Buttery vegan brioche with a fluffy and tender crumb that melts in your mouth. This brioche uses only 7 common pantry ingredients and is egg-free and dairy-free!
Table of contents
- Simple ingredients to make vegan brioche
- Notes about the ingredients
- Two ways to knead the dough
- How to tell if the dough has been kneaded enough?
- Tips for the first rise
- Tips for shaping the brioche and second rise
- Baking the vegan brioche
- Customizing this recipe
- Troubleshooting baking issues
- Serving suggestions
- More vegan bread recipes!
Simple ingredients to make vegan brioche
Notes about the ingredients
Bread flour or all-purpose (plain) flour. This brioche works very well with either flour. All-purpose flour is better for a slightly cakier brioche whereas bread flour is better for a slightly chewier brioche.
Vegan butter. Brioche typically contains more butter than sandwich bread which helps create a tender melt-in-your-mouth texture. The butter needs to be at room temperature, not melted as the latter can interfere with the formation of gluten.
Dairy-free milk for dairy-free brioche (it's really that easy!). Any type of dairy-free milk will work but I prefer soy milk as it's higher in protein and leaves no aftertaste.
Instant-dried yeast is the easiest yeast to use and doesn't need to be proofed beforehand. Alternatively, you can use dry or regular yeast if you proof it first
Traditional French brioche is usually enriched with eggs or egg yolks. However, by increasing the amount of fat through butter and rising power through yeast, we're able to create an eggless brioche that is soft, fluffy and tender. You don't need any store-bought egg replacers!
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Two ways to knead the dough
There are two different ways you can knead vegan brioche dough:
- Easy method where you add all ingredients to the mixer and knead. It takes 5-10 minutes and makes a soft and buttery brioche (left picture).
- Advanced method where you knead in the butter afterward. This is the traditional way of making brioche and takes at least 20-30 minutes. It makes a softer bread which is more feathery when you pull it apart (right picture).
Easy kneading method
For an easy vegan brioche bread, add all the ingredients to the bowl of a stand mixer or large bowl and knead until it's soft and stretchy.
Initially, the dough will be very sticky but try to avoid adding any flour. Kneading the dough strengthens its gluten structure and, over time, the dough will become less sticky and pull away from the side of the bowl.
If you don't have a stand mixer, you can mix and knead the dough by hand! It will take a little longer so consider it a free arm and hand exercise ;).
Advanced kneading method
The advanced method takes a little longer so I recommend using a stand mixer.
First, knead together all the bread ingredients (except the butter) until it forms a rough and stretchy dough with no pockets of flour. If it's too tough, add a dash of milk. The longer you knead, the better!
Next, while the bread is kneading, gradually add the butter (around 3 tablespoons at a time). The first time you add the butter, the dough will resist it... just keep kneading!
When each lot of butter has been mixed in, add a little more. Eventually, your dough will be soft and stretchy.
How to tell if the dough has been kneaded enough?
No matter how you knead your bread, the windowpane test is the best way to tell if your dough is ready.
Simply grab a small piece of dough and stretch it between your fingers. The dough shouldn't break and, if you hold the bread against a light, you should be able to see gluten 'membranes' in the dough.
If the dough tears, just keep kneading!
Tips for the first rise
Place the vegan brioche dough in a bowl, cover it and place it in a humid and WARM spot in your home for 1 hour. It should double in size like below.
If your dough doesn't double in size, move it to a warmer spot. In a cold environment, it can take over 2 hours for the dough to double in size.
Tips for shaping the brioche and second rise
It doesn't really matter how you shape your brioche. You can place it as a whole in a loaf pan or braid it into a pretty challah bread.
However, this is what I did:
- Divide the dough into 4 equal parts
- Shape each part into a smooth ball. Squish each ball into a longer bun shape.
- Squish each 'bun' into a lined loaf pan!
You'll need to rest the brioche for a second time. It should increase in size by around 50% and become puffy again. If you poke the dough, it should spring back slowly (otherwise known as the poke test).
Baking the vegan brioche
The brioche is ready when the top is golden brown. If the top of your bread is turning brown but the middle isn't cooked, simply turn down the temperature or cover the bread with aluminum foil.
While the bread is still warm, brush it with a little maple syrup to create the most beautiful egg-free glaze ever!
See, it is 100% possible to make DELICIOUS vegan French bread!
Customizing this recipe
Replace the flour with whole wheat or spelt flour. The latter two flours won't rise as much and create a denser brioche, but it will still be delicious!
Replace vegan butter for olive oil. I recommend adding a generous pinch of salt to the dough to mimic the buttery flavor and adding more flour as the dough will be softer. The final brioche is a little denser and more cake-like compared to the original brioche.
