Thursday, January 21, 2010

(Vegan) Brioche: Baking Through the Bread Baker's Apprentice

This is the first recipe that gave me pause. First, I have never had brioche in my life so I was not sure what the end result was supposed to be like. Second, the recipe calls for 5 eggs, which meant that veganizing was going to be a bit of a challenge. From what I can gather, brioche is all about working in as much butter as possible into the dough whilst adding eggs to up the protein content so the brioche actually holds its shaped when baked. Thankfully, Reinhart provides three versions with varying amounts of butter. I went with the middle class brioche recipe figuring that 1 cup of margarine would be easier to work with (rather than the 2 cups in the upper class recipe) and therefore my egg substitutes would have a better chance of actually doing what they were supposed to do. The end result was absolute perfection: a light, delicate, and tender brioche that rose like a dream. I was more than pleased, especially because I guessed on how to best replace the eggs.

GENERAL NOTES
1. I only refrigerated the dough for the minimum time (4 hours) and had great results. I imagine, though, that leaving it overnight would make the dough even more tender.
2. I don't have brioche pans so I put the brioches a tete in muffin tins. I made 16.
3. Because I used Earth Balance, I added only a pinch of salt to the dough.
4. I used Method 2 to shape the brioche.

VEGAN NOTES
1. I replaced the milk with plain soy milk.
2. My thought on the eggs was to replace the weight of the eggs (8.5 oz) with a mixture of egg replacers. I whisked 2 tbsp of ground flax into 1/3 cup of water (final weight 3 oz). I then blended in 2 oz of soy yogurt, and 3.5 oz of silken tofu with an immersion blender. I have no idea if these proportions can be altered, I just know they worked for me.
3. I added 1 tbsp vital wheat gluten to the dough.
4. I replaced the butter with Earth Balance margarine.
5. I brushed the brioche with soy milk instead of an egg white wash.

27 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Wow, I am so glad we are going through this "together."

I picked up a copy of the BB'sA this week and felt intimidated by a few of these egg-and-butter heavy breads. Your tips help a lot! Thanks.

renae said...

I'm impressed! This is one of the few recipes I've skipped in BBA, because I was scared of all the eggs. My friend often makes non-vegan brioche, though she's expressed interest in veganizing it because she's cool like that, and I think you've finally spurred me to attempt it. I'm loving your baking you way through the BBA series - it's such a great book!

Felicity said...

Wow! I've always wondered how to veganize brioche. I'll have to give this a shot!

Mel said...

Amazing! I've worked for a French patisserie and they are pretty damn close.

Mihl said...

These are some great tips, thank you! I wanted to make the brioche from Reihart's book for quite some time but always feared all those eggs.
You are right, your brioche looks perfect!

Just.Kate said...

Your brioche is beautiful! Vegan baking can be such a challenge, but victories are so delicious. :D

Desdemona said...

Oh, sweet mystery of life, at last I've found you...! I recently bookmarked a recipe for brioche with a sort mushroom/sherry/Newburg filling, but haven't been arsed to find a vegan brioche recipe yet, so thanks - I'll be making these in the very near future!

Tami (Vegan Appetite) said...

I'm really enjoying you baking through this book. This brioche is the most impressive yet.

anne said...

hey, the link to the original recipe isn't working (not for me at least). i'm dying to make these and am so impressed with your ability to veganize brioche

anne said...

ahh, never mind. i guess it's my computer!!

Bianca said...

Looks perfect! I just read a blog post from another non-vegan blogger about how there really wasn't a good substitute for eggs in baking. You proved that wrong!

sophia said...

i've never had brioche either but that looks heavenly.

Noel said...

These are beautiful, I have been hesitant to try this recipe since I got BBA. I guess I now have a good place to start!

rosemary x said...

i sincerely cannot believe that you've made a vegan brioche. amazing! i can't wait to try it!!!

bed frame said...

There are lots of possible substitutes. This is a nice bread recipe. Thanks for recipe. My mom will love this.

