“Healthy” Brioche, Italian Style

Let me start of with saying this. I am not a nutritionist or a dietitian. How healthy this bread is…couldn’t really tell you. However, what I can say is that when compared to your typical Brioche, this version is probably healthier just based on the swaps I made. Incorporating  whole wheat pastry flour provides increased fiber and nutrients, while swapping  butter out for olive oil brings healthy monosaturated fat into the mix.

I first came across this recipe when I was researching types of breads for my Pineapple Bread Pudding recipe. I had settled on an eggy, sweet brioche, but all the recipes had soooo much darn butter. I mean I love butter, but c’mon, a little moderation here!  There was also this little thing with recipes calling for an overnight chilling.  Yeah, definitely not a fit for this working girl’s schedule! Then I happily stumbled upon this recipe. I thought, hmmm, olive oil. That’s different! I like different! So I adapted it slightly with the whole wheat pastry flour and re-wrote the directions for use with a stand mixer (I christened my KitchenAid Artisan with this recipe) and dubbed it my “Italian Brioche” lol.

The bread is delicious and just a little dense. It was amazing in the bread pudding, but even just toasted and smothered in butter (hey, a little is ok!) and homemade blackberry preserves…mmmmm. Can’t wait to try it as french toast!

“Healthy” Brioche, Italian Style

makes 1 loaf
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk (105 degrees to 115 degrees F)
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg white
  1. In a bowl, add the All Purpose Flour and Whole Wheat Pastry Flour together and use a whisk to blend. Set aside.
  2. Pour milk into a saucepan and heat over medium low heat to appx 110 degress. Think baby formula temperature. Warm but not hot.
  3. Add yeast and 1 tbsp of sugar to the milk. Whisk until sugar and yeast are dissolved and set aside until foamy (appx 10 minutes)
  4. Pour yeast mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer. Make sure to use the paddle attachment. Turn to low speed.
  5. Add olive oil to the yeast mixture along with the egg yolks and mix until blended.
  6. Slowly add in 1 cup of the flour mixture, all the remaining sugar, and the salt. Mix until blended.
  7. Removed bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm place for an hour.
  8. Still using the paddle attachment, start whisking in the remaining flour into the risen dough about 1/2 cup at a time until dough starts to stiffen.
  9. Switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hooks.
  10. Continue to mix the dough on low speed for about five minutes or until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl and the dough is soft and elastic.
  11. Spray a bowl with cooking spray and place dough in bowl, turning once to coat.
  12. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place fo ranother hour.
  13. Once dough has doubled, turn out onto a floured surface.
  14. Pre-heat the oven to 375°
  15. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough out just a little bit, about 6-8 inches.
  16. Form the dough into a loaf by taking one end and rolling it like a yoga mat.
  17. Place the dough loaf in an oiled and floured  8 1/2″ by 4 1/2″  pan.
  18. Bake for appx 30-45 minutes. During the last 3-5 minutes, brush loaf with the egg white for a nice golden finish.





13 responses to ““Healthy” Brioche, Italian Style

  1. Pingback: French Toast with Caramelized Bananas or Balsamic Strawberries | corkandspoon

  2. What a professional looking loaf! Your kitchen must have smelled fab, definately try this – my ever shrinking jeans will appreciate it 😉

  3. Just a few changes to a recipe can make a big difference in nutrition.

    • That is so true, Karen! There’s a new show on the Cooking Channel where Paula Dean’s son is re-making her dishes to be healthier. Calories cut in half and the calories remaining are no longer “empty”, like using the natural sugars in fresh fruit to sweeten a dish instead of added sugar. Just a few healthier changes, but tastes just as delicious!

  4. I love this recipe!! Thanks for posting step by step pictures. It makes so easy for us to follow!

    • Thank-you, Gursahiba! Pictures definitely help me, too, especially when I venture into cooking territory I’m not so familiar with 🙂

  5. Yum! I love the smell of bread baking in the oven! I’m sure it tasted as good as it looks! 🙂

  6. Do you have any bread left?? I feel like breakfast for dinner Sunday night, with mimosas, would be a fabulous idea.

  7. This looks very pretty and so soft… I’ll try making one, my bf would love it! Thanks for the recipe 🙂

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