[VIDEO] Small Batch Brioche Sweet Buns

I have to share this sweet buns recipe, I call this Brioche Sweet Buns but feel free to call it whatever you feel like. I love this bread so much, everything about it. The fine compact soft texture, the beautiful appealing look and delicious taste. I can have this on its own even without and spread, for me that is a sign of a good bread when you can eat it plain and still enjoy it.

I am a very visual person, and although taste comes first among other things, visual look also counts in my book. This bread is so beautiful, just looking at it makes me want to eat it, don’t you agree? This is a yeast bread which means on the average it will require about 3 hrs to make it. I know, I know, 3 hrs seems to be a lot of time just to make a bread this is why homebread making requires patience and commitment, but trust me, it is worth it. Once you get the hang of it, you will hopefully fall in love with bread making as well. I made homemade bread almost once a week and I have my fair share of failed and successful batch. Through the years, I have learned a lot and so I am sharing some helpful tips in this post so you can have a delicous bread that you can be proud of to share with your family and friends.

I used this brioche dough before when I made Cheesy Empanada or Cheese Bread and I really like how it turned out. Now, I used this bread even if not making Ensaymada. It is a very flexible dough.

Brioche Buns By SweetNSpicyLiving

What is Brioche Bread

Brioche is a sweet French pastry bread. It is a yeast dough and uses similar ingredients as most yeast rich dough bread. The likes of flour, egg, butter and milk. It is like the yeast bread version of Croissant. 

The rolls are baked as individual serving portion and it uses a broiche mold. It can also be baked as dinner rolls that are side by side each other but the trademark is the unique look and the tremendous amount of ingredeints rich in fat. A lot of recipe also uses more egg yolk which produces a richer bread and a bread that have a dark yellow color.

Brioche Buns

What Makes a Brioche Different to Most Breads?

The difference lies in the amount of eggs and butter used to make Brioche bread. Rich dough means a dough that uses a lot of fat, like butter and eggs. Brioche bread for me is a super rich dough bread because it uses a lot egg and butter, at least the traditional Brioche. Just to give you an idea, an 8 pieces of regualr size burger buns uses about 5 eggs and 1 cup of butter, that much.

Brioche Sweet Buns

Because it uses so much fat, the bread is really tasty and buttery, and it has a deeper yellowish color. I find it great for sandwich bread, or when making French toast, a sweet pull-apart roll bread, braided bread or something similar to those. Another difference of Brioche with other bread is the length of time to make it. The kneading time is longer since it uses a lot of butter and it takes time for the butter to fully mix with the flour. Normally, I Knead most of my homemade yeast bread for about 8 minutes, this Brioche (or semi Brioche) I had to knead it about 15 minutes before and after the butter, until I get the soft dough texture. As you can see, the texture of the bread very compact and fine.

How to Make Bricohe Buns

Disclaimer Alert: Not an Authentic Brioche, but this is better than store bought buns

I will not call this recipe a traditional Brioche because it is not. I used only 1 egg for 1 1/2 cups of flour and instead of 5 tablespoon of butter I cut it down to 2 tablespoon. In the true essence of a Brioche bread, this is not going to qualify but I decided to still call it Brioche Sweet Buns, you can call it just Sweet Buns or whatever you feel fit. But however we call it, one thing for sure, this bread is nothing but amazing! It is soft, it has a fine crumb and it is not bland at all. It is a sweet buns, but not the kind of sweet that you will expect, it is just the nice sweetness, not a dessert kind of swee. It is a bread buns after all.