Replace organic cane sugar for coconut sugar or maple syrup for a refined sugar-free brioche, which will be slightly darker in color.
Replace yeast with a sourdough starter. This brioche rises and bakes well with 75-150g of an active sourdough starter with 100% hydration. For a stronger sourdough flavor, use more starter. Or you can make sourdough cinnamon rolls!
To make vegan brioche BUNS, you can use this recipe or check out my Buttery Vegan Brioche Buns recipe.
Unfortunately, this recipe will not work with 1:1 gluten-free flour. I am working on a gluten-free vegan brioche so watch this space!
Troubleshooting baking issues
Problem 1: "My bread didn't double in the first rise (when it's in the bowl)"
a: Your brioche dough needs to be in a WARM spot at ~25°C (77°F). This dough is enriched with a lot of butter so it rises slower than regular dough. Try placing the dough in your oven with the light on or in the warmest spot in your home! King Arthur Baking gives some tips on how to keep your dough warm.
The exception is if you're proofing the bread overnight. The dough can be cold because it has more time (8+ hours) to ferment.
b: Your vegan brioche dough is too dry which may be due to your ingredients or incorrectly measuring them. As Steps 1 and 2 say, if your dough is too dry, add a little more dairy-free milk and knead again. The dough should be smooth and stretchy!
If your dough hasn't risen, you can still knead more liquid into it and let it rest again.
c: Your yeast is old and no longer active. If you've already made the dough, you may still be able to find an active batch of yeast, combine it with warm milk then knead it into the dough.
d. Ingredient substitutions affect the rise of the dough. For example, dough made with spelt flour or olive oil will rise slower!
Problem 2: "My bread didn't bake in the middle"
Before you finish baking, make sure you test your dough by inserting a knife or skewer into it.
If the outside is brown and the inside is uncooked, tent it with aluminum foil or cover it with a large oven-proof bowl. This slows down the outside of the bread baking and forces the heat into the middle of the loaf.
If you don't devour the whole brioche fresh, you can enjoy it in many ways:
- Toast a slice and smother it with jam, cream, or any sweet spread!
- Use stale leftovers for vegan french toast casserole. You deserve it!
- Freeze and enjoy it when the cravings hit.
- Crumble the vegan bread, bake it at low heat and use it as a decadent topping for ice cream or other desserts.
More vegan bread recipes!
This brioche is used as the base for many other bread recipes on my site! My favorites are:
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Buttery Vegan Brioche
Vegan Brioche Bread
- 3 cups (375g) bread flour, plain / all-purpose flour or white spelt flour (note 1)
- ¾ cup (190g) dairy-free milk, warm, plus more if needed
- ⅔ cup (150g) vegan butter or margarine, room temperature or ½ cup (125g) olive oil
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp instant dry yeast, (note 2)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt, if using unsalted butter or oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup, or any other light-coloured liquid sweetener
To make the brioche dough:
- EASY METHOD: Add all the ingredients (except the maple syrup) to a stand mixer bowl with the dough hook. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, soft and elastic. You can also do this in a bowl and on a floured surface but it will take a little longer. The dough should be very tacky but should just come away from the sides of the bowl. However, if your dough is too dry, add a little more milk and knead well.
- ADVANCED METHOD: Add all the ingredients except the butter and maple syrup to a stand mixer with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is well combined (at least 5 minutes). Add a little milk if needed. While the dough is kneading, gradually add the butter, around 3 tbsp (40g) at a time. Knead until the dough is very smooth and comes away from the bowl (at least 15 minutes).
- Shape the dough into a smooth ball, place it in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Place the dough in a WARM area to double in size for at least 1 hour (note 3).
To shape the brioche:
- Line a 9-inch (20cm) loaf with parchment paper or dust with flour.
- When the dough is puffy, divide it into 4 even sections. Shape each section into a round ball and arrange them in your loaf pan. Cover with a tea towel and leave it in a warm area to rest for at least 1 hour. The dough should increase in size by 50% - 100%.
Baking the brioche:
- When the dough is puffy again, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Bake the brioche for 30-40 minutes or until the top is golden brown. The loaf is fully cooked when you can tap the bottom and it sounds hollow or if you poke a skewer in the middle and it doesn't collect any raw dough. If the bread is browning too quickly but is not baked in the middle, reduce the oven to 160°C (320°F) or tent the brioche with aluminum foil.
- While the brioche is still hot from the oven, brush the top with maple syrup then rest it in the pan for 15 minutes. Turn it onto a wire rack and allow to cool slightly.
