James Beard Award-winning Cookbook Author

No-Knead Brioche Loaves and Rolls

When in doubt, bake! that’s my motto, and it’s what I do. You may want to, too. In fact, I encourage you to. The act of baking and the appetizing aromas that you’ll inhale will create happiness and good appetite. So I suggest you bake brioche, the classic buttery, eggy French bread, in a new no-knead way from Cooks Illustrated magazine. The dough rises in the fridge for 16 to 48 hours. So you won’t get instant gratification, but you will have fabulous bread the next day. I’ve adapted the procedure  to include making brioche buns in addition to loaves. Happy baking!

No-knead brioche buns Greg Patent the baking wizard

No-Knead Brioche Loaves and Buns

The classic French bread, made with butter and eggs gets a make-over. Cooks Illustrated magazine published their method for making the classic buttery and eggy French bread a few years ago, and it really works. Whether you want loaves or buns, this recipe just may become a staple of your baking repertoire.
Cuisine French
Servings 24 Buns



  • 3 1/4 cups bread flour 17 3/4 ounces
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast 1 package
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 7 large eggs 1 lightly beaten with pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup water room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar 2 1/3 ounces
  • 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly 2 sticks


  • Whisk the flour, yeast, and salt together in large bowl.
  • Whisk 6 eggs, water, and sugar together in medium bowl until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Whisk in the warm butter until smooth.
  • Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand for 10minutes.

    2.Holding an edge of the dough with your fingertips—it will be sticky—, fold the dough over itself by gently lifting and folding the edge of dough toward middle. Turn the bowl 45 degrees; fold again. Turn the bowl and fold the dough 6 more times (total of 8 folds). Work quickly. It shouldn’t take more than 30 seconds to make all 8 folds. Cover the bowl with plastic and let the dough rest for 30 minutes. Repeat the folding and riesting every 30 minutes, 3 more times. After the fourth set of folds, cover the bowl tightly with plastic and refrigerate for at least 16 hours or up to 48 hours.

      3.To shape loaves, transfer the dough to a well-floured counter and divide the dough into 4 pieces. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, pat the dough into a 4-inch disk. Working around the circumference of dough, fold the edges of dough toward the center until a ball forms. Flip the dough over and, without applying pressure, move your hands in small circular motions to form the dough into a smooth, taut round. (If the dough sticks to your hands, lightly dust top of dough with flour.) Repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the dough rounds loosely with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes.

        4.Grease two 8- by 4--inch loaf pans. After 5 minutes, flip each dough ball so the seam side is facing up, pat each into a 4-inch disk, and repeat the rounding step. Place 2 rounds, seam side down, side by side into the prepared pans and press gently into corners. Cover loaves loosely with plastic and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size (dough should rise to about 1/2 inch below top edge of pan), 1- to 2 hours. Could take longer in a chilly kitchen. Thirty minutes before baking, adjust an oven rack to the middle position, place a baking stone r rimmed baking sheet on the rack, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

          5.Remove the plastic and brush the loaves gently with the remaining 1 egg beaten with salt. Set the loaf pans on the stone or baking sheet and bake until golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190 degrees, 35 to 45 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the loaves from pans, return to wire rack, and let cool completely before slicing and serving, about 2 hours.

            6.If making buns, butter or coat with cooking spray two standard 12-cup muffin tins. Divide the chilled dough into 24 equal portions, each weighing about 1 3/4 ounces. Shape each portion into a taut ball and place seam side down into a muffin cup. Coat surfaces of buns lightly with cooking pray and lay a sheet of plastic loosely over the pans. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1- to 2-hours. Buns will dome up above the rims of the cups.

              7.Thirty minutes before baking, adjust two oven racks to divide the oven into thirds, place a rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic and brush the buns with the egg and salt. Bake the buns until their tops are nicely browned and the internal temperature registers 190 degrees, about 25 minutes. Rotate sheets and pans halfway through baking. Cool the buns in their pans 5 minutes, then remove to cooling racks to cool completely.

                Keyword No-Knead, Yeast Bread


                2 thoughts on “No-Knead Brioche Loaves and Rolls”

                • I would like to make brioche hamburger buns. How do you suggest shaping them? Ok to halve recipe? Thanks!

                  • Hi, Marlene
                    I would not halve the recipe. Make the whole thing and you can shape some into buns and the remainder into a loaf. The bread freezes really well. For the buns, weigh out 2 1/2 to 3 ounces of the chilled dough for each. Shape each into a ball and flatten to about a 3-inch diameter. Arrange well apart on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover loosely and let rise to double at room temp. Brush with glaze and bake at 350 (no baking tile necessary) until golden brown and baked through. About 20 to 25 minutes, I’m guessing. Test with an instant-read thermometer. Should be about 200˚F. Hope this helps. And many thanks for writing.

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