Anonymous said...

Your brioche looks amazing ... I've made butter and egg-based brioche, and the texture looks just right. I'd love to try your healther recipe. It turned out so beautifully!

dreaminitvegan said...

I must say when I saw the word brioche I had to do a double take because I've never seen it veganized. It been a very long time since I've eaten some. I am very impressed you have accomplished this amazing feat! This brioche is absolutely beautiful! Wow!

Vegan Fox said...

I've never had brioche either, but buttery rolls sound great. These look wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Hi Vegan Dad.... I posted the following on my facebook page today, along with a link to your blog. Thought you might enjoy reading it :-) Our family LOVES your blog - keep up the fabulous, fabulous cooking (& blogging of course :-)
~Susan

Brioche... have you ever tasted anything better in the morning? Toasted then covered with jam - it's absolute perfection in your mouth. I have a love affair with brioche. Years ago while I still lived in Fargo-Moorhead my greatest treat was to purchase a loaf of fresh brioche from the Breadsmith Bakery and enjoy i...t with the family for a weekend breakfast. I eventually even learned to make it myself because it was so divine to the taste buds (but too spendy to purchase regularly).

It has been a number of years since I have had brioche since I have cut real butter and eggs from my diet, not to mention that there is nowhere to purchase it in a weak moment where I currently live.

After recently re-watching one of Mike & I's favorite romantic comedy films called "Kate & Leopold" I was reminded about missing my brioche in this scene:

Kate (Meg Ryan): "Oh, right. Where you come from, toast is the result of reflection and study!"

Leopold (Hugh Jackman): "Ah yes, you mock me. But perhaps one day when you've awoken from a pleasant slumber to the scent of a warm brioche smothered in marmalade and fresh creamery butter, you'll understand that life is not solely composed of tasks, but tastes."

So very, very true Hugh!

My older kids and I were also reminiscing about Brioche this week and decided we would try to make it for Valentines Day as a VERY special treat... But then, today.. out of nowhere I check the Vegan Dad Blog and what do I see? VEGAN BRIOCHE!!! Now if anybody can pull this off, it's Vegan Dad, one of my vegan culinary heroes. As I read on I found out it is not just any recipe he's made up, now I am fully amazed that he has taken the brioche recipe from "The Bread Baker's Apprentice" cookbook (THE unparalleled book of all bread making cookbooks - absolute bread perfection). I was even more tickled that I happen to own this very cookbook :-)

Needless to say that Vegan Dad has more than made my day, he has made me forever joyous that I can be reunited with my lost love without feeling the guilt over pounds of butter and a carton of eggs (literally) in my loaf of bread!

Oh HAPPY Day!!

jba said...

they look moist, yet firm, and delicious! how did they taste?

SallyT said...

Those look lovely! It's cool that your subs worked the first time out!

Jessica P said...

I have been thinking about this recipe too and too scared to attempt it. Thanks for sharing your techniques.
Have you seen Reinhart's new book, Artisan Bread Everyday (or something like that). I just got it, the recipes seem simpler that BBA, but need overnight proofing.

Vegan Vibration said...

vegan dad, these look really awesome! I find that vegan baked goods are often the most intimidating things to make since results can be so mixed, but your recent veganized bread recipes look really great! I have now been inspired to try taking a dive into the world of vegan baking!

Cam Thorpe said...

Vegan Dad, you're recent veganized bread recipes have inspired me to try taking a dive into the world of vegan baking (one which I find very intimidating due to the sometimes unpredictable or disappointing results...) These little Brioche's look amazing! I will try them for sure!

Kris said...

These look fantastic!

Katie said...

Oh wow! I have been wanting to bake brioche but since going vegan I wasn't sure how to replace the eggs! Thanks for doing it first!

Kate said...

Wow. If you weren't already married, I think I'd have do propose to you on the spot! These look delicious! I am so impressed with all your baking successes.