- Serve the brioche warm. Store the brioche in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the fridge for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Leftover brioche is best enjoyed warmed or toasted.
- Bread flour results in a more traditional bread-like texture whereas all-purpose flour results in a cake-like brioche. Spelt flour absorbs more liquid than regular flour so you may need to add a little more milk than mentioned.
- Instant yeast doesn't need to be 'proofed' beforehand. If you use active dry yeast, combine it with warm milk and a pinch of sugar beforehand. Wait until it bubbles then use it in the recipe.
- The dough can take anywhere from 1-4 hours to rise, depending on the temperature of your home and how you made your dough. If your dough doesn't increase in size, place it in a warmer spot in your house. Read my post above for some tips.
This post was originally published in August 2019 and has been updated a few times with an improved recipe that is more similar to traditional French brioche.
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OMG! I found your recipe the other day and honestly didn’t think it would work. Not only did it taste amazing, the crumb was just like regular brioche BUT I made it in my bread maker. I used exactly your recipe (easy method) but put it into my bread maker in the order they like and switched it onto the brioche setting. 3 1/2 hours later out came perfect brioche. Well if the truth were known the crust was possibly a little dark so next time (and there will absolutely be a next time) I will take it out maybe 10 minutes earlier. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this recipe and if anyone else wants to experiment in their breadmaker I would say to give it a go. My breadmaker is a Panasonic BTW.
Aw, I'm so glad this brioche exceeded your expectations and you really loved the texture! And it's amazing that it worked in your breadmaker too! I hear you about the crust - sometimes that happens to me when I bake it for too long or the heat is a little high :). Thank you so much for your feedback - I appreciate it a lot!
Very good recipe! Easy and adaptable(cinnamon, dryied fruit etc..) To be kept in my permanent bookmark.
So glad you enjoyed this and were able to customise it too! Thanks for your comment! xx
Loved the recipe, but I thought this was sugar free. Is there a way to replace sugar with maple or agave nectar?
Yes, it's optional to make this sugar free! You can replace the sugar with coconut sugar, maple syrup or agave. You can use anywhere between 1 tablespoon to 1/4 cup of those sweeteners.
Just made this brioche and it turned out PERFECT! I used the easy method to combine the dough, and I think it still came out pretty feathery! Thanks for the amazing recipe, Anthea!
I absolutely LOVED the look of your brioche on your Instagram! I'm so happy that yours came out extremely feathery even with using the easy method :). Thanks so so much for your feedback x
So I believe that learning should be done HARD, which is why I went all-in on a double recipe of this brioche using olive oil (no emulsifiers to ease combination with the dough) and no stand mixer. On the plus side, working with all that olive oil for so long left my butcher block gloriously oiled and my hands looking like those of an Italian supermodel. On the minus side, it did take me a full hour of kneading to get a luscious, smooth, supple brioche dough. The dough rose beautifully, my buns came out deeply browned and shining thanks to the maple glaze, and the final product was so worth the labor.
Additions - 1tsp orange flower water in the dough + 1/2 tsp orange flower water in the glaze. It goes marvelously with the olive oil.
I absolutely loved reading your comment and laughed out loud when you said 'hands of an Italian supermodel' hahahaha. I'm glad your dough finally got there and it sounds like you got an excellent arm workout and a renewed butchers block :). Glad you enjoyed the brioche with olive oil and absolutely love the sound of orange flower water - I can only imagine how fragrant it'd make the brioche! Thanks so so much for your lovely comment and for making my day! 🙂
I previously made the brioche buns & they worked out really well - they were really nice &soft so I thought I’d give the brioche loaf recipe a try & it is just a great recipe. My dough was perfect & I got a good first rise. I actually made the dough the night before & left in the fridge overnight then took it out the next morning to warm up before doing the second rise.
The loaf is soft & delicious. Definitely will be my go to recipe.
Thanks Anthea for sharing a great, easy to follow recipe.
That's amazing Margaret! Glad you liked both recipes and the overnight rise worked well for you :). Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review! Enjoy the rest of your bread, if there's any left x
Great recipe! I love it when its hot and I add jam to it. Kind of like a thick croissant. <3
So stoked that you love this brioche! I agree, it's best when it's served warm/hot 🙂
I'll preface this review by saying that I understand brioche is pretty darn hard to replicate when so many of the main ingredients are not vegan. My experience with this recipe is that it produces a bland though still somewhat tasty and solid bread. But it has none of the delicately flakey, buttery, slightly sweet richness of brioche and I wouldn't call it such.
