December 21, 2023

Can You Freeze Brioche? (with Brioche Bread Recipe)

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As fall approaches, this time of year I yearn for the coziness of lit beeswax candles, a crackling fire, and the sound of rain tapping against the window. And what better way to complement these delights than with a steaming cup of tea and a warm, homemade brioche bread.

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Table of Contents

Introduction

I’ll share my recipe for this fluffy brioche using the tangzhong method. And, because when you start baking you might as well bake twice as much. I’ll also explain how to store your brioche bread and answer your brioche bread storage-related questions.

“Can you freeze brioche bread?”, “What can I make from leftover brioche bread?” And, “Can I freeze unbaked brioche bread dough?”

So, if you’re thinking about stocking your freezer with brioche dough, let’s find out if it’s possible!

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What are Sweet Breads?

Sweet breads are enriched dough breads, usually made with instant yeast or fresh yeast. Although they’re still a type of yeast bread like most artisan bread types, they often contain warm milk and butter, and sometimes sugar. That’s why we call them sweet breads or enriched dough breads. That’s what makes it different from artisan bread and traditional French bread like a baguette for instance. Homemade brioche bread is a buttery bread with a light, fluffy texture and rich flavor.

Depending on how the bread is shaped, the same brioche bread dough can be made into different types of bread like burger buns, regular buns, brioche rolls, French toast and you can even use it for cinnamon rolls. So, it’s a very versatile bread dough.

In my opinion, the best brioche bread recipe is the one made with spelt flour. If you enjoy making your own bread, you should check out my other bread recipes. Additionally, you can claim your free e-book “Starting Sourdough” where I will guide you through all the necessary steps to make your own sourdough starter and share five of my favorite bread recipes.

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Making the Brioche Bread Dough

Brioche bread is a fairly easy type of bread to make. I’ll share my tips on making fluffy brioche bread. Though it’s an extensive list, I want to encourage you to read all of it because it contains valuable information.

  • Put away any clutter from your work surface and clean it well before you do anything. This is especially important if you want to shape the dough into burger buns, brioche rolls, braided brioche bread, etc. That’s the best way to ensure you’ll have enough, clean working space to shape the brioche dough.
  • It’s easiest to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment for kneading the brioche dough. The brioche dough tends to be sticky and may sometimes even feel like wet dough.
  • Depending on how you want to shape your brioche dough you’ll need a baking sheet in case you want to make your brioche dough into rolls or burger buns. If you want to make your brioche dough into a sandwich loaf you’ll need a loaf pan.
  • You’ll need a large bowl for mixing, kneading, and the first rise. Keep in mind that the dough should easily fit in the large bowl, and it should also leave enough room for when the dough rises.
  • For this recipe, you can use either instant yeast or fresh yeast, both will work fine. You can test your instant yeast to check if it’s an active dry yeast by putting it in a little bit of warm milk and placing it in a warm place. For a bread recipe that uses water instead of milk, you can test instant yeast by dissolving it in warm water. After about ten minutes it should be dissolved and slightly foamy. I like to add the dissolved yeast mixture to the rest of the milk, so it will easily distribute in the dough.
  • Room-temperature butter makes it easier to incorporate the butter into the dough. Add the cubes of butter one by one. Wait for the butter to be fully incorporated before adding the next cube of room-temperature butter
  • I find that the best fluffy brioche is made by making a simple roux in a small saucepan called a tangzhong. I explain more about making a tangzhong in this high-hydration bread recipe. In short, by adding a tangzhong to the bread dough, the brioche dough will hold much more water, resulting in fluffy, light brioche buns.
  • Allow the tangzhong to cool and set away for later use sufficiently.
  • For the first rise, you can place a damp tea towel over the bowl. Some like to use cling film or tin foil. I like a simple tea towel, since I always have them on hand, and my bread dough tends to stick to whatever I put over the bowl. I find it easier to take the bread dough off a towel than scrape it off cling film or tin foil.
  • You can use all-purpose flour, bread flour, or regular flour. I like to use spelt flour or spelt with a combination of whole einkorn flour.
  • You could use some cooking spray for your large bowl to prevent the dough from sticking to the sides during the first rise. However, I just like to use regular room-temperature butter to grease the bowl to prevent the dough from sticking. You could also save a small portion of the flour for dusting the bowl.
  • If you are making brioche buns or rolls, divide the dough into equal pieces to ensure even baking times and the best results. Roll them into small balls for buns or, shape and braid them for other shapes.
  • An egg wash gives your brioche bread a beautiful shine. If you don’t have eggs on hand you can brush your brioche loaf with milk.
  • Your brioche bread is finished when it reaches an internal temperature of 180–190°F or about 80–88°C.

