Stir together this one-bowl, Overnight No-Knead Brioche Bread before bed. When you rise, it will be ready to shape and bake. It’s the most tender, buttery bread that’s wonderful for toast, sandwiches or for your next dinner party!
Have you heard the phrase “one-armed paper hanger”? Well, I can identify, because I am currently a “one-footed cook”. Yep, I broke my foot about a week and a half ago and have doctor’s instructions for: “absolutely no weight-bearing for 6-8 weeks”. Yikes! It’s cramped my style a bit, but guess what? This Overnight No-Knead Brioche Bread is easy enough to put together on one leg!
How did the broken foot happen? I thought you’d want to know.
I was ringing doorbells one night and running away. It was great fun until someone started chasing me and I began running like a house on fire. I was losing, ground so when I spotted a picket fence, I jumped as high as I could and actually cascaded right over the fence. The landing wasn’t quite as successful… in fact, that’s when the foot thing happened.
Don’t you think that sounds so much better than this: I was walking with Scott on a sidewalk in a nearby little mountain town and didn’t notice a small curb that led to a driveway. I tripped, lost my balance and fell hard. I wasn’t sure if my hands, knees or foot hurt the most. Or maybe it was my pride…
Yes, I think the first story sounds much better – so I’m sticking with it.
Better than grandma’s bread…
Back to the overnight no-knead brioche bread… I served this bread with dinner one evening recently when my son, Nick and his wife, Lindsay were visiting. Nick took one bite and said “this bread!”, “it’s better than grandma’s”. My mom was famous for her delicious homemade bread so that was a great compliment. I knew at that moment that I needed (or kneaded) to share this delicious bread with you!
And guess what? I used to watch my mom make her homemade bread and this no-knead brioche bread is WAY easier than the way she did it. Of course, she probably had really shapely arms because of all that kneading, but I can think of more fun ways to get shapely arms (or “guns” as my kids say).
The magic happens while you sleep…
The whole process from start to finish will take 10-12 hours, on the average, but it’s 99% hands-off time. Good bread can’t be hurried when it comes to rising. And that’s exactly where the majority of the time is involved with this recipe.
Your part is super easy. You simply stir together flour, sugar, yeast, salt, eggs, butter and water until it’s well-mixed. Cover the dough, refrigerate and have yourself some sweet dreams. The magic will be taking place in the refrigerator. You’ll know what I mean when you check things out in the morning. The dough will be light, airy, will have climbed up the bowl and be ready to roll (literally!).
I like to make four small (my pans are 3×6-inch) loaves of bread with this recipe, but you can also make two larger loaves.
Keep a stash of this no-knead brioche bread in the freezer
This no-knead brioche bread freezes beautifully. It’s so nice to pull a loaf out for breakfast, lunch or dinner. As soon as my stash is depleted, I make another batch since it takes so little time. If I’m making it during the day, I can run out, do a few errands, have lunch with a friend, pick up groceries, and the dough just does its own thing while I’m gone.
I like to pop the little loaves back in the oven after thawing and get the crust nice and crisp. The hot bread is fabulous served sliced in a breadbasket. It’s also wonderful for sandwiches (grilled cheese are amazing!), with salads or alongside soup (pictured below is my Fresh Spinach Soup – delish!)
Even if you’ve never made bread before, give this no-knead brioche bread a try! Because the recipe calls for instant (or rapid-rise yeast) there are no worries about activating the yeast. Instant yeast is combined with the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt) and activates on its own when the warm liquid is added.
You might even get a reputation like my mom had as a famous little old bread baker!
Café Tips for making this Overnight No-Knead Brioche Bread
- This recipe calls for hot tap water. The water should be nice and warm, not so hot that you pull your hand out if you touched it, but warm enough to feel hot.
- When turning the dough out onto the counter to form the loaves, use plenty of flour. If the dough is sticking to your hands or the work surface, you need more flour. Just keep flipping the dough in the flour till it’s not sticky.
- I love using one of these bench scrapers when making bread. Instead of turning the sticky dough with your hands, using one of these tools makes things really easy. It’s also a great way to scrape any floury dough off of the counter when cleaning up.
- I like to let the bread cool completely then slip individually into bread bags and pop them into a freezer. A few hours before serving I pull a loaf or two out to thaw, then re-warm the bread in the oven at 300˚F for about 10 minutes – or until it’s nice and crusty.
- If you want to make the dough in less time, just don’t refrigerate it. It will take 2-3 hours to rise and then you can proceed with forming the loaves. Bake as directed once the loaves have risen.
- I usually use four 3×6-inch bread pans for this recipe. If you want larger loaves, you could also use two 8×4-inch pans.
- This recipe calls for instant (or rapid-rise) yeast. Don’t try to use regular dry yeast. Instant (or rapid-rise) yeast can be found at most grocery stores right next to the regular yeast. It usually comes in small packets which hold 2¼ teaspoons but you can also purchase rapid rise yeast in bulk.
- This no-knead brioche bread is fabulous with a smear of butter and a dollop of this Overnight Raspberry Freezer Jam (pictured above). If you missed the fresh raspberry season, no worries, the jam can be made from frozen berries.
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It’s so helpful to other readers to hear other’s results and ideas for variations.
Stir together this one-bowl, Overnight No-Knead Brioche Bread before bed. When you rise, it will be ready to shape and bake. It's the most tender, buttery bread that's wonderful for toast, sandwiches or your next dinner party!
- 4 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 envelope instant yeast 2 ¼ teaspoons,7 grams, or ¼ ounce
- 4 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 ¼ cups hot tap water
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon tap water
- soft butter for greasing the pans
Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a medium-large bowl. Stir well to combine then make a well in the center.
Melt butter in the microwave for 30-40 seconds on high power, until just melted. Remove from microwave and add the 1/4 cup of milk. Stir with a fork then add the egg and stir again until well mixed.
Add the milk mixture to the well in the center of the flour. Add the very warm tap water to the well then stir to combine. Continue stirring until all flour is incorporated. Cover the dough and place in refrigerator overnight, 8-16 hours.
Generously butter four 3x6-inch loaf pans and set aside. (Alternatively, you could use two 8x5-inch loaf pans.)
Generously flour a work surface and tranfer the dough to the work surface. Turn several times with a bench scraper or spatula until the dough is well coated with flour.
Using a bench scraper or spatula, divide the dough into four equal pieces. Turn each piece in the flour to coat all of the surfaces. Add more flour to the work surface if needed.
Take one piece of the dough and flatten it out with your hands into a rectangle shape with the long side slightly longer than one of your bread pans. Turn to coat both sides with flour if any of the surfaces are sticky.
Roll up tightly like a cinnamon roll, then tuck the ends under and shape with your hands into a loaf. Place in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough.
Cover the pans with a clean kitchen towel and let the bread rise again until the loaves look like they’ve doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
When the loaves are close to being doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare the egg wash by vigorously whisking together one large egg with 1 tablespoon of water. Set aside.
With a pastry brush, brush each loaf over the top with the egg wash. Try to be careful not to let the wash drip down the sides of the loaves into the pan.
Place loaves in the preheated oven for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown. Check it after 15 minutes. If it's getting too brown on the top, cover it with foil for the last 3-8 minutes. (Larger loaves will take longer.) Remove bread from pans and transfer to a cooling rack. (If bread is stuck to the side of the pan anywhere (from the egg wash), loosen it with a small thin bladed knife.) Enjoy!
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.
Recipe adapted from Alexandra Cooks.
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