Homemade Honey Brioche Bread Recipe


 

* This post is sponsored by Nielsen Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavours. Recipe and opinions are my own.

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebreadI’ve been working on my bread game lately. I always seem to get into “bread mode” in the middle of spring… ya know, when we’re up to our eyeballs in seedlings and weeds and outdoor projects that need to be tackled. I mean, as if there’s a better time of year to dive into baking and bread-making!

But the heart wants what it wants. So I’ve been feeding my sourdough starter more regularly, baking more loaves of sandwich bread and French bread and buns and biscuits (if you want to call biscuits a “bread”). But I decided to really take things to the next level when the good folks at Nielsen Massey Fine Vanillas challenged me to use some of their decadent Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla in a bread recipe, and knead it the old fashioned way… by hand.

I decided to try my hand at making brioche: a rich, French pastry-style bread that’s loaded with butter and eggs.

 

What is brioche bread?

Brioche is a little like a mix between croissants and a sandwich loaf. It’s soft and a little flaky, and pulls apart like a croissant or a pastry, but it’s usually shaped into a loaf or buns of some sort and eaten like a more traditional sandwich bread, with a little jam spread over it, (or my husband’s favourite: a light layer of butter sprinkled with cinnamon and brown sugar). It’s often braided and baked in a bread pan, but you can also roll it into balls and bake it into rolls, or shape it into buns to use as burger or sandwich buns.

I decided to braid mine, because, ya know, that seemed like the most challenging of all the options. I also decided to skip the traditional sugar that’s added to brioche and substitute honey instead.

I also substituted duck eggs for chicken eggs in my first attempt of this honey brioche bread recipe, and it turned out great! The chicken eggs worked just fine too, but if you can get your hands on some duck eggs, they’re renowned for their use in baking and their ability to make breads and baked goods super light and fluffy, apparently due to the higher protein content in their egg whites.

However, if you do use duck eggs, you can’t just substitute one duck egg for one chicken egg because duck eggs are a lot bigger than chicken eggs. In general the rule is two duck eggs for every three chicken eggs. So this honey brioche bread recipe can be made with two duck eggs or three chicken eggs, so long as your chicken eggs are on the average to large size.

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

Just to give you an idea, this is one of our chicken eggs on the left vs. a duck egg on the right. Our chickens just started laying so the eggs are still a little small, but the duck eggs are massive!

We just got a flock of laying hens and they JUST started laying this week! Their eggs are still small, so I would probably use 4 of their eggs since each of theirs is about half the size of the duck eggs that we’ve been lucky enough to get from our neighbours.

Regardless whether you use duck eggs or chicken eggs, if you do brioche right, it will be light and flaky and HEAVENLY in the end.

 

Eggs and butter are key!

As far as the process of actually making the dough, brioche is a little more involved than other bread doughs simply because it takes two days to make as it requires an overnight proofing in the fridge. But for the most part, it’s pretty hands-off.

Also, you want to start with warm (room temperature) ingredients, so you’ll want to pull your eggs and butter out of the fridge and keep them on the counter for a few hours or overnight to allow them to come to room temperature.

Nielsen Massey Vanilla | Brioche Bread

Basically, brioche dough is the exact opposite of pie crust. When making a pie crust, the goal is to keep all of the ingredients (especially the butter) as cold as possible. But for this honey brioche bread recipe, you want all of the ingredients to be soft and warm and creamy in texture.

The high ratios of butter and eggs also means that brioche is a really wet dough, and handling it can seem more like handling a thick, glutinous cookie batter more than a traditional bread dough, especially if you’re kneading it by hand. But surprisingly, despite how wet and sticky it is, it’s actually pretty easy to work with and I must admit, it’s now one of my favourite breads to knead by hand!

