Whole Wheat Brioche – Healthy-ish Baking

Brioche is amazing stuff. Admittedly, I have made brioche several times before. However, I am trying to make sure to eat healthy, so I decided this week, so modify my brioche recipe, to make it a bit healthier. Ergo, it qualifies as a new recipe. For the record, it’s not actually healthy – a loaf of bread with more than 1/2 a cup of butter in it is never going to be healthy. But it you can keep something rather bad for you delicious in the process, nothing wrong with trying to make it a bit healthier.

2 1/2 – 3 cups whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 package yeast
3-4 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/4 cup water
8-10 tablespoons butter, softened

Mix 2 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt together in a very large bowl. Add the water and eggs, and mix together. You can use electric mixers, I prefer to just use a spoon. The dough should be fairly soft, but not too wet. Take about half the softened butter, and use your hands to squish it into the dough. Add a bit more flour as you go so it doesn’t get too soft. As you mush in the butter, start to knead the dough. Add more softened butter as you go, and flour, until the dough is soft and somewhat elastic, without being sticky. Then you stick it in the fridge to rest and rise overnight.

The next day, pull it out of the fridge and play with the dough a bit until it becomes pliable. Then shape it into a log and stick it in a greased loaf pan. Let it rise for like 3 hours or so, or until it’s doubled in size and bake for 30-40 minutes at 350.

whole wheat brioche

This turned out amazingly well. You can get a bit of the whole wheat flavor in it, but it doesn’t taste heavy or dense like whole wheat bread often do. It’s also more filling than standard brioche. The only quibble I have with it is that it is really crumbly. Well, that and the fact it takes forever to make – one of these days I’m going to mess around more and find a faster way of making it. Song of the week: Purple Haze, by Jimmy Hendrix. Iconic. Game-changing. Perfection. And no matter how many times you’ve listened to it (and I mean really listened) it is mind-blowing.

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