Small Batch Brioche Buns By SweetNSpicyLiving

Tips for a Successful Soft Homemade Bread

  • Liquid Temperature – Yeast grows in temperature between 105 – 110F, so its important to have the water that you are using to “proof” it in this range. If you go lower or higher, the yeast might not proof properly. That means the bread will not rise as much, resulting to a flat and tough bread. 
  • Check Yeast Expiry a Date – you might be wondering how come the bread did not rise when you followed exactly the recipe. Well, first thing first, make sure the yeast is not yet expired. Expired yeast is the common reason for flat and dense bread. If your bread did not expand or rise during the rest period, it is most likely that the yeast is not fresh or the water temperature is too hot or cold.
  • Amount of Yeast – Just because you want a tall bread doesn’t mean you have to put as much yeast in the mixture. Sometimes adding too much yeast can cause the bread to collapse during the rest period. Just imagine putting more air than what is needed in a balloon, the balloon will explode. The same case with bread. 
  • Right Type of YeastMake sure to use the right one for your recipe, and make necessary adjustments if you want to swap one from another. Active dry yeast requires activation. If you want to swap active dry yeast to instant yeast, reduce the measurement by 1/4 teaspoon. Instant yeast are finer and stronger so you will need less and it will not require activation. You can immediately mix it with the dry ingredients just make sure to avoid direct contact with salt as salt can kill it.
  • Rest Period – Yeast bread needs time to rise. There are bread that uses less yeast but requires more rest time, the likes of No Knead Bread or Artisan Bread which usually require 8- 16 hours rest period to get the volume and to develop the flavor. There are 1 hour bread like my Rosemary Dinner Rolls which used this same bread dough. The point is, give it time to rest, don’t touch it just leave it in a warm place. The first rest period will normally tell you if your dough is good or not. If it rise and almost double in size, then your on the right track.  
  • Expiration and Quality of the Flour – The quality of the flour greatly affect the texture of the bread. All-purpose flour could differ from country to country although they are all called as all-purpose flour. Sometimes it depends on the brand too. The closer the flour to expiration date or if it is already expired, the flour could tend to be drier, which means it would require more liquid than mentioned in the recipe. This is a common issue of way sometimes the dough tend to be tough and dry. This is why sometimes you have to add few more tablespoon from the suggested flour measurement to get the right texture. The dough should be soft, smooth and elastic. If it is too wet, add a bit more flour until it is no longer to sticky to handle. If it is too dry, a small amount of liquid helps provide moisture to the dough. A clean side of the bowl, with the dough slightly sticking at the bottom, a soft, smooth and elastic dough is what You are aiming for.
Small Batch Brioche Buns

How do I Know if I Made the Bread Dough Correctly?

  • Activating the Yeast –  This is the first thing that you should get right, otherwise do NOT proceed. After 5 – 10 minutes you should see a foam forms on top of the water, this is an indication that the yeast is alive. If you do not get this, either the yeast is old or the liquid temperature is too hot or cold. The temperature should be 100F, lukewarm but not hot.
  • Clean Bowl After Kneading – The sides of the bowl should be clean, while the bottom is slightly sticking to the dough. This means that amount of liquid to the flour is correct. Enough to make a clean bowl and still make a slightly wet dough.
  • Soft Dough – Soft dough means the amount of flour to liquid is enough. Too much flour could make the bread dense and heavy, and too much liquid could make it too wet. Both will affect how the bread rise in the rest period. Try to push your fingers in the dough, it should leave a “dimple” on the dough and should gradually disappear.
  • Smooth Dough Surface – Again, this is a sign of correct flour to liquid ratio. A “bumpy” surface could mean that the dough is dry and tough.
  • Elastic Dough – A soft dough is usually elastic. If your dough is dry and tough, it wouldn’t be as elastic when you pull it apart.
  • First Rest Period – The dough should almost double in size. This is a sign that the activation of the yeast work which is crucial to making a soft and fluffy bread. This also means the yeast is alive (not yet expired) and the liquid temperature is correct. I always use baking thermometer to check the temperature of the liquid.
  • Second Rest Period – The bread dough should be really puff up. This is crucial and the final state of the bread before baking. If you are able to make it puff-up, that is a good sign that there are air trapped inside which will make the bread fluffy.
Small Batch Brioche Sweet Buns By SweetNSpicyLiving

Why is My Dough too Wet or too Dry?

Don’t get frustrated if your dough did not turn out immediately as what you see in the photo or video. Most likely It is not because you did not follow the recipe. When it comes to bread making, the amount of flour and liquid is not always 100% precise. This is why often times you will encounter recipes that says, if your dough is dry, add a bit more liquid. If your dough is too wet, add a little bit more flour. This instructions are not meant to confuse you, they are meant to guide you on how to adjust as you work through your dough. The reason for this is that although the measurement of water and flour are specified in the recipe, it still could slightly vary depending on many factors. For instance, all-purpose flour could very from country to country, or even from brand to brand. Don’t be surprise if you find that some brand tends to require a bit more liquid as the others. On top of this, the amount of liquid is also affected by the state of your flour. How old is the flour that you are using? Older flour nearing expiry tends to be drier and this requires more liquid. Humidity also affects baking. The more humid it is, the more likely the dough will be sticky and wet. Last but not the least, the way you measure the ingredients greatly affects the recipe too. If you are not using a weighing scale, the closest you can do is do a spoon and level technique to get close to the measurement, but even this is sometimes a little bit off by few tablespoon. Check out my post “How to Properly Measure Common Baking Ingredients” for more details. Bread making requires patience, and practice. Once you learn how to feel the right texture of the dough, everything will be quick and easy. You can instantly tell if you need to add more water or flour to get the dough in right state.

