Brioches à Tête for a Lazy Weekend Brunch or Breakfast

Brioches à Tête

Brioches à Tête

When I am in France, there is nothing more I enjoy for breakfast than a lovely light, flaky croissant or a pain au chocolat, dunked in coffee of course, as is the French way! But, my favourite “Viennoiserie” pastries, or should I says bread buns, are brioche; any kind of brioche is welcome on my kitchen table, as they come in many forms, from Brioche Nanterre, which is baked in a regular loaf tin to Brioche Parisienne and the little Brioches à Tête, both of which are baked in fluted metal tins (or in fluted waxed cases) and are perhaps the most recognisable of the brioche shapes. Brioche is usually eaten for breakfast, brunch or as a sweet treat with coffee, but recently they have started to make an appearance in savoury recipes, with brioche burger buns being “de rigueur” and bang on trend over the last few years, although in France, brioche dough is often used for “en croute” recipes and savoury “amuse bouche” appetisers.

Brioche Burger Buns

Brioche Burger Buns

Today’s recipe for Brioches à Tête is very easy, as I mix and knead the dough in my Kenwood strand mixer for ease and speed. If you have time, you can of course start kneading these buttery pastries by hand, but there is nothing wrong with having a helping hand now and then! The other great thing about this recipe is that the dough is popped in the fridge overnight for a slow rise, meaning that it’s all ready for baking the next day, which is fabulous for lazy weekend breakfast and brunch. If you want to use the recipe for burger buns or for “Fillet of Beef en Croute”, then reduce the sugar in the recipe to a teaspoon – the mixing, kneading and proving will be just the same, although you will need to shape the dough differently according to what you are using the brioche dough for.

Buttery Brioche with jam

I hope you will try my Brioches à Tête recipe, if you do make them you will be rewarded with a batch of 8 golden-glazed, buttery and fluffy bread buns that taste utterly divine! Don’t take my word for it though, give these delicious buns a whirl – the recipe is also easily doubled for 16 wee hat-topped bread treats too, perfect for larger gatherings and special events such as Mothering Sunday, Easter, Christmas or Valentine’s Day. I served mine with some of my homemade Pink Gooseberry Jam last time I made them, as seen in the photos, but they are also wonderful with lemon curd, chocolate spread and all manner of fruit jams and conserves. That’s it for today, I will be back this weekend with some more recipes as well as some travel, hotel and restaurant reviews, so do keep popping back to see what’s new! Have a wonderful day, Karen  

Chocolate Orange Curd with Godiva Chocolates and Clementines

Please note, my lovely Brioche buns are served on The Caravan Trail Penzance and Beach Break flatware, as part of my ongoing collaboration with Churchill China as their Official Caravan Trail Blogger. For more recipes using this and other china in the range, please visit this page here:

The Caravan Trail Recipes

The Caravan Trail

Buttery Brioche

Apple Rose Tarts

Brioches à Tête

Serves 8 Brioches à Tête
Prep time 25 hours, 20 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 hours, 40 minutes

Egg, Milk, Wheat
Meal type

Bread, Breakfast, Snack

Freezable, Pre-preparable

Birthday Party, Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Valentines day
Region French

By author

Karen Burns-Booth

These delicious, buttery little Brioches à Tête are easy to make and are popped in the fridge overnight for a slow first rise, all ready to bake next morning for breakfast or brunch. Swerve them with butter, jam, preserves and a big pot of fresh coffee for a classic French treat. Once baked they freeze well.


  • 250g strong white bread flour
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 5g fast-acting dried yeast (1 teaspoon)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 75ml milk
  • 3 free-range eggs (1 egg beaten for the glaze)
  • 125g unsalted butter (softened)


These delicious, buttery little Brioches à Tête are easy to make and are popped in the fridge overnight for a slow first rise, all ready to bake next morning for breakfast or brunch. Swerve them with butter, jam, preserves and a big pot of fresh coffee for a classic French treat. Once baked they freeze well.


Step 1 For the best results you need to start this recipe the night before.
Step 2 Put the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, milk and the two eggs into a mixer bowl, a stand mixer is best, with the dough hook attached, and mix/knead for 5 to 7 minutes until you have a smooth and elastic dough. You can also mix this by hand, it will take between 8 and 10 minutes to get the same result.
Step 3 Add the softened butter and continue to mix/knead for a further 5 minutes, or up to 10 minutes by hand; put the brioche dough into a clean bowl, cover it and leave it the fridge for a slow rise overnight.
Step 4 The next day, take the dough out of the fridge, it should be pliable but firm, and easy to shape; divide into 8 equal pieces, cutting off about 1/4 of each piece of dough for the brioche heads (têtes).
Step 5 Shape each piece of dough into a ball, including the smaller pieces, and place the larger balls into 8 well-buttered fluted brioche moulds. Place the smaller balls on top and push down firmly to attach them.
Step 6 Cover with a clean tea towel and set to one side in a warm pace to rise for 1 hour.
Step 7 Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. After the brioches have risen for an hour, brush the tops of them with the remaining beaten egg and bake in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Step 8 Remove them from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.
Step 9 Serve them with butter, jam, honey and a pot of fresh coffee. Thy freeze well once baked.

Buttery Brioche

History of the Brioche:
The first recorded use of the word in French dates from 1404. It is attested in 1611 in “Cotgrave’s A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues”, where it is described as “a rowle, or bunne, of spiced bread” and its origin given as Norman. A similar type of bread, called tsoureki (τσουρέκι), is also traditionally baked in Greece for the Easter weekend.

Brioche and Jam

In France it developed as “a sort of bread improved since antiquity by generations of bakers, then of pastry-makers … with some butter, some eggs, sugar coming later … it developed from the blessed bread [pain bénit] of the church which gradually became of better quality, more and more costly, less and less bread; until becoming savoury brioche”. In the 17th century “pâté à tarte briochée”, “a pain à brioche pauvre … [using only] 3 eggs and 250 grams of butter for 1 kilogram of flour” was introduced. The terms “pain bénit” and “brioche” were sometimes used together or virtually interchangeably.

Buttery Brioche

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his autobiography Confessions (published posthumously in 1782, but completed in 1769), relates that “a great princess” is said to have advised, with regard to peasants who had no bread, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”, commonly translated inaccurately as “Let them eat cake”. This saying is commonly mis-attributed to Queen Marie-Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI.

Buttery Brioche