 

Kneading by hand: The French Fold

For this honey brioche bread recipe, since it’s a wet dough, I used a different kneading technique than I usually do. Usually when I’m baking a sandwich loaf or an artisan roll, I use the Stretch-and-Fold kneading technique where you stretch the bread dough away from you, fold it back over on itself, turn it 90º and repeat over and over again until it’s well kneaded. But while this technique works great for most standard bread doughs, those that are wetter and stickier (like brioche), are much easier to knead using the French Fold technique, where you slip your fingers under the dough (thumbs on top), scoop it up off the counter, turn it 90º and then slap it down on the counter and fold it over itself and repeat.

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

It makes wet doughs, like brioche and baguettes and even sourdough, much easier onto work with and knead by hand.

I recommend checking out the quick how-to video below that shows the two different types of kneading so that you can see what the French Fold looks like.

 

I think knowing how to properly knead bread dough is an important but simple enough skill that every homesteader and home cook should learn and (hopefully) master at some point, and knowing which type of kneading technique to use with which type of dough will instantly allow you to up your bread game!

(Because, while I do love my stand mixer, there’s something about kneading dough by hand that makes me feel like I’ve earned my stripes in the kitchen).

 

Troubleshooting: what if my dough is too wet?

Kneading brioche dough by hand requires time and patience. It will stick to the counter (and your hands) quite a bit at first, but the more you knead it, the more it starts to come together and develop those gluten strands. Gradually it will start to stick less and you’ll be able to shape it easily.

If it’s really too sticky and it’s still sticking to the counter a lot after kneading for 8 to 10 minutes, you can add a bit more flour in increments, no more than one tablespoon at a time. You don’t want to add too much flour as it will ruin the consistency of your dough. But you may need to cautiously add a tablespoon or two if your dough is still super sticky after quite a lot of kneading. 

Once it’s well-kneaded for 12 to 15 minutes or so, shape it into a ball and place it in a mixing bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for about an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.

At this point, you want to punch the dough down to deflate it and then form it into a ball. Do this by tucking in each edge of the dough toward the middle and pressing them into the dough, then shaping the dough into a tight ball.

Flip the dough ball over, seam-side down, and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover it and eave it in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight (up to 24 hours max.) letting it rise slowly.

This overnight rise in the fridge is important because it helps develop the flavour and texture of the bread, and makes the dough much easier to work with and shape into loaves the following day.

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

 

Shaping ideas for honey brioche bread

On day two (or after at least 8 hours in the fridge), pull the dough out of the fridge and turn it onto a lightly floured surface. Deflate the dough by pressing it down and then it’s time to shape it!

You can either shape it into a regular loaf just as you would with sandwich bread, or into buns just as you would burger buns. But if you’re going for that classic brioche look, I recommend braiding your dough.

To braid it, divide dough into three equal pieces and then stretch each piece out into a long rectangle. Roll each rectangle up to form three long “ropes” of dough. Then pinch one end of all three ropes together to start your braid.

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

Braid the dough, being careful not to pull or stretch it too much, or braid it too loosely.

When you get to the end of the dough, pinch the ends together again and then tuck each of the pinched ends underneath the loaf.

Butter and flour a bread pan and carefully transfer your loaf into the pan.

Cover the dough and let it rise again in the bread pan for about two hours. Then preheat your over to 350ºF, brush a little egg wash on the top of your loaf and bake for about 35 minutes.

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

While the brioche is baking, you can mix up a little bit of honey glaze to go on top if you like. This step is optional, but I think it gives this honey brioche a perfect honey-flavoured, slightly sticky glaze on top that really takes this bread to the next level. However you can omit the honey glaze if you’re wanting to use the bread for more savoury dishes.

To make the honey glaze, mix one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of lukewarm water. Stir with a fork to dissolve.

Remove brioche bread from the oven and immediately brush with the honey glaze if using. Let the brioche cool for about five minutes in the bread pan, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing(or at least until it’s warm, but not too hot!)

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

 

The perfect at-home Mother’s Day meal

Enjoy your brioche as is with a little honey or, my personal favourite, strawberry vanilla jam. Toast it, butter it and sprinkle with a little cinnamon sugar, use it in place of sandwich bread and enjoy with deli meat, cheese and/or veggies, or for the ultimate homemade brunch, turn your brioche into the best French toast you’ll ever eat!

