Bread

Perfectly Fluffy Brioche Bread—No Dairy or Eggs Necessary

Meet your next weekend baking project.

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July 28, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten. Food & Prop Styling By: Alexis Anthony.

We’ve teamed up with Planet Oat to share the many delicious ways you can enjoy their Oatmilk at home—from mixing it in your morning coffee to baking it into a fluffy, plant-based brioche bread.


With its light, tender texture and buttery flavor, brioche tops my list of most enjoyable breads to eat. It’s both comfort food and sophisticated fare all at once, combining the simple delights of a soft dinner bun or fluffy Parker House roll with a decadence that puts it in a class of its own.

Given that brioche is made from an enriched dough (meaning laden with dairy, eggs, and sugar), you’d likely assume it’s impossible to make a totally plant-based version. But with a few swaps, you can—and it’s just as excellent.

To make a plant-based brioche with all the richness and fluffiness of the original, we rely on three substitutions: olive oil for butter; creamy oat milk for regular cow’s milk; and aquafaba (chickpea liquid) for eggs. Beyond those swaps, the method and ratios are the same as a classic recipe.

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Top Comment:
“While this might be a great bread, but it is not brioche by the very definition you gave. Please, please don't do this. There is no reason to plagiarize the name of a completely different well known bread. Let it stand on it's own as something new and delicious. There is so much disinformation going around, we don't need it in the food world.”
— Helen S.
Comment

Brioche dough (plant-based or not) is smooth, elastic, and pliable, aka incredibly easy to work with. It contains enough fat that you shouldn’t even need to flour your work surface—just press it out with your hands. Feel free to use a rolling pin if you like, but it isn’t necessary.

Once you’ve got the dough mastered (don’t worry, you can pull it off on your first try), there are endless possibilities for how to shape and bake it. You can choose from a basic loaf shape, made by placing balls of dough together in a loaf pan, or individual rounds. You can press it out in a flat sheet, stuff it with sweet or savory fillings, roll it up, and slice it like cinnamon rolls. Other delicious ideas: Braid it like challah, bake it as burger buns, turn it into doughnuts or soft pretzels (a sprinkle of sugar or salt will do the trick), or even use it as a base for pizza or a galette-style tart.

If you go the loaf route, there are dozens of creative ways to use it. Soak it in a bit of oat milk, spices, and vanilla extract, then toss it on the griddle for a plant-based take on French toast (this works especially well if it’s starting to go stale). Pop it in the toaster for breakfast, or pile it with veggies for a summery lunch sandwich. You can even tear it up to make croutons for your favorite salad, or crisp up chunks for a panzanella.

And last but not least, for a dessert-y option: Bake the dough as buns, then slice them in half and add a scoop of non-dairy frozen dessert; or layer thick slices with fresh fruit and coconut whipped cream.

As for me, I love it best just out of the oven—there are few pleasures as simple and good as a warm slice of soft, freshly baked brioche bread.


In partnership with Planet Oat—makers of creamy, dreamy Oatmilk and other oat-y products (like non-dairy frozen desserts)—we're showing off the versatility of their Oatmilk with tons of tasty cooking tips and ideas. Up first: a buttery plant-based brioche that's just as excellent as the classic, dairy-filled version, thanks to a few smart swaps (hello, Oatmilk!).

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The Food52 Vegan Cookbook is here! With this book from Gena Hamshaw, anyone can learn how to eat more plants (and along the way, how to cook with and love cashew cheese, tofu, and nutritional yeast).

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sue Judd
    Sue Judd
  • Helen S. Fletcher
    Helen S. Fletcher
  • Leigh
    Leigh
  • Ellienina
    Ellienina
  • Posie (Harwood) Brien
    Posie (Harwood) Brien
Comment
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.

7 Comments

Sue J. August 2, 2020
Have you tried to make this gluten free???
 
Author Comment
Posie (. August 2, 2020
I haven't! I'm always a bit wary of trying to adapt yeasted recipes to use GF flour unless it's written as such but worth a shot!
 
Helen S. August 2, 2020
While this might be a great bread, but it is not brioche by the very definition you gave. Please, please don't do this. There is no reason to plagiarize the name of a completely different well known bread. Let it stand on it's own as something new and delicious. There is so much disinformation going around, we don't need it in the food world.
 
Leigh July 29, 2020
Can bread flour be used instead of all purpose flour?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. July 29, 2020
That should be okay although the higher gluten content will likely result in a slightly chewier and less delicate texture but I don’t think it’ll be too noticeable.
 
Ellienina July 28, 2020
Could you substitute almond or cashew milk for oat milk?
 
Author Comment
Posie (. July 29, 2020
I haven’t tried this but I think unsweetened almond milk would work fine!