Brioche Dinner Rolls
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Brioche Dinner Rolls are the softest bread, perfect for holiday entertaining or just any occasion. Buttery and slightly sweetened, these are best served with a generous pat of butter or as the base for mini sandwiches!
In addition to these rolls, we also love my Mom’s Dinner Rolls. She was the queen of bread baking and the ultimate multi-tasker in the kitchen!
Best Brioche Rolls
As Oprah says….I LOVE BREAD.
Over the years, I’ve made hundreds of loaves of bread, pans of cinnamon rolls, hamburger buns, and dinner rolls. One year when I was working at Southwest Airlines, I set up a booth at our annual holiday fair and sold my homemade goods, working for weeks ahead of time and freezing bread and rolls until I filled my chest freezer.
Let’s just say that running a blog is way easier than selling baked goods.
What is Enriched Dough?
Let’s talk science!
My brioche dinner roll recipe begins with an enriched dough, which is important to know when making this recipe. Why is it taking so long to rise compared to other bread recipes (i.e. my Chewy French Bread)?
Enriched dough contains a high percentage of fat – thanks to eggs, milk, and/or butter – and is also sweeter than its lean counterpart (like a simple crusty loaf).
Fat (whether from butter, eggs, or milk) tenderizes dough by coating and shortening the gluten strands. This creates a much softer crust and more tender crumb than a lower fat alternative. However, fat also slows down yeast activity, requiring a longer fermentation time which also helps to develop more flavor.
The extra sugar also hinders yeast activity. Sugar attracts water, leaving the yeast and sugar to fight over the limited water resource in the dough.
In summary, an enriched dough (like this recipe) contains extra fat and sugar which tends to slow down fermentation. My advise is to be patient and let the dough rise over time. The results are worth it!
What You’ll Need:
There is a good chance that you have all of these baking staples, except maybe the yeast. If you are at all afraid of using yeast, DON’T BE! You can do it. Just follow my steps and don’t be afraid to experiment a little.
- Yeast – I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast. (This is a very large amount. I keep a bunch in the freezer, and it lasts a long time.) We have perfect bread-making weather here in Texas, and my bread always rises pretty quickly. You may need a Quick Rise Yeast, depending on where you live.
- Sugar – The sugar is needed to help activate the yeast and gives this bread a little extra sweetness.
- Milk – It’s very important to use warm milk. I test it with my finger, and make sure it’s not too hot, and not cold either.
- Eggs – The eggs are very important to this recipe and add help to enrich the dough.
- Salt – I like kosher salt, but you can use regular salt as well.
- Flour – For best results, use just 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour and then bread flour for the remainder.
- Butter – I use unsalted butter so we can control the salt.
- Egg Wash and Sesame Seeds – Add this right before the buns go into the oven.
How to make soft Brioche Dinner Rolls:
Activate the yeast. In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm milk. Take a spatula, and stir it around a couple of times. Then let it sit for about 15 minutes so that the yeast activates. You should see a bubbly mixture when it’s ready. See below.
Add the eggs and salt. After the yeast is activated, add the beaten eggs and salt. Whisk again to combine.
Combine flours and the softened butter. To a large standing mixer, add the all-purpose flour, four cups of the bread flour, and the cubed and softened butter. Start the mixer, and run until the butter is well combined into the flour.
Combine. Add the yeast mixture, and mix again, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Gradually add more flour until you get a nice dough consistency. It should be slightly sticky, but easy to handle.
Transfer dough. Transfer the dough from the mixer to a large bowl that has been greased with oil. Remove the dough from the mixer and place it in the bowl. Cover the dough with a clean dishtowel.
Let the dough rise. Place the bowl in a quiet corner of your kitchen and let rise until approximately doubled in size. The rise may be different each time, and will vary depending on where you live.
Form dinner rolls. Once the dough rises, it’s time to form it into rolls. Prepare the pans by spraying with Pam or rubbing with oil. Add a little oil to a pastry mat or a large flat surface (a cutting board works too), and form dough into approximately 18 even round shapes. Place dough rounds seem side down into pans.
Let rise again. Cover pans with a towel and let rise again – until almost doubled in size.
Prepare for baking. Beat one large egg with a splash of water, and using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer over the tops of rolls. Add a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Bake. Bake rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven, until done, approximately 25 minutes. The bottoms should be slightly browned, and the tops a nice golden brown. Remove rolls to a wire rack to cool completely.
