Brioscia Siciliano | A Soft Italian Brioche Recipe 

 April 1, 2021

By  Gareth Busby


16 - 18 HOURS


Brioche is one of the most recognised and celebrated bread in the world, brioche Italian or Italiano is my preferred versions. Packed with flavour, brioche Italian is lighter and softer than authentic French brioche. There are quite a few techniques that are used to make brioche, one of the most challenging is shaping brioche à tête.

Fantastic fun, and absolutely delicious! Give this a go - you'll love it! This bread is fantastic eaten with ice cream as done in the isle of Sicily.

These Italian versions are a little more forgiving if the shaping isn’t perfect than the original French brioche. If you don't fancy the traditional brioche à tête shape, they can simply be rounded to make the most delicious brioche rolls.

How to make Italian brioche by video tutorial


For the dough:

     500g  White bread flour 

     200g  Milk

    250g  Eggs (5 medium)

     25g  Fresh yeast (12g active dried)

      8g  Salt

     80g  Caster sugar

     250g Salted butter (at room temperature)

For baking:

1 egg and a pinch of salt for the egg wash

A tablespoon of butter for greasing.

For the sugar glaze:

2 tablespoons of caster sugar 

A cup of hot water

Method to make brioche rolls


Weigh up

First, weigh all the ingredients and dice the butter into cubes. If using dried yeast follow the instructions below.


Start kneading

Add the ingredients (minus the butter) to a large mixing bowl and set a 6 minute timer. With a plastic dough scraper, make sweeping circular movements through the ingredients to combine them in the bowl. Once the dough forms a mass, knead slowly on a table, using a slow, stretching motion. Continue this until the timer beeps. At this point the dough will have an even consistency. Scrape the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover with a bag and place it in the fridge for 25 minutes.

Using a dough mixer:

Alternatively you can use a dough mixer. Excluding the butter, add the ingredients to a dough mixer, fitted with a dough hook attachment. Mix on slow speed for 5 minutes, then increase the speed and mix for a further 8 minutes. Slow down the mixer and add the butter, a few cubes at a time. Continue mixing for another 5 minutes, or until the butter is incorporated and nice, luscious, gluten strands are visible in the dough. Skip to step 5.


Fast knead & add the butter

Take the dough out of the fridge and onto a worktop. Set a 5 minute timer and use a stretch, slap and fold technique until the timer beeps. Add the butter all at once and keep kneading for an extra two minutes. Don't worry if it doesn't get fully incorporated. Cover, and place back in the fridge for another 20 minutes.


Knead again

Remove from the fridge again, and knead on the table using a fast technique until the butter is incorporated and nice, luscious, gluten strands are visible in the dough. This can take up to 8 minutes.


Bulk ferment overnight

Place back in the bowl, cover with a bag or plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for 12-14 hours.


Divide into dough pieces

The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and remove from the bowl to a floured table. Using a metal dough scraper, and a set of scales, divide the dough into 70g pieces and roughly preshape into balls.


Prepare the tray

Leave to rest for 10 minutes on the table whilst greasing a baking sheet with butter or lining with greaseproof paper.


Shape into the brioche à tête shape

Then, starting with the first piece that was cut, shape into balls. Shape into brioche à tête and place onto the baking sheet.


Egg wash

Break an egg, add a pinch of salt and whisk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg wash over the shaped brioche.

italian brioche proofing

Final rise

Leave to rise for around 3 hours. This will depend on the temperature of the room. Test with the poke test to check if they're ready. Preheat the oven to 180C (355F).


Egg wash and bake

Again, egg wash the brioche, before baking in the oven for 15-20 minutes. It is best to take them out just before a golden colour is achieved as they continue to brown when they cool.


Glaze and cool

Once baked, allow to cool on a wire rack. Mix the sugar and a couple of drops of boiling water in a cup to dissolve the sugar. Add the glaze over the Italian brioches for a nice shiny surface.

Using dried yeast

If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as the recipe. Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm the milk and water using 10 second bursts in the microwave until it reaches 35C (95F) - no higher. Add the dried yeast and a teaspoon of sugar to the milk, whisk and leave for 10 minutes to bloom. Add the yeasty milk to the recipe when required.

Top tips for the best brioche rolls

You can use unsalted butter for this brioche recipe, just increase the salt to 10g.

When making bread with high amounts of sugar in the recipe, try to use osmotolerant yeast. This type of yeast thrives in high sugar environments where common yeasts often struggle. That said, I used fresh yeast in this recipe and it works great!

Brioche is a sticky dough which is why it has to go into the fridge to cool. It warms up quickly too so work fast when dividing and shaping your rolls.

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Average: 4 (from 21 votes)
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