Brioche…………. A bread of French origin which is enriched with butter and eggs. I have been trying to replicate it gluten free for months. Or at least to get close to that delightfully buttery, slightly sweet, rich but light bake.
I have tried numerous recipes that claim to be the gluten free alternative, but none have come close and most have been dry, hard and either bland or slightly bitter. I had almost given up, when I was skimming through the pages of some recipe books the other day and came across a ‘golden raisin brioche loaf’ in Gluten Free Baking, by Phil Vickery. The photos of the loaf in the book looked promising, so I gave it a go.
My daughter always loved brioche for breakfast before she was diagnosed Coeliac, sometimes plain and sometimes (when she could persuade me that it was suitable breakfast-fodder) with chocolate chips. With that in mind, I substituted the raisins in the recipe for chocolate chunks….. Not so healthy, but who cares?
The resulting loaf was actually pretty good, although for me was still a tiny bit dry and not quite smooth and creamy enough. So I have made a few adaptations – a little less water, a little more egg, a rebalancing of flour, the addition of some honey and a sprinkle of brown sugar. And what a difference…………..
It is light and buttery and tastes amazingly….. well….. brioche-like! It looks and feels pretty brioche-like too, both in bite and colour and when you toast it, you get that incredible sweet wafting, buttery-caramel aroma which has ‘brioche’ written all over it.
Great baked with ‘bits’ and great without. Eat on its own or slather with a thick layer of jam or your favourite spread. Delicious warm, cold and especially toasted. Freezes amazingly well ready to be defrosted whenever you need it. Gluten free breakfast just got exciting again!
Gluten Free Brioche……. (makes one 2 lb loaf or 14 to 16 individual mini-loaves)
275g white gluten free flour mix (I used Mix A from this post)
50g tapioca flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons golden caster sugar
11g/1 tablespoon easy bake yeast (I used Allinson)
200g unsalted butter (cold and cut into small cubes)
50 ml water
120 ml milk
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 tablespoon runny honey
100g chocolate chips/chunks (optional) or 85g sultanas (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons soft brown sugar (to sprinkle on top)
- Base line a 23 x 12 cm (2 lb) non stick loaf tin with baking paper (or prepare individual loaf moulds if you are using instead)
- Weigh and mix the flours, xanthan gum, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl, making sure any lumps are broken down and all ingredients are well-blended.
- Add the cubed, cold butter and lightly rub into the mix with your finger tips so that the butter is broken down but you still have small pieces (not bread crumbs).
- Mix the milk and water together in a pan or jug and heat to just above hand temperature either on the hob or in a microwave.
- In a separate small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the honey.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour-butter mix and add the beaten egg-honey, mixing well with a spoon to combine fully.
- Add the liquid and gently fold in until combined and the mixture is completely ‘wet’, but be careful not to over-mix.
- If you are adding chocolate chips, sultanas or any other additional fruit, add to the mix at this stage and gently fold to combine.
- Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin/moulds (to about half-way up) and gently smooth the top.
- Cover with cling-film and put in a warm place to rise for one hour, or until more or less doubled in size.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰ C / 350⁰ F / Gas 4.
- When risen, remove the cling-film, sprinkle the top with brown sugar and bake for approx 30 minutes (large loaf), or 15 to 20 minutes (mini loaves), until dark golden brown in colour.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Best eaten warm or toasted but also delicious cold, sliced and slathered with jam.
- Freeze on the day you make them, and defrost in a microwave for breakfast!
Gluten Free Alchemist © 2013 unless otherwise indicated