Buttery Vegan Brioche (classic and healthier options)
Buttery vegan brioche which melts in your mouth. I included a classic version and a 'healthier' version using olive oil and no refined sugar!
- 3 cups (375g) plain or all-purpose flour, or white spelt flour (note 1)
- ¾ cup (190g) dairy free milk, such as almond, soy or coconut, warm, plus more if needed
- ⅔ cup (150g) vegan butter or margarine, room temperature or ½ cup (125g) olive oil
- ¼ cup (50g) cane sugar, or coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp instant dried 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 at least 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 and stretchy (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. Only add more butter when the last bit has been fully incorporated. 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 back in a clean bowl and cover with a slightly damp tea towel (the moisture prevents the dough from drying out). Place the dough in a WARM area to double in size (or grow by at least 50%) for at least 1 hour (note 3).
To shape the brioche:
When the dough is puffy, divide it into 4 even sections. Shape each section into a round ball and place them a lined loaf tin (my tin was 12x22 cm or 5x9 inches but any size tin will work). Cover the tin with a tea towel and leave it in a warm area to rest for at least 30 minutes. 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 in the oven 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 there's no raw dough on it. If the bread is browning too quickly but is not baked in the middle, reduce the oven to 160°C (320°F) or cover the bread with aluminium foil.
While the brioche is still hot from the oven, brush the top with maple syrup then rest it in the tin 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 or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To serve the brioche, reheat or toast the leftovers.
- Spelt flour absorbs more liquid than regular flour so you may need to add a little more milk than specified. Add the specified amount of milk and knead the dough. If needed, add 1 tablespoon milk (15g) at a time until the dough is soft and cohesive.
- I used instant yeast doesn't need to be 'activated' or 'bloomed' beforehand. However, if you use active dry or regular yeast, combine it with warm milk and a pinch of sugar beforehand. Wait until it bubbles then use it in the recipe.
- If your dough doesn't increase in size, place it in a warmer spot in your house. Read my post above for some tips. The amount of time it takes for the brioche to rise also depends on your butter/margarine (margarine-based brioche rises quicker), flour and milk. If your dough doesn't increase in size at this stage, it will not bake well.