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Milk Street Cookbook Club

Alex Aïnouz's Brioche

By Alex Aïnouz - Friend of Milk Street

1 Large Brioche
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"A word of warning – if you dislike fluffy buns, sweet buttery aromas, rich milky doughs and stretchy but obliging gluten, it's time to turn the page now. Otherwise, welcome to the wonderful world of brioche."

Recipe excerpted with permission from Just A French Guy Cooking by Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz, published by Quadrille September 2018, RRP $19.99 hardcover.


In the unlikely event... There is little chance of you having any leftover the next day but, should that ever happen or you missed a bit first time round, on no account throw it away as it will make the best French toast in the world.


  • 500

    grams (3 ½ cups) strong white bread flour, plus more for tin

  • 7

    grams (1 tsp) instant yeast


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Manal S.

1 TSP Morton Kosher salt, correct? Or does this not apply for 'friend of MS' recipes?

Diana L.

I made it for breakfast. It was pretty good but not fluffy. I think 500grams of flour might be too much. It came very dense. I think the best way is to start with 2 1/2 cups then add the rest of flour a little at a time. Also, I have mixed warm milk and yeast first then waited for 10 min so it rises then I added that to flour. I will definitely make it again but not add as much flour. Thank you for the recipe.

Cindy C.

Mine did not rise at all . Assuming the yeast was the problem.
I'll try the yeast and milk .

Diana L.

I am using yeast from amazon. It never fails. For the yeast to rise everything must be warm (room temperature). The way I warm up eggs, I put them in the warm/hot water for a few minutes. Also, the location where you put the dough is important. It has to be a warm place. You can get your oven warm (not hot), turn on your oven to the lowest setting (mine is 170), wait for 2-3 min or tho then turn it off. Put your hand in the oven and if its warm (not hot), turn it off. Place your dough to rise in it then close the oven door. Also, what I wrote above is important. Too much flour can make the dough not rise (I have used the mixer for this recipe). I do not like to use food/dough mixers because you cant tell if you should add more floor or less. With mixers you tend to put more flour than the dough needs so I mix everything by hand. I usually stop putting more flour if the dough barely sticks to my fingers. You can always add more but you cant remove 😊 The recipe says 1-2 hours to rise. I would recommend 2 to 2 and half hours.

Jennifer H.

My loaf also came out too dense. I think it needed a longer second rise (15 minutes is not enough) and a longer bake. I agree with the above comments-something is off in the recipe (either order of ingredients/amount of flour/giving a longer kneading time). A bit disappointed.

April D.

Jennifer - I'm sorry to hear you were disappointed! Though we (and Alex) find 500 grams of flour to be rightly calibrated to the amount of moisture in this recipe, not all flours are created equal, so you certainly may want to start with about 400 grams of flour, then add the rest a tablespoon at a time until you have a dough that is soft and elastic but not sticky. For the second rise, I would pay more attention to the visual cue - "until the dough just reaches the top of the tin" - rather than the exact time given. I hope you'll give it another try! - April D.

Robert F.

My baked loaf is in the organic waste bin. It did not rise, even after two hours. I should have sprinkled the yeast in warm milk and let it develop for ten minutes or so. A good idea, too, to warm up the eggs in lukewarm water. I like the idea of letting the dough rise in a warm oven, as suggested above. Disappointing and wasteful. I'll try Martha Stewart. Her recipes are quite reliable.

April D.

Robert - I'm sorry to hear about your frustration. It is always tough when bread doesn't behave as expected. If you are ever unsure whether your yeast is good, then it's always a good idea to start it in a bit of warm water (or, in this case, milk) with a little sprinkle or sugar to see whether it starts to foam and smell yeasty. Active dry or Instant yeast that is alive and doesn't get overheated will leaven without this initial step, but it is a good precaution if you have doubts about the yeast. I hope you'll give it another go!

The Milk Street Team

Robert F.

Thanks for your advice about yeast. I think the comments of others about letting the dough rise in a warmed oven are very useful. I am trying again today.

Robert F.

Thanks for your advice about yeast. I think the comments of others about letting the dough rise in a warmed oven are very useful. I am trying again today.