This vegan brioche bread adapts the authentic French brioche bread with no eggs, no butter, or milk. It is a fluffy, soft, and lightly sweet bread perfect for vegan breakfast toast.
As a French couple, we had to share a vegan brioche recipe on the blog. We were born and raised snacking on brioche as kids, so now this is the version we share with our kids on the weekend.
Is Brioche Vegan?
No, a classic brioche is not vegan. It is made with butter, eggs, and dairy milk.
How to make vegan brioche?
The good news is, it’s pretty easy to make your own vegan brioche bread at home with only simple plant-based ingredients. Below I am guiding you step by step on how to make this classic French brioche vegan!
Prepare ingredients, and don’t swap flour!
Before starting any vegan baking recipes, I recommend measuring all your ingredients in individual bowls for precision.
Remember that this recipe is tested using all-purpose flour, and it doesn’t work with flour substitutes like gluten-free flour blends, almond flour, or coconut flour.
The ingredients you need to make this fluffy vegan brioche bread are:
- All-purpose flour – also known as bread flour or white flour. Again, don’t swap the flour for any other flour, or the recipe will be a big fail! You need regular white-wheat flour for this recipe or spelt flour but don’t even try almond flour or coconut flour. It will not work at all. Also, note that my trials with all-purpose gluten-free flours didn’t come out great. The brioche won’t rise or get fluffy, so I don’t recommend that either.
- Soy milk – this is the best choice to make a moist, soft and fluffy vegan brioche. You can use oat milk or almond milk with different results, mostly a drier crumb.
- Sugar – you can use any sugar. Unrefined cane sugar is my favorite or coconut sugar, but this option adds a lightly dark color to the brioche.
- Apple cider vinegar – or lemon juice or white vinegar.
- Active dried yeast – Learn why yeast is vegan.
- Vegan butter – or light olive oil or coconut oil, but oil usually makes the brioche very dense, so it’s not my favorite choice for a soft fluffy center.
Feed the yeast
The first step to making brioche is to feed the dried active yeast with sugar into a lukewarm mixture of soy milk, vanilla, and melted vegan butter.
To warm the milk, you can either use a microwave or a non-stick saucepan.
Keep in mind that you want lukewarm milk. Think bath temperature 37C/98F, not boiling milk. This would ‘kill’ the yeast.
Combine the ingredients above into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk with a fork, and set aside 10 minutes.
Knead in a stand mixer
Next, sift flour and salt into the bowl and place the dough hook on the stand mixer. Then, knead the dough for 6 minutes or until the dough is soft, tacky but don’t stick to the bowl’s bottom.
If it sticks to the bottom of the bowl, it means you need more flour. Add 12 tablespoons of extra flour one at a time until the dough is soft and doesn’t stick to the bowl.
Transfer to an oiled bowl
Finally, transfer the dough into a large mixing bowl oiled with olive oil or coconut oil. The oil prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl.
Then, cover the bowl with a piece of parchment paper top with a clean kitchen towel. Place the bowl in a warm room or into a preheated oven at 40C/110F for 45 minutes or up to 1 hour.
You know the dough is ready when it has doubled in size.
Knead with your hand
When the dough has doubled in size, push down with floured hands and transfer onto a floured surface.
Knead the dough for 1 minute bringing the extremity of the dough ball to the center and pressing with your palm to knead the dough evenly.
If the dough sticks, sprinkle extra flour onto it.
Braid the dough
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions and form balls.
Then, roll each ball into 9 inches long cylinder/tubes. Bring the three tubes of dough together by their extremity and pinch to seal.
Start braiding tightly but don’t pull on the dough tubes, or you would overextend them.
Pinch the extremity of the dough when you reach the end. You will end up with a long braid, longer than your 9-inch loaf pan.
To fit the pan, tuck under the extra dough from the extremities under the loaf to fit the loaf pan.
Place the braided dough into a loaf pan covered with parchment paper. Then, cover the top of the pan with a clean kitchen towel and raise for 20 minutes or 30 minutes.
In a small mixing bowl, mix melted vegan butter and a pinch of turmeric to mimic egg color.
Use a pastry brush to brush the top of the brioche and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 35-45 minutes.