Part bread, part flaky pastry, this classic brioche bread recipe calls for a dash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey and generous amounts of eggs and butter! #brioche #briochebreadrecipe #honeybrioche #honeybread #homemadebread

Since Mother’s Day is coming up in a few days and we’re still currently under quarantine (meaning we won’t be going for our usual Mother’s Day brunch at my favourite restaurant), I’ll be saving a loaf of homemade brioche and turning it into some decadent French toast this weekend. Er, I mean I’ll be making my husband make me French toast. Which is only fair, since I made the brioche, and he’s enjoyed at least half a loaf to himself so far!

But I figure that’s just a testament to how good this recipe for homemade honey brioche bread really is, and a testament to how great a mother I am since I make such awesome food for my family! And that, in itself, is enough for me for Mother’s Day this year.

… Well, that and a homemade brunch that I don’t have to cook 😉

Have you ever made brioche bread before? What’s your favourite way to shape it and enjoy it after? Let me know in the comments below!

Homemade Honey Brioche Bread Recipe

Homemade Honey Brioche Bread Recipe

Yield: 1 braided loaf

Ingredients

  • ½ cup lukewarm milk or cream
  • 2¼ teaspoons active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 large eggs (or 2 duck eggs)
  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature and cut into one-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of milk or cream for egg wash

For the honey glaze

  • 1 tablespoon liquid honey
  • 1 tablespoon lukewarm water

Instructions

  1. Bring your eggs and butter to room temperature. You may want to take them out the night before you make your brioche and leave them on the counter overnight.
  2. Combine the milk, yeast and honey in a large mixing bowl and whisk together. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow yeast to proof.
  3. Add the eggs, butter and vanilla and whisk to combine. Then add flour and salt and mix gently using a wooden (or other large) spoon. Mix all ingredients together until the dough starts to come together. It will be very wet, sticky and shaggy.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface. Do not flour the surface! Knead the dough using the French Fold technique (shown here). Continue kneading for about 12-15 minutes, until the dough becomes easier to handle and stops sticking to the counter quite so much. *You may need to add a little extra flour if your dough is still really sticky after about 10 minutes of kneading. Add flour no more than one tablespoon at a time if you absolutely must.
  5. Once dough is kneaded, form it into a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl. Cover and let it rise for about an hour, or until it’s doubled in size.
  6. Once dough has risen, punch it down gently to deflate it and then fold each edge of the dough toward the middle and use your hands to pull the dough a tight dough ball. Place the dough ball seam side down in the mixing bowl, cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight (up to 24 hours).
  7. Remove dough from fridge and divide dough into three equal pieces to form a braid. Stretch each piece out into a long rectangle. Roll each rectangle up to form three long “ropes” of dough. Then pinch one end of all three ropes together to start your braid. *Alternatively, just shape into a regular loaf of bread for simplicity’s sake.
  8. Braid the dough, being careful not to pull or stretch it too much, or braid it too loosely. When you get to the end of the dough, pinch the ends together again and then tuck each of the pinched ends underneath the loaf.
  9. Butter and flour a bread pan and carefully transfer your loaf into the pan. Cover the dough and let it rise again in the bread pan for about two hours.
  10. Preheat your over to 350ºF. Combine the egg yolk and the milk to make the egg wash, then brush a little egg wash on the top of your loaf and bake for about 35 minutes.
  11. While the brioche is baking, you can mix up a little bit of honey glaze to go on top if you want to add a slightly sticky, honey-flavoured glaze on top. To make the honey glaze, mix one tablespoon of honey with one tablespoon of lukewarm water and stir with a fork to dissolve.
  12. Remove bread from oven and immediately brush the honey glaze over the top of the loaf if using. Let the brioche cool for about five minutes in the bread pan, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.