Storing and Freezing
- Storing Tip: These rolls are best fresh the first day! They can be stored in airtight bags on the counter for 2-3 days.
- Freezing Tip: You can freeze these rolls in freezer bags for up to three months.
- When you add the warm liquids to the yeast and sugar – be careful to use WARM liquid, not hot. If the liquid is too hot, the yeast will disappear and you can’t make bread without yeast. Also, do not use cool liquid because it won’t activate the yeast.
- Don’t add all the flour at once because every baking day is different. Some days you will need a bit more flour and some days, you will need less.
- The dough shouldn’t be overly sticky when ready. It should bounce back slightly to the touch. Over time, you will learn exactly how much flour is needed to make the ultimate brioche buns.
- Be sure to use an egg wash before baking. This is what gives the rolls a nice golden color.
- When done, the bottom of the rolls should be slightly brown and crunchy, and the top, a nice golden brown.
Active Dry Yeast vs Instant Yeast:
As a rule, I only use Active Dry Yeast in my bread baking. You can use Instant Yeast as well, but will need just a little bit less. Instant Yeast also requires less time to rise, but since I live in a fairly warm, humid climate (Texas), I’ve never had a problem with my bread rise.
- Active Dry Yeast – A type of dry yeast that’s granular, similar to cornmeal. This yeast is a living organism that’s dormant until proofed, requiring a small amount of lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar to activate.
- Instant Yeast – Also known as quick-rise, rapid-rise, or even bread machine yeast. This yeast is milled into smaller particles so it doesn’t need to be dissolved into water. The dough rises faster with this yeast because enzymes and other additives are included to make this happen. You don’t ever need to do more than one rise with this yeast.
Other Bread Recipes:
I happen to love working with yeast. It seems intimidating, but it’s not. I promise!
- Whole Wheat Honey Bread – Makes two generous loafs for the best toast.
- The Best Homemade Naan Bread – Never tried naan? You really should.
- The Best Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting – THE recipe I made for my holiday fair referred to at the top of this post! 😀
Want to get on the sourdough train? Learn my Sourdough Starter Basics and start making all of the delicious bread like Jalapeño Cheddar Sourdough Bread, Sourdough Sandwich Bread, and Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread!
Kitchen Tools used for this recipe: (Affiliate Links)
Brioche Dinner Rolls
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 2/3 cup 2% milk – slightly warmed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 3/4 cup bread flour
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- egg wash and sesame seeds
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm milk. Stir and then let sit for about 15 minutes to activate the yeast. It should be nice and bubbly when activated.
- Add the eggs and salt to the mixture and stir to combine.
- In a large standing mixer, combine the all-purpose flour, about four cups of the bread flour, and the cubed and softened butter. Start mixer and run until the butter is well combined into the flour. Add the yeast mixture, and mix again, occasionally stopping to scape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Gradually add more bread flour until you get a nice dough consistency. It should be slightly sticky, but easy to handle.
- Place the dough in a well-greased bowl. Punch it down and form it into a nice smooth ball. Cover with a clean dish towel and place in a quiet corner of your kitchen. Let rise until approximately doubled in size. This time will vary according to the temperature of your kitchen and the climate where you live.
- Form the dinner rolls. Prepare two square 8×8 pans with baking spray. Add a little oil to a baking mat or clean working surface, and divide dough into two sections. Then divide each section into nine equal parts, and form even round shapes with your hands. Place seem side down into the pans so that each round is touching the others.
- Cover the pans and let the rolls rise again, until about doubled in size.
- Beat one large egg with a splash of water, and brush this on top of the rolls. You won't use it all. Then add a sprinkle of sesame seeds, if desired.
- Bake rolls in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until done. The tops and bottoms of the rolls should be a nice golden brown color. Remove to a cooling rack.
- Storing Tip: These rolls are best fresh the first day! They can be stored in airtight bags on the counter for 2-3 days
- Freezing Tip: You can freeze these rolls in freezer bags for up to three months.
Can I use this dough for cinnamon rolls too?
Hi Sheila. I believe you could use that for cinnamon rolls but I also have a couple of recipes for that as well.
I haven’t tried that, Sheila, but I think it would work.
These rolls are amazing! They were easy to make and came out beautiful.
These are great! Great flavor and density. Perfect dinner roll or bun for sliders.
Thanks so much for the feedback, Traci!
Love it! Your bread recipes are the best!
Thank you so much! 🙂