I'd recommend it as an easy, slightly more indulgent loaf recipe, especially if made slightly sweeter, but not as a brioche replacement. Looking forward to trying other vegan brioche recipes that make use of longer/cold ferments and aquafaba as the photos from those seem to show that characteristic flakiness of this iconic bread.
Thank you to the author for creating and sharing this recipe! 🙏
Hi Aly, thanks for your feedback and I'm sorry you didn't like the recipe! It's the first time a reader has provided feedback of the recipe being bland yet tasty and solid. The dough has a high percentage of butter and is meant to be very soft and tacky so I'm not sure how yours turned out otherwise. Thank you for your feedback!
Hello! And first of all, thank you for the recipe, I know how hard it can be sometimes to veganise a recipe, with all the trials and errors.
I have a question as this is probably the 4th recipe I've been trying and still the same result: as mixing and kneading, I still end up with what I could call a 'shaggy mess'... No way I can shape any form from the dough. So, after a time of reflexion and deep thoughts, I was wondering: what is the fat content of your vegan butter? Mine is 54%, which is far away from butter (around 80%). That means that I have a lot more liquid (water or whatever this can be) and I end up with a very very soft dough. Depending on the fat content of your vegan butter, I can maybe make some calculations to decrease the amount of milk to add to the mixture... Just a though but I will definitely give a try and keep you posted. Thanks again for the recipe, that would be brilliant to have some vegan brioche for breakfast, once I've sorted out my fatty problem 🙂
Hi! And it's my pleasure!
With the brioche, I found that it's initially a 'shaggy mess' but after a lot of kneading, the gluten in the dough is strengthened which reduces the stickiness so it can become a smooth ball (the 4 image collage above is a good example of what the kneading time can do). With my stand mixer, it can take 10+ minutes so if you're doing it by hand, it can take longer! To answer your question, I've tried both a vegan margarine spread (around 50% fat) and a block butter (around 80% fat) for this recipe and they both work. With the margarine spread, you may need to add a little more flour (say 2 tbsp) or decrease the milk (as you mentioned) as the dough is a little more sticky than the other. I hope that helps - let me know if you have any other questions!
Thank you Anthea, those were my thoughts, i.e. that the fat content may impact the consistency of the dough... I've tried to make some calculations and roughly, I think I end up with your recommendations when using a 50% fat content vegan butter: less milk and a bit more flour.
Anyway, I will try with a higher fat content vegan butter (around 78%) and will tell you how it turns out!
Thanks again for your time and let's keep in touch. Happy baking!
Can this be made with Oat milk?
I just tried making this yesterday and it turned out so well! The texture of the loaf is super soft and fluffy - honestly it doesn’t seem any different from a regular brioche.
I used my sourdough starter instead of instant yeast and left it overnight to proof in the fridge, so the loaf had a delightfully tangy taste. I also used almond milk, which left a slight taste so will try and make this the next time with soy milk instead.
Thank you Anthea for this recipe! I’ve been meaning to try a vegan brioche for a while now so I’m really glad I found yours 🙂
That's amazing you found it as delicious as a regular brioche and I'm so glad it worked with a sourdough starter too!! Soo interesting about the milk but good idea to use soy milk next time (it's my fav). Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your feedback xo
Hey from Latvia! We absolutely loved this recipe and ate it all in minutes! Thanks!
Aw I'm so happy to hear that! Thanks for your feedback x
Hey you say that if the brioche isn't cooked in the middle to cover it up but isn't it then too late to cover it up ?
No it isn't too late - covering the brioche in the later part of baking traps in the heat so there isn't as much heat hitting the surface of the loaf. It's just like baking a cake, like what Nigella says here.
My dough seems to keep “breaking” on the mixer—it will come together and then never get smooth again just start breaking. I used coconut milk is that perhaps the issue?
Coconut milk is fine! However, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by breaking. Perhaps there is more vegan butter/oil in parts of the dough which seperates the dough? It just needs to be mixed for longer, even up to 30 minutes!
Is there anyway to skip the sugar altogether, please?
Sugar is needed in all breads (except sourdough) as it activates the yeast. However, you can possibly reduce the sugar to 1 tbsp or replace it with maple syrup (though your bread may be a little more dense). Stevia and monk fruit sweetener will not work.
Shelly shriqui says
This brioche was amazing!!!!
I made this per instructions twice. The first time I underproofed the dough and the texture once baked was doughy. But I made it again and this time proofed after shaping overnight in the fridge. They came out much better! Very tasty and I like that the recipe is simple with common ingredients.
Glad the recipe worked for you with proper proofing! Thanks so so much for your comment 🙂
zoran kociper says
Thank you, this was delicious!
Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for your feedback 🙂