing I miss about France is their croissants and brioches you can get at the boulanger (the backer) anytime of the day. They are crunchy, moist in the middle and so delicious. Again, San Francisco has quite a few decent French bakeries where you can go grab the Sunday morning croissants, pains au chocolat, or any other viennoiseries (pastries).  

I do not consider myself  a great baker, and eventhough I like to make desserts, it is not what I prefer to cook, probably because I prefer savory dishes than sweet ones. I wanted anyway to try to make a brioche, since I knew this Sunday morning, no croissants would be waiting on the table. Breakfast is sacred for me, and one morning without breakfast especially on weekends, is ruined. I made this brioche a few times and always turned out perfect. Don’t get intimidated to make it, you cannot fail with this one. Fresh yeast is not easy to find in the US, in France you can buy it at any boulangerie (bakery). In San Francisco, the Rainbow has it, it’s sold in solid cubes and is quite inexpensive but that’s the only location, I have seen it. If you cannot find any fresh yeast, you can use the dry one sold in jar or individual bags. I prefer to use fresh yeast when I make pizza dough, brioches or any pastry, just because I think it rise better or tastes better, which might not necessarily be true.

I know brioches and croissants are filled with butter and quite heavy, so I wanted to make one with little butter, and little sugar, this brioche is in between a traditional brioche and a pain au lait (milk rolls). You can keep it for a few days, you just have to wrap a fabric towel around to keep its moisture. You can also serve this brioche with a fruit salad and ice cream as a dessert.

Ingredients for 8 people

  • 1 lb unbleached white flour (or 500 g)
  • 1/2 lb milk
  • 1/4 cup soft butter 
  • 1 egg (+ 1 for the outside of the brioche)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp fresh yeast dissolved in 6 tbs lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt


Mix all ingredients together except for the butter. Add butter at the end when you already have a nice dough consistency. Incorporate butter but do not mix too much. If the dough is too sticky add some flour but do not make it to hard or it will not rise. The dough should be somehow elastic.

Let the dough rise for about 1h30 hours. Knead the dough again and place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Knead the dough once more, and cut it in theree equal pieces. Roll them to form three stickes and start braiding them. Place in a flat tray, and let rise for another 1h30 hrs. 

Using a brush, baste egg all around the brioche and cook in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes at 370F.

Let cool and enjoy with jam and butter.