This highly enriched loaf of gluten free brioche bread is a lightly sweet, buttery, bakery-style loaf with a tender yellow crumb and a deep brown, but not especially crispy, crust. Perfect for French toast!
Welcome back to the lightly sweet taste of gluten free brioche bread, rich with eggs and butter, and that golden bakery-style crust and soft yellow crumb inside.
I consider brioche bread a luxury. One single loaf calls for 5 whole eggs, and 5 ounces of butter, at room temperature.
(Be sure the ingredients are at room temperature, or they won’t combine properly.)
To me, all those eggs and butter in a fragrant loaf of bread, with a thick but tender crust and a rich flavorful crumb, sounds dreamy. It certainly has its place. And its place is often soaking in more of the same to make French toast!
This bread is not low fat, or low-calorie. It’s an indulgence, and I enjoy it more than if I thought of it like an everyday loaf.
I don’t count calories, and I don’t think of any foods as “bad.” Everything in moderation.
What to expect during the rising time
The many eggs in this loaf of bread help it rise, but it does still call for yeast. You’ll find that it doesn’t call for a ton of yeast, though.
Since brioche has a somewhat tighter crumb than a classic sandwich bread, it’s meant to rise very high. It should rise to about 150% of its original volume, but not more. If you are tempted to add more yeast, know that the loaf won’t rise higher, but will just have a more jagged top.
Tips on getting yeast bread to rise
The linchpin to getting yeast bread to rise is no fun, and no one likes it but it remains true. It’s patience.
When I make this bread in the summer, and the air is generally warmer and more moist, it rises so much faster. Sometimes, it only takes 40 minutes!
When I make this bread in the winter, when the air is not only colder but significantly drier (even with a humidifier in our house), it can take nearly 2 hours.
If you bake it too early, it won’t likely rise and then fall, since it’s not a high-rising bread. But it will be shorter and denser.
Do not put it in a low oven. You’ll likely kill the yeast. Don’t put it in the dryer. Same deal.
I do often turn on my oven to about 300°F and place the loaf pan on top of the stove. That bit of gentle ambient heat helps it rise more steadily.
When is it done rising?
If your yeast bread is still set to rise, but you’re getting nervous that it might “overproof,” there is a telltale sign. If the surface of the dough has begun to rise unevenly, taking on a broken or pockmarked appearance, it’s a bit overrisen.
No worries, though. You can moisten your fingers and try to smooth out the rough edges, or just pop it right in the oven and bake as instructed.
Ingredients and substitutions
If you can’t have dairy, I would normally steer you toward a bread recipe that isn’t highly enriched with lots (and lots) of butter, like this one. But I think we can do it!
Try replacing the butter with vegan butter. My favorite brands remain Melt and Miyoko’s Kitchen. I love them equally.
In place of the milk, try any nondairy milk you like. Just make sure it’s unsweetened and unflavored.
You can’t replace 5 eggs in a single recipe with any sort of egg replacer. Brioche bread is just not egg-free-friendly. You’d need a vegan-style recipe that was developed egg-free.
This is a recipe for yeast bread, and cannot be made without commercial yeast. It also cannot be made with wild yeast sourdough starter, which requires a recipe developed specifically for it.
I always bake yeast bread with instant yeast, since it doesn’t have to be dissolved in liquid, and you need less of it. Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise and breadmaker yeast. It’s all the same.
If you don’t have instant yeast and would like to use active dry yeast instead, you’ll need to increase the amount by 25%. I’ve done the calculations for you in the Recipe Notes below.
About instant yeast
Instant yeast is also called rapid-rise or breadmaker’s yeast. It can be replaced with active dry yeast, but you’ll need to 25% more active dry yeast than the instant yeast called for in the recipe, and handle it differently.
Here, instead of 5 grams instant yeast, you can use slightly more than 6 grams of active dry yeast (5 x 1.25 = 6.25). You’ll need to dissolve it in the milk first, though, and allow it to bubble up before adding it with the wet ingredients.
About using a stand mixer
I’ve never successfully made this bread without using a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can try using a food processor.
If I were to attempt to make this bread in a food processor, I’d begin by processing the butter, sugar, eggs, and vinegar first until very well-combined. Then add the remaining ingredients and process fully.
Grease and line a standard 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan and set it aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (See Recipe Notes), place the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, yeast, and cream of tartar, and whisk to combine well. Add the salt, and whisk again to combine. Add the vinegar, eggs, milk, and butter.
Place the bowl in the stand mixer and beat on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds. Increase the speed to medium-high, and beat for at least 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and beat on high speed for another 2 minutes.
Transfer the dough to the prepared loaf pan, pressing the dough firmly into the corners. Using a moistened spatula, smooth the top. Cover the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and place the pan in a warm, draft-free location until the dough has reached the top edge of the loaf pan. This can take an hour, or it can take much longer, depending upon the rising environment. In cool, dry weather, it may take significantly longer. Overproofing is not a function of time, but of rise. When the surface of the dough begins to take on an uneven, pockmarked appearance, it has begun to overproof.
When the dough has reached the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 375°F. Remove the plastic wrap, score the loaf down the horizontal center using a lame or sharp knife at a 45° angle, cutting about 1/4 inch deep. Place the loaf in the center of the preheated oven.
Bake the loaf for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan 180° in the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
For a less browned crust, remove the loaf pan from the oven and transfer the bread to a large piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the bread completely in the foil and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the inside of the loaf has reached at least 190°F. Remove from the oven, unwrap the loaf, and allow the loaf to cool on a wire rack. For a softer crust, keep the loaf wrapped for at least 20 minutes when it first comes out of the oven, and then unwrap to cool until no longer hot to the touch. Slice and serve.
For a deeper golden brown crust, remove the loaf pan from the oven, transfer the bread to a baking sheet and then return it to the oven. Continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the inside of the loaf has reached at least 190°F. Remove from the oven and transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool until no longer hot to the touch. Slice and serve.