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Our vegan brioche bread is an easy and fluffy breakfast recipe made with a few simple ingredients that you probably already have at home. You will be amazed at how light, airy, aromatic, and just delicious this plant-based brioche bread is. We even use a semi-whole grain flour to give it extra taste and nutrition. We are sure you'll love it!
What is brioche bread?
In Italy we eat vegan brioche bread (pan-brioche in Italian) exclusively for breakfast, dipped in latte or cappuccino, and occasionally with a thin layer of jam on top. There are many variation of brioche bread, but in this blog post, we decided to show you how to make the basic recipe for an excellent plant-based brioche bread.
Once you've nailed the basics, you can go on and add to this one. For instance, our two favourite variations are brioche bread with dark chocolate chips, and one with jam mixed in the dough. But for now, enjoy this simple, light and delicious vegan brioche bread.
For other delicious vegan Italian breakfast recipes, check out:
- Chocolate chip breakfast brioche
- Orange curd cake
- Jam filled breakfast brioche (buondì)
- Black and white ciambellone
- Italian cream buns (maritozzi con panna)
- Custard-filled Italian croissants (cornetti alla crema)
- Chocolate pound cake
- Yogurt and Lemon pound cake
- Coffee cake with hazelnut filling
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Flour: I use first-clear flour but if you can't find it just go for bread flour. That is basically a flour that is less refined than all-purpose, but not as heavy as whole-grain flour.
- Sugar: plain sugar works best. No syrups or other sugar types.
- Instant dry yeast: I love instant dry yeast because you don't have to mix it with water to activate it. You can replace it with fresh yeast but if you do so you need 3 times more fresh yeast compared to our instant dry yeast dose.
- Soy-milk and water: this is our go-to milk for cooking. You can replace it with any other plant milk of your choice. We mix it with water in this recipe to make the brioche extra light and soft.
- Sunflower oil: this is our go-to fat because it is comparatively healthier than coconut oil, and because it has little flavour, it's affordable and widely available.
- Vanilla extract and orange zest: necessary for the aroma. Better if the orange is organic.
We bake this vegan brioche bread in a bundt cake pan that is 10inches (26cm) in diameter. We love the shape of the bundt cake for brioche bread, but you can use any other shape and pan that fits the dough. You can even bake the dough on a baking tray.
How to scale this recipe?
This recipe is easy to scale. You can just divide all the ingredients by 2 for half a batch. Or multiplying by 1.5 or by 2 for a larger batch. We find that our quantities are the easiest to handle for kneading the dough by hand and for home-cooking.
Mistakes I made
- I didn't knead long enough: it's so important to knead vigorously for at least 5 to 10 minutes to develop the gluten network that will give structure to the brioche bread. You can learn more in this post. I tried without much kneading and the brioche deflated and wasn't as light and airy.
- I din't let it proof properly: proofing for at least 2 to 3 hours is essential to develop both texture and flavour. I tried proofing less time but brioche turned out heavy, gummy, and wet. It also lacked the aroma and flavour of a well-proofed dough.
- Keep it moist: when you are done kneading, the dough should still be moist, and almost stick to your worktop. To do that, try not to add too much flour while kneading the dough.
- Stick to our measurements: if you are not an expert baker, then stick to our measurements and use a scale. Cups are NOT accurate enough for this kind of preparations.
- Proof it well: proof the dough in a warm place, covered with a damp cloth to help it stay moist. Yeast love moisture and warmth! The best place is an oven that you turned on for 30 seconds, then off. That will give enough warmth to help the yeast proof the dough.
Frequently asked questions
You can eat our plant-based brioche bread for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack. You can enjoy it as is, or with a thin layer of jam or vegan hazelnut spread on top.
Brioche bread is traditionally loaded with eggs, butter, milk, refined flour and other unhealthy ingredients. Our vegan version is a lot simpler, healthier and fluffier that the original brioche bread because it does not include any animal-based products that make baked goods heavier and unhealthy.
Compared to traditional brioche bread our plant-based brioche bread is low in calories as it does not contain eggs, butter, and dairy milk. It also has very low saturated fat.
Store at room temperature in a reusable food-grade plastic bag. It'll last for up to 5 days.
When it gets dry, our favourite way to eat it is to dunk it in a cup of oat-milk cappuccino. That's how everyone eats it in Italy.
There are a million ways to customize this vegan brioche bread. For instance:
Dark chocolate chips
Add ½ cup of dark chocolate chips to the dough after kneading. Then knead for 1 more minute to spread the chocolate chips around. Let proof as described in our recipe box, shape, and cook exactly the same way. Here you go: a delicious plant-based chocolate chip brioche bread!
Add ⅓ cup of raisins to the dough after kneading. Then knead for 1 more minute to spread the raisins around. Let proof as described in our recipe box, shape, and cook exactly the same way. Here you go: a delicious plant-based raisins brioche bread!
As mentioned above, you can use any shape to make your brioche bread. You can use a rectangular shape (like a pound cake pan) to make it look more like a regular loaf of bread. You can even bake the brioche buns on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. In this case though, they'll need only about 18 minutes to bake.
Vegan Brioche Bread - Italian Recipe
- Bundt cake pan 10inch (26cm)
- 500 g (3.9 cups) bread flour or all-purpose + 2 to 3 tbsp for kneading*
- 100 g (0.5 cups) sugar
- 7 g (1.4 tsp) instant dry yeast or 7g active dry yeast, or 20g fresh brewer's yeast but in this two cases dissolved in warm water.
- 150 g (0.6 cups) plant-milk soy, almond, oat
- 150 g (0.6 cups) water
- 60 g (0.3 cups) sunflower oil
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 orange zest
- 1 pinch salt
- In a bowl add flour, sugar and instant dry yeast. Give it a stir, then add the rest of the ingredients: the zest of one orange, lukewarm plant-milk, water, sunflower oil, vanilla aroma, and a pinch of salt. Mix with a spatula till all the ingredients come together.NB: if you don't have instant dry yeast, you can use either 7g (1.4tsp) of active dry yeast or 25g of fresh yeast. In both cases, you need to first dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water and sugar before adding it to the flour.
- On a worktop add 2 tbsp of flour, then transfer the dough on it, and knead with your hands. Let the dough absorb all the flour, then knead vigorously for 5 minutes. By the end, your dough should be elastic, soft and moist. It should almost stick to the worktop.You can use a kitchen-aid if you prefer.
- Put the dough in a bowl, brush it with a thin layer of oil and cover the bowl with a damp kitchen cloth, leaving enough space for the dough to double in volume. Let proof for 2 to 3 hours in a warm place. TIP: turn the oven on for 30 seconds then turn it off and put the dough in it to proof.
- After proofing, transfer the dough onto a clean worktop. Fold it on itself three times then cut it into 9 pieces.
- Take each piece of dough and shape it into a ball. Then with the palm of your hand roll the ball on the worktop to make it smooth and round.
- Arrange the dough balls into a lightly oiled bundt pan that can fit all the dough balls snuggly. Let proof a second time in a warm place for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180C or 356F. Brush the top of the dough balls with soy-milk and bake on the lower oven rack for about 25 minutes.
- The brioche bread should be golden on top but still very soft on the inside. Let cool down completely before eating.
Will you be cooking this recipe at home? Let us know in the comments below!