Homemade Brioche Recipe Tips

I shared a super tasty sourdough braided brioche bread earlier. So if you prefer sourdough over instant yeast, go to my recipe for a sourdough braided brioche bread here. You can find a comprehensive recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Keep in mind the tips that I gave you earlier in this post and I’m sure you’ll end up with a lovely brioche loaf!

Store Brioche Bread

Before storing your brioche bread, allow it to cool on a wire rack.

The shelf life of store bought brioche buns is longer than homemade brioche bread because of all the additives. For homemade brioche bread I would say about 2 days. Although as with all homemade bread types, they’re best when they’re fresh out of the oven.

If you plan on using the brioche loaf the next day you could store it in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or a plastic bag (I like Ziplock bags).

If you love freshly baked brioche bread, you can refrigerate the dough after shaping and proofing, then bake it the following day.

Or, a cotton bread storage bag is a great way to store your brioche loaf. And that makes a great beginner sewing project! I’ll post one later, so stay tuned.

Longer Term Storage for Brioche Bread

Brioche freezes well, making it a great option for baking ahead. I find freezing my brioche loaf to be the easiest storage method. Since it can be used for long-term storage as well as for storing it only for a week or so, but still having fresh bread.

You can store brioche bread in an airtight container or place it in a plastic bag. I like to use Ziplock bags. Whatever type you use, make sure the bag is a freezer-safe bag

Securely wrap your brioche bread in air-tight packaging to avoid freezer burn. In a freezer bag, you can store the brioche bread for a long time (in the freezer) and enjoy it at a later date.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some ideas to turn your leftover brioche bread into something delicious.

  • Bread pudding or butter pudding in the oven
  • French Toast in a skillet
  • Croutons in the oven
  • Croque Monsieurs in a toaster oven

Certainly! You need to make the dough up to when you would normally put it in the oven. So make sure you give the brioche dough its first rise, shaping, and second rise before placing it in the freezer.

Yes! When you’re ready to bake your homemade brioche bread, preheat the over to 350°F/ 180°C. Place the frozen bread dough in the oven for about 30-35 minutes (when baking a loaf). Baking time and temperature can vary slightly depending on your oven and the type of bread you’re making. Burger buns and brioche rolls take less time to bake.

For baked and cooled brioche breads the answer is yes.

For freezing brioche bread dough: don’t wrap the dough in cling film or tin foil as this will be really hard to get off once the dough is thawed. Instead, carefully place the dough in a Ziplock bag and freeze. Place it on a sheet of parchment paper for easy of sliding the bread in the plastic bag.

Brioche Bread Recipe

Brioche Bread Recipe

Yield: 1 loaf or 10 buns
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Enjoy these cozy fall days with this recipe for a fluffy brioche using the tangzhong method.

Ingredients

For the Tangzhong

  • 200 ml. / 3/4 cups milk
  • 50 grams of flour

For the Bread Dough

  • 500gr/ 4 cups of spelt flour
  • 1 package instant yeast (7 grams)
  • 250ml./ appr. 1 cup milk
  • 50 grams unrefined cane sugar
  • 50 grams butter
  • 10 grams sea salt

Egg wash (optional)

  • Use 1 beaten egg or 3 tbsp of milk

Instructions

  1. To make the tangzhong: add water and flour to a saucepan. Gently heat until a roux-like consistency forms. Let cool.
  2. For the bread dough: Combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast and give it a quick stir to combine.
  3. Add the milk and the cooled tangzhong to the bread dough and mix until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl.
  4. Let the dough rise for about an hour or until about doubled in size.
  5. While the dough rises preheat the oven to 220°C/ 428°F.
  6. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and shape it into the desired form. Or divide into equal parts for burger buns and rolls.
  7. FOR BUNS: Place the shaped dough on the baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with a damp tea towel and proof for the second time, about 30 minutes. FOR LOAF: Place the brioche bread dough in the loaf pan. Cover with a damp tea towel and proof for the second time, about 30 minutes.
  8. Brush with egg wash/ milk.
  9. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes for buns and rolls. For a brioche loaf, about 40-45 minutes.
  10. Let the brioche cool before storing or freezing.

Notes

Read the section "Making the Brioche Bread Dough" first for additional, helpful tips and instructions before making the dough.

Conclusion

As we wrap up, remember, brioche is a cozy delight. Knead, Bake, Store, freeze, and enjoy the versatility. So, can you freeze brioche? Absolutely!

For more homemaking inspiration, stay on the blog. Create a haven of warmth and flavor for your family.

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