The vegan brioche is cooked through when the top is golden brown, and a skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.
Flip over the brioche on a wire rack and cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before slicing or overnight.
How to use vegan brioche?
This vegan brioche makes a delicious breakfast, served plain or with jam, peanut butter, or vegan butter.
You can also use this vegan brioche recipe to make French toasts. However, I recommend slicing the brioche and letting the slices harden for a few days at room temperature before using it for vegan French toasts.
In fact, this brioche is very fluffy and soft, and the French toasts taste better if the bread has had time to firm up.
How to store vegan brioche?
This is an egg-free brioche recipe, so it stores very well at room temperature as soon as it’s stored in a sealed container.
You can keep it fresh for up to 4 days in a cake box or freeze slices in ziplock bags for later. Thaw the vegan brioche slices the day before at room temperature.
Can I make vegan brioche buns?
Yes, you can use this recipe to make buns or vegan brioche hamburger buns. However, I would recommend decreasing the sugar to 2 tablespoons for a savory bun.
Then, divide the entire dough into 8 or 10 balls. Then, place each ball onto a baking tray covered with oiled parchment paper.
As for the brioche bread, always rise a second time for 30-45 minutes and bake until golden brown.
More vegan recipes for breakfast baking lovers!
I love to bake for breakfast, especially during the weekend. Below I’ve shared our top 3 favorite vegan baking recipes for the family on the weekend:
Your friend, Carine
Vegan Brioche Bread
To brush on top - vegan 'egg'wash
- 1 tablespoon Melted Vegan Butter
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
- Before you start, precisely measure all ingredients into small bowls.
- Add the soy milk to a small microwave-safe mixing bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to bring the milk to around 37°C/100°F. If you don't have a microwave, warm milk in a non-stick saucepan over medium heat for 20-30 seconds. The milk should be at bath temperature, not boiling or too warm, or it would 'kill' the yeast.
- Pour the lukewarm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and stir in sugar, melted vegan butter, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, and active dried yeast. Whisk quickly with a fork to combine and set aside 10 minutes.
- Sift in flour and salt into the bowl, and using the dough hook attachment of your stand mixer, start kneading the dough on speed 2 or 3 for 6 minutes.
- As it goes, the dough will be soft and won't stick to the sides or bottom of the bowl. If the dough sticks to the bottom of the bowl, it means you need slightly more flour. Add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, up to 4 tablespoons until the dough is soft, tacky but doesn't stick to your fingers.
- Oil a large mixing bowl with olive oil or coconut oil, and with lightly oiled hands, transfer the dough to the oiled bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a piece of parchment paper, then add a clean kitchen towel on top to seal the bowl.
- Place the bowl in a warm room or even better, place it in a warm oven at 45°C/50°C (110°F/115°F) for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until it has just doubled in size.
- When the dough has doubled in size, sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough and push down with your hand to deflate and release gas.
- Lightly flour your hands and the surface of your benchtop to prevent the dough from sticking, then turn out the dough onto the surface.
- Knead the dough, gently pressing the edges of the dough to the middle, repeating this for about 1 minute. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle more flour.
- Divide the dough into 3 equal balls and roll each ball into a long tube/cylinder - about 9-inch/20-cm long.
- Roll out each dough cylinder with your palms, gently pressing the dough, creating a back and forth motion until you create a 9-inch long bread rope.
- Repeat for the other two portions of dough.
- Bring the ends of the three ropes together and pinch to seal.
- Braid the dough tightly but don't stretch the dough. When you reach the end, pinch to seal.
- Once braided, the braid will be longer than the loaf pan, and that's normal. Fold the ends of the braid under the loaf to make it fit the pan.
- Cover a 9-inch loaf pan with oiled parchment paper and bring the braided brioche into the pan.
- Cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel and place in a warm room or preheated oven at 40°C-50°C/110°F for 30-40 minutes or until the dough rises.
- Brush the top of the brioche bread with melted vegan butter mixed with a pinch of turmeric to give yellow color to the brioche.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Flip the brioche bread out of the pan and cool on a cooling rack for 2 hours or overnight before slicing.
- Store at room temperature in a sealed cake box for up to 4 days or freeze slices for later. Thaw the day before at room temperature.