What is Brioche?



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Table of Contents

The History of Brioche Bread

Ingredients in Brioche Bread

Brioche Bread Nutritional Information

How to Make Brioche Bread

Brioche Recipes

Brioche FAQ's

You can thank the French for the invention of brioche bread. It is actually considered a Viennoiserie, a hybrid of pastry and bread dough. It is an old recipe, dating as far back as the 15th century as a Norman-French recipe.

The recipe for brioche consists of wheat flour, eggs, butter, salt, yeast, or sourdough leavening, salt, sugar, and some form of liquid ranging from milk to brandy. Because of the diverse types of ingredients, brioche is a more costly bread even by today’s standards.

During proofing, the brioche dough doubles in size before baking, creating a fluffy, pillow-like textured bread. Brioche is quite versatile, enjoyed as a dessert paired with chocolate, served as a side with savory sauces or soups, or even as hot-dog and hamburger buns.

The French use brioche bread to celebrate several holidays. The French celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, held near Easter, with Brioche de Rois, and a Noel Brioche is made to celebrate Christmas. The French truly love their brioche!

The History of Brioche Bread

The brioche bread has a shockingly dramatic history. Its story begins in the year 1404 in Normandy, France. The origins of the word are uncertain, but historians generally agree that likely originated from the French word bris, to break, or Brie, for the region of its origin.

Regardless of its origin, the brioche quickly made its way into the heart of the French. Historically, two types of brioche filled the markets of France. The brioche d'homme riche (the rich man’s brioche) and the pain brioche.

Between the two brioche bread types, only butter is the main difference between the two, with the d’homme riche containing more butter than its plainer cousin. Only the rich could afford the luxury of butter that creates the airy delicacy of the brioche d’homme riche.

The brioche was made famous, or perhaps infamous, by Queen Marie Antoinette. The pastry-like brioche reportedly inspired the Queen’s history-making line: “Qu'ils mangent de la brioche” which translates into English as the infamous line “Let them eat cake!”

After the time of Marie Antoinette, brioche became an international affair. It now graces the shelves of grocery stores across the United States, a delicious delicacy enjoyed by people from every walk of life.

Ingredients in Brioche Bread

There are five key ingredients that are the cornerstones of every brioche recipe. They are:

Variations of the recipe may include the addition of fruits, chocolate, or nuts.

Brioche Bread Nutritional Information

The French consider the brioche bread as a type of Viennoiserie due to it being prepared like any other bread type but having a consistency more like a pasty. This unique, fluffy texture of brioche is part of its popularity, but despite its taste, the brioche isn’t the healthiest bread on the shelf.

One slice of brioche contains on average 280 calories.

Brioche is higher in fat than most bread types due to its heavy butter and egg content, sitting at about 14 grams of fat. Incidentally, the fatty ingredients also give brioche it’s golden coloring.

As for carbs, those are on the higher end as well, with a slice of brioche contains about 30 carbs per slice. Still, there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a slice of brioche every once in a while!

How to Make Brioche Bread

A beginning baker can easily accomplish making brioche bread. It requires more time and effort than some bread, but the actual steps are simple enough.

Brioche requires typically requires two proofing stages, the first taking up to twelve hours, and the second in some cases occurring on a second consecutive day for up to 90 minutes.

Many recipes recommend shaping and twisting the brioche into elaborate braids, however, this is not necessary to achieve a good-tasting loaf.

Bakers need to be good with having to frequently check on their brioche as it bakes. Temperatures need occasionally adjusted during the bake time depending on the recipe, and bakers may use tin foil to protect the loaf. If the brioche browns too fast, it can easily become a burnt mess.

Brioche Recipes

If you’re looking for an excuse to eat cake for breakfast, the brioche is definitely your kind of recipe. A traditional brioche recipe is delicious on its own, but many additional ingredients complement the bread well.

For a richer bread, consider making the brioche d'homme riche, which has a ratio of 3:2 for flour compared to butter. For a less fatty bread, consider giving the pain brioche, with its flour to butter ratio of 4:1. Both recipes will be far richer than traditional white bread dough.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Then celebrate, because brioche recipes adapt easily to sweet cravings! Consider adding cinnamon and chocolate to create a deliciously sweet dough. For a fruity twist, mix blueberries into the dough and drizzle the top with lemon icing.

The French actually have their own sweet spin on the brioche classic; the Brioche des Rois, or the King’s Brioche. This celebratory brioche leans towards being a cake, with a sweet almond cream filling and candy, fruit, or powdered sugar toppings.

Brioche FAQ's

Brioche is a type of bread that is rich and sweet. It is made with eggs, butter, and milk. Brioche is often used in French cuisine.

Brioche comes from France. It is thought to have originated in the city of Lyon.

Brioche is made with flour, eggs, butter, and milk. The dough is typically kneaded by hand or with a stand mixer. Once the dough has been kneaded, it is left to rise for several hours before being shaped into brioches and baked.

Brioches can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be eaten plain, or they can be filled with sweet or savory ingredients. Brioches are often served as part of a meal, or they can be used to make sandwiches.

Brioche will last for several days when stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Brioche can also be frozen for up to three months.

Brioche is richer and sweeter than other types of bread because it is made with eggs, butter, and milk. Brioche is also typically lighter in color than other types of bread.

Brioche can be made without eggs, but the texture and flavor will be different. Brioche made without eggs is called pain brioché.

No, brioche is not gluten-free because it is made with wheat flour.

No, you should not eat brioche if you are allergic to eggs because it is made with eggs.

No, brioche is not vegan because it is made with milk and butter (which are both dairy products).

No, you should not eat brioche if you are lactose intolerant because it is made with milk.

A brioche typically has around 200-300 calories.

Brioche is a good source of carbohydrates and protein. It also contains some fat, cholesterol, sodium, and fiber.

Brioche is not considered to be a health food because it is high in calories and fat. However, it can be part of a balanced diet if eaten in moderation.

Some popular brioche recipes include brioche French toast, egg brioches, and salmon brioches.

Yes, you can make brioche at home with flour, eggs, butter, and milk. The dough is typically kneaded by hand or with a stand mixer. Once the dough has been kneaded, it is left to rise for several hours before being shaped into brioches and baked.

Leftover brioche can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Brioche can also be frozen for up to three months.

The best way to reheat brioche is in the oven or microwave. Brioche can also be grilled or pan-fried.

Yes, brioche can be frozen for up to three months.

Some of the most common mistakes people make when baking brioche include not kneading the dough enough, not letting the dough rise long enough, and not shaping the brioches correctly.

Shane Jones

Hey there! I'm Shane, the face and hands behind BakeSomeBread. My journey into the world of bread and pastries started over 10 years ago, and what began as a simple hobby quickly turned into an all-consuming passion. While I might not have formal qualifications or fancy titles, I've spent countless hours perfecting my recipes, experimenting with flavors, and, yes, learning from a few (or maybe more than a few) baking blunders along the way.

I've never been featured in glossy magazines, and I don't have any teaching stints to boast about, but what I do have is genuine love for baking and a drive to share that with all of you. Every recipe you find here is a result of my personal adventures in the kitchen—tried, tested, and baked with love.

Trust is a big deal for me. So, while I'm always up for a bit of baking fun, I'm serious when it comes to authenticity. Every bit of advice and every recipe on this site comes straight from my own experience. And hey, if I can help even one of you find joy in baking, then all those flour-covered days and nights have been worth it! Happy baking, folks! Oh, and come and say hi on Social Media too!