Small Batch Homemade Bread

What If I Do Not Have Brioche Mold?

Do not worry, you can still make this bread. There are several ways that you can make it

  • Bake it as individual rolls like you would bake dinner rolls. Shape and swirl the dough and arrange it in a baking pan. The difference is that bread baked in mold produces a thicker bread because there is no room to expand and spread. but do not worry, it is still good even if bake like dinner rolls.
  • Bake it as dinner rolls and arrange it in a rectangle pan. Divide the dough into 6 or 9 and roll each portion like a ball. Arrange in the pan side by side. This will look like more pull-apart style.
  • Bake it in large muffin pan. Divide the dough into 6 or 7. You can shape it like when you are baking it in a brioche pan, or you can shape it into a dinner rolls.

Ingredients (5 Pieces):

  • 1/3 cup warm Full Fat Milk (110F) – microwave 15 seconds
  • 1/4 cup granulated Sugar (Divided: 1/2 teaspoon for the yeast, remaining for the flour)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Active Dry Yeast or 1 teaspoon Instant Yeast
  • 1 large Egg – room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups Bread Flour or All-Purpose Flour (plus 2 tablespoon ONLY as needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table Salt
  • 2 tablespoon softened unsalted Butter


  1. Activate the Yeast: Set aside 2 tablespoon of milk in a measuring cup. Pour the remaining milk is the mixing bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon sugar and stir. Add active dry yeast, stir and leave for 10 minutes to bloom.
    • If using instant yeast, mix the yeast with the dry ingredients. No need to activate it.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Mix the egg with the 2 tablespoon of milk and add half of the mixture to the yeast. You can add the remaining gradually later.
    • Bread Making Tip: Adding the liquid gradually will help you monitor the consistency of the dough better so you can stop adding more liquid once you notice that the dough it getting too wet already. You may or may not need all the mixture. Your aim is a smooth, soft, elastic dough that is slightly stick at the bottom of the pan
  3. Add Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, salt and remaining sugar Knead for 15 minutes.
  4. Gradually add remaining egg and milk mixture, until the dough comes together and is still slightly sticking to the bottom of the bowl. If you notice that the dough is dry, add 1/2 teaspoon of milk at a time and continue kneading at least 3 minutes after every addition of additional milk. I often end up with 1 tablespoon egg and milk mixture leftover.
    • To Check: The dough should be smooth, soft, elastic and slightly sticking to the bottom of the bowl
  5. Add the softened butter and knead for another 15 minutes. When you add the butter, you will notice the dough will break apart and it will look like it is too wet. Do not panic, this is expected. Continue mixing (even if longer than 15 minutes) until the dough comes together completely (it will), the side of the bowl is clean and the dough is slightly sticking at the bottom of the bowl. Do not stop mixing until you get to this stage. It takes time to fully incorporate the butter to the flour mixture, so be patient.

6.Let Rest 1st Time: Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning it to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or warm towel, and then let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled. (Rising time is dependent on the temperature of the room; let rise until the dough is doubled).

L-R: Dough After Kneading, Dough Before first rest, Dough after first rest

Trick: Pre-heat the oven to 110F then turn it OFF. Put the covered dough inside for 1 hour.

7. Shape the Dough: Punch the dough down very well, and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into 5 portions. Roll each piece to about 12 x 3 -inches then spread some softened butter on top. Roll into a rope about 20-inches long. Start pressing back and forth from the center to slowly bring it to 20-inch length. Hold one end with your hand, and hold the other end with your other hand and start moving in a circular motion until it looks almost like a cinnamon roll. Transfer in an individual brioche mold. Cover with warm towel or plastic wrap.

L-R: Before 2nd rest, after 2nd rest, after baking

8. Let Rest 2nd Time: Place in a warm place to rise for 60 minutes. They will be puffy when ready, if needed extend until the bread is fully puff-up.

9. Pre-heat the Oven: Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F in the last 10 minutes of 2nd rest time. If you are using the oven to rest the dough, do NOT forget to take the dough out before pre-heating.

11. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, until deeply golden brown. Turn the tray half way though for even baking.

12. Cool: Let cool in the pan for at least 5 minutes then remove and transfer in a cooling rack. Do not leave the bread cooling in the mold as this could create steam that will make the bottom soggy.

15. Serve: You can serve this as is, but of course a butter on top will make it even better. Go for it!

Makes 5 pieces

All-Around Brioche Bread

Well it is a sweet bread rolls (but more attractive and delicious than plain rolls) so you can serve and eat it as in. You can use it as bread for any meals that require a pairing of bread, or you can use it as a sandwich bread like in this photo.

Homemade Bread

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