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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If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

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While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

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(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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What would you do if the grid went down?

Imagine not just the lights going out, but all power, all digital communication and information. Would you be prepared?

A lot of us THINK we’re prepared for a grid down situation, but unless you’re already living off grid, you might not realize how dependent on technology we really are!

In the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, contributor Ashley Constance of @dirtypawshomestead and @alittleselfreliant shares her experience voluntarily going without power for the day, and what she and her husband, Shawn learned from their grid down experiment.

You might be surprised at the things they discovered and missed on their prep list, and it might prompt you to reevaluate whether you’re ready in case the grid goes down, or even just Google 😱

Check out the full story in the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine!

Link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

#modernhomesteadingmagazine #homesteadersofinstagram #homesteading #modernhomesteading #prepping #nationalpreparednessmonth
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The other day when I had a few minutes to spare, I was out in the garden doing a little work when my neighbour said hi over the fence.

I lamented to her about how busy we’ve been and how hard it’s been to keep on top of this year. Very sincerely, she replied “wait until you have another one,” referring to our baby on the way.

“You’ll be moving back to the suburbs so quick, mark my words,” she said.

Now, I don’t for a second think there was any ill intent behind her statement, but still, it took me aback.

“We’ll never move back to the city or the suburbs,” I replied with a laugh. “This may be hard work but we love it.”

She then repeated her statement and followed it up with “just you wait and see.”

I decided not to continue the back and forth. After all, I told myself, it doesn’t matter if she or anyone else knows what’s truly in your heart. It doesn’t matter if she understands that there’s no amount of difficulty that would make me run back to the suburbs and leave this life behind. In fact, our dream is to upgrade to a bigger property someday where we can grow an even bigger garden and add more livestock to our homestead!

Likewise, I visited the city last weekend for a family event and as always, I had at least a couple people ask me “so when are you moving back to the city?”

Seven years later, and still we have friends and family members who think this is just a phase we’re going through, and eventually we’ll come to our senses and move back.

I used to get offended by these questions because I felt unseen; I felt like nobody took this life that I’m so passionate about seriously, and thought it was “cute” that I was “playing farmer” for a bit, but eventually I had to grow up and become part of the “real world” once again.

Now I just smile and reply “never:)”

Can you relate? How do you (politely) respond when someone questions your lifestyle choices or implies that you’ll eventually come to your senses and come back to “reality”?

Let me know below 👇
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The fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine just dropped!

In this issue you’ll find:

• Preparedness tips, tricks and advice to help you be ready for anything on the homestead (and in life!)
•The ultimate guide to growing garlic at home and it as both food and medicine
• Drool-worthy recipes that feature garlic as the star!
• Expert advice from A Farmgirl in the Making’s Ann Accetta-Scott on what to look for (and look out for) when buying or selling a homestead property
• Advice on how to learn and grow from perceived homesteading “failures”

And more!!!

Go to modernhomesteadingmagazine.com or click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky to subscribe or login to the library and read the latest issue if you’re already subscribed!
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