 

Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂


CATEGORIES
HOMESTEADING
REAL FOOD
NATURAL LIVING

2 Comments

  1. Selene

    I’ve never made bread before (other than in the bread machine I was gifted last Christmas) so I decided to take a leap with this bread. I cannot express not only how light, fluffy, and airy this bread is, but how easy it was for a beginner!
    I decided to double the recipe so I could make a loaf for my family and a loaf as a gift, and the bread didn’t turn out weird. I also used duck eggs, which were a bit hard to find but worth every penny!

    Reply
    • Ashley Constance

      That’s awesome! So glad you enjoyed this recipe.

      Reply

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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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It’s easy to romanticize homesteading, but the truth is that those homegrown vegetables, those freshly laid eggs, that loaf of bread rising on the counter, and that pantry full of home-canned food takes time, effort and dedication. It doesn’t “just happen” overnight!

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There are so many reasons to grow your own food at home:

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Not only does food taste better when it’s freshly picked or allowed to ripen on the vine, there’s something about putting in the work to grow something from a tiny seed and then getting to see it on your dinner plate that just makes it so much more satisfying than anything you’ll ever buy from the store.

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Got out for an early morning harvest today. Been up since 3am, contemplating life, the future and the past, the order of things…

There is a rumbling right now, not just in North America, but around the world. Many of us can feel it, and know we are on the precipice of something big.

I’d been hearing about this new song that’s become an overnight viral sensation, written by an (until now) unknown singer named Oliver Anthony. His new song Rich Men North of Richmond has had 14 million views on YouTube in the past week alone, so I decided to check it out.

I also saw a clip of him playing a Farmers Market last week, and anything that has to do with Farmers Markets always has my attention;)

I can’t tell you how many tears I’ve already cried listening to that song. If you’ve heard it already, you probably know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, I highly recommend giving it a listen. All I can say is it’s been a while since a song resonated so deeply with me, and in this strange new world, I know I’m not the only one.

One of the lines in Anthony’s song is “Livin’ in the new world, with an old soul,” and that’s something I think so many of us in the homesteading community can relate to.

Trying to cling to better days; To a simpler time; To the old ways, all while doing our best to get by in the new world.

The world has changed drastically in the last few years especially, and it’s set to change in immense ways over the next few years. Today I’m feeling thankful for people like @oliver_anthony_music_ who give a voice to what so many are feeling right now.

Know that if you’re feeling it too, you’re far from alone. And while the future may feel uncertain and even a little scary, remember that if we stand united, we the people are a force to be reckoned with.

(Continued in comments…)
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112 18

Another garlic harvest in the books!

Garlic is easily one of my favourite crops to grow. It’s pretty much a “set if and forget it” crop. We plant in the fall and leave it to overwinter, fertilize a couple times in the spring, start watering only once the ground starts to dry out, and then harvest in the summer. We can even plant a fall succession crop after our garlic if we want so it really makes great use of garden space all year round.

Over the years we’ve managed to become completely self-sufficient with garlic. We now grow enough to eat all year (and then some!), plus we save our own seed garlic and usually have extra to sell or give away. And around here fresh, organic garlic ain’t cheap, so it’s a good cash crop for anyone who’s serious about selling it.

It took me a few years to really get the hang of garlic, but it’s one crop I’m now very confident with (knock on wood, because it’s always when we make statements like this that next year’s crop fails! Lol.)

A while back I compiled a comprehensive guide to growing, harvesting and using garlic both as an edible and medicinal crop. This is usually only available as part of a paid bundle (or in the fall 2022 issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine if you’re a subscriber;), but for a limited time I’m offering it for free, no strings attached!

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Going through photos and videos from our trip to the @modernhomesteadingconference and the vast majority are of our daughter having the time of her life!

Even if I personally got nothing else out of this gathering (which I most certainly did), watching her discover her own love of this lifestyle outside of what we do at home made my heart grow three sizes!

