Mix flour, sugar, yeast, and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer.
Add warm evaporated milk to the bowl with the flour mixture. Beat with a dough hook on low speed for 2 - 3 minutes until combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Increase mixer speed to medium, continue kneading until the dough comes together, about 8 -10 minutes. NOTE: Make sure the evaporated milk is warmed, like lukewarm – about 100°F/ 38ºC. This is essential to activate the yeast.
Add the softened butter, with the mixer running, one tablespoon at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. I like to add one tablespoon of butter and mix for 2 minutes, I even set the timer on my phone to make sure I am mixing long enough. The dough will be sticky after adding in the butter. Be sure to scrape the bowl as needed to make sure the dough is mixing correctly.
After adding all the butter, keep mixing the dough for 10 – 20 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, velvety, screechy, and the dough passes the windowpane test. This can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 20 minutes, so be patient. NOTE: Make sure to knead the dough long enough, so your bread is light and fluffy and not dense or heavy. Heavy bread can be the result of not kneading the dough long enough.What is the windowpane test? The windowpane test is one of the best ways to tell if you've sufficiently kneaded your bread dough. If properly kneaded, the dough should stretch, without tearing or breaking, into a thin membrane that you can see through. It means that the gluten is well-developed, and your dough is ready to rise.
Roll the dough into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover and let it set in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours, or until double in size.
To bake the same day: Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a floured surface and punch down the dough.
To bake the next day: Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down to deflate dough completely, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or for up to 48 hours.
Form the Loaf:
There are many ways you can shape your brioche. You can make a plain loaf, a braided loaf, individual buns, etc.… Totally up to you!
Letter Fold Loaf: Divide the dough into six equal pieces (140 g each approx.). Flatten each piece into a rectangle, then fold short ends in towards each other. Flatten again and tightly roll into a log. Repeat with all pieces. Grease 8”-x-5” loaf pans with butter. Place 6 pieces of dough seam-side down in one straight row into each prepared pan. Cover.
Braid: Divide the dough into three equal pieces (280 g each approx.). Roll the pieces out into long strands that are about 1 1/2 times as long as your pan. Pinch one of the ends together. Braid the three pieces together, and then pinch the other end together. Tuck the ends underneath and transfer the dough to a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover.
Mini Buns: Divide the chilled dough into 12 pieces (70 g each approx.) to make mini brioche buns. After arranging the dough balls on your baking trays, flatten them slightly. Cover the buns loosely with plastic wrap. This is important to prevent skin from forming on the dough, as it rises.
NOTE: If you refrigerate the dough overnight, it might be a bit stiffer to work with, so you can use a rolling pin to help shape it into the desired width and length.
Cover the shaped bread and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until double in size.
This process might take longer depending on the temperature of the dough. If you refrigerate the dough overnight, the second rise can take up to 3 hours. Be patient! The second proof is important to get a beautifully risen, airy, and light bread loaf. If you under-proof the bread dough, you’ll end up with a smaller bread loaf that is denser and has less volume.
How To Know When Your Bread Loaf Is Ready to Be BakedThe bread is ready to bake when it has doubled or triple the size, and when you press into the dough with your finger, an indentation is formed, and it remains. If the dough bounces back without leaving an indentation, then the dough is under-proofed. If the indentation causes the dough to deflate, then the dough has over-proofed, and you may need to re-knead and re-form the dough and proof it once again.
Preheat your oven to 375º F (190º C) and place the oven rack in the lower half. If your bread is too close to the top of the oven it will get too brown.
Make the Eggless Egg Wash: Mix 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk + 2 tablespoons melted butter in a bowl. Brush the surface of the loaf with eggless “egg wash”.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, tenting with foil after 15 to 20 minutes if the crust is getting too dark. The internal temperature should read between 180ºF -190ºF/88°C, and up to 205°F/96ºC for a crustier loaf. For individual buns: Bake in preheated oven until golden brown on top, and the internal temperature registers 190°F / 88°C. This can take about 10 - 12 minutes.
Shiny glaze (optional): Mix 2 teaspoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon water until the sugar is completely dissolved. As soon as the bread comes out of the oven, brush it with the sugar mixture to give it that shiny finish.
Allow brioche to cool in the pan for 10 mins. Remove from pan and serve warm.
Store: Wrap cooled brioches well with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to two days, then transfer to the refrigerator for up to 5 days.Freeze: Brioche bread can be frozen for up to a month. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap before placing it in the freezer. Thaw to room temperature before serving. Reheat as desired.Extra Tips:
Plan ahead! Eggless Brioche takes time.
Take out butter a few hours before you begin to soften. If you press the butter with your finger, you would easily leave a mark with no resistance. But the butter has NOT melted.
Make sure the sweetened condensed milk is at room temperature too. And the evaporated milk is warmed to 100ºF/38ºC.
Add the butter slowly! If you add the butter in too fast, it will not "emulsify" into the dough and result in an oily, broken dough. I recommend adding one tablespoon at a time and mix for 2 minutes before adding the next.
This dough requires an extensive amount of mixing, so doing this by hand will result in a very long, very arduous process. A stand mixer is highly recommended to knead the dough until smooth and velvety. Do NOT use a hand mixer – it will be too much of a strain on the motor.
Stay near the mixer! You might have to hold it in place as it might start dancing across your countertop with so much mixing.
If you're making this recipe, please read the whole post content to get lots of tips, tricks, variations, frequently asked questions, and step-by-step photos.★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!Please note that nutritional information is a rough estimate, and it can vary depending on the products used.