Homesteading is about so much more than homegrown food and self-reliance. It’s about passing on invaluable skills and an understanding of and respect for our connection to the land that provides for us to the next generation.

Being around so many other kids and families who are also pursuing a homesteading lifestyle helped show our little one that this is a movement that is so much bigger and greater than what our own family does on our little plot of land. This is a lifestyle worth pursuing, with a community unlike any other.

Glad to be back home and more excited than ever to involve my kids in everything we’re doing. But also, I think I speak for my whole family when I say we can’t wait to go back someday!
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If you’re simply looking for ways to save a little extra cash this summer and live well for less, here are 12 tried and tested frugal living tips for summer that you can use to save money this season without sacrificing a thing.
Head over using the link in my bio!
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A brand new issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue:

🌱 How to forage and use five common edible and medicinal weeds

🏠 A sustainable, affordable alternative to traditional homes, greenhouses and more

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Tips for managing a homestead while raising a family (big or small!)

🫙 What to focus on when preserving food for true food security

🌹 How to grow and arrange your own cut flowers at home

🍓 The many ways to preserve summer berries (including 5 delicious recipes!)

💇How to make your own all-natural herbal hair care products at home

🧑‍🌾 Why “community sufficiency” is the new self-sufficiency

And more!

Visit modernhomesteadingmagazine.com (or click the link in my bio) to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue.

Plus, be sure to check out all of our past issues as well! There’s a wealth of information in our library on everything from farming and gardening to cooking and canning to herbal medicine, natural living and so much more!

*** This will be the last quarterly issue! ***

This little magazine has grown so much over the past 4 years and 32 issues, and now it’s time for another exciting evolution.

I’m excited to announce that we will be moving to an even more robust annual publication with the intention of offering the first ever print edition this fall if there is enough demand.

I’m also excited to announce the brand new Modern Homesteading Magazine blog, which is currently under construction and will be launching soon. While we will still be maintaining digital subscriptions, the blog will be accessible to all, free of charge, so that more people might benefit from the empowering and increasingly important information that we cover in each issue.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this issue happen! @homesteadingfamily @oatsandhoneyhomestead @omnivore.culture @thetaylor.leigh @doeraydesign (and more who don’t have IG pages;)

And a HUGE thank you to everyone who has subscribed over the years. Modern Homesteading Magazine would never have become what it is today without each and every one of you.

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If you’ve ever grown your own garlic, you might have noticed the spiral-shaped shoots that suddenly pop up in the centre of the stem, usually about a month or so before the garlic bulbs themselves are ready to be harvested.
These are garlic scapes, and believe it or not- they make delicious pesto! Get the recipe through the link in my bio- https://thehouseandhomestead.com/garlic-scape-pesto/
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34 1

This honey and chive blossom vinaigrette is a frugal, easy and healthy homemade salad dressing that pairs beautifully with fresh garden salads all season long.
Get the recipe through the link in my bio.
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/chive-blossom-vinaigrette/
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Whether you live in the city and grow a few herbs on your balcony, have a few backyard chickens in the suburbs or live in the country and have a larder full of enough home-canned food to survive the apocalypse, if living a more homemade, homegrown, self-sufficient lifestyle is important to you, Modern Homesteading Magazine was made for you!
Read it today through the link in my bio!
https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/
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#homesteadmom
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#suburbanhomesteading
#lovemyfarm
#modernhomesteader
#countrygal
#country_living
#urbanhomesteading
#selfsustainableliving
#homesteaderslife
#granolamom
#urbanhomesteader
#homesteadlifestyle
#farmerslifeforme
#backyardhomesteading
#homesteadingfamily
#sustainablelifestyles
#happyhomesteading
#homesteadersofamerica
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This radish top pesto recipe makes good use of the edible radish greens that often get discarded once they’re separated from the root. The end result is a peppery, slightly spicy twist on a classic pesto recipe.
A perfect condiment for all your summer snacking!
https://thehouseandhomestead.com/radish-top-pesto-recipe/
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