In this delicious, tender vegan olive oil brioche, aquafaba stands in for the eggs. The texture is light, feathery, and with a tight crumb, exactly the way a brioche is meant to be.
There is something rather addictive about a brioche: a goodness so subtle, it makes me wonder if the guy or gal who uttered the phrase "je ne sais quoi" for the first time ever was tucking into a brioche at the time.
This rather hallowed French bread has a light but close-knit, almost feathery, crumb, an elegant, barely-there sweetness, and a flaky, golden crust that melts in your mouth. To say that to eat a brioche is to fall in love with this bread would be understating it, but I am going to say it anyway.
I have baked many a brioche in my day, and the traditional recipe uses a ton of butter and eggs to get that incredible texture and flavor. A few years back, I shared with you on this blog my recipe for an Avocado Brioche: a healthier way to have your brioche and eat it too. It's a fantastic bread that I make over and over.
But this time I wanted to try out something a little less green 😉 and more authentic (that is if the French would ever consider olive oil and aquafaba an "authentic" replacement for butter and eggs -- jamais?)
My Vegan Olive Oil Brioche with Aquafaba is a must-try if you love baking, but I'll warn you at the start that it is a labor of love.
The bread needs two rises, as all brioches do, and the process of kneading the olive oil into the flour is a pain royale. But how else are you going to feel like the accomplished, get-your-hands-dirty-and-flour-all-over-your-hair baker that you really are?
While making a brioche, you beat in the fat after the dough has been mixed, and when you're mixing in butter, which is semi-solid at room temperature, the process goes by quite smoothly. But when I dumped in the olive oil, my dough just flapped around in a pool of oil for a long time, giving me the jitters. Was my brioche doomed? Would I have to dump all that oil and make do with an unsatisfactory loaf, if it was edible at all?
But I soldiered on and although it took all of 25 minutes in my KitchenAid on medium speed, the dough did, in the end, incorporate all of the oil. Ouf!
Lesson? Patience. (Of which you need oodles, or you wouldn't be making bread anyway.)
I baked my brioche in a sectioned loaf, made by shaping the dough into four even balls and stacking them side by side in the loaf pan. But you have some liberty with the design of it. You can make smaller balls and put them in the pan, which would make a rater cute loaf, or you could simply bake the bread into a single loaf without sectioning anything.
If you have brioche molds, use them to make 12 cute little brioche rolls with this recipe, but cut baking time down to about 12-15 minutes.
I have been experimenting with aquafaba in my breads, and you might remember the recipe for my Chocolate Vegan Babka where I used aquafaba or chickpea brine (the stuff left behind in the can after you've taken out the chickpeas) in lieu of eggs with great success. The aquafaba worked great in this brioche recipe too. In fact, I couldn't have been happier with my decision.
Here's the recipe for my divine Vegan Olive Oil Brioche with Aquafaba. Hope you try, and bon appetit!
More vegan bread recipes from the blog:
Vegan Olive Oil Brioche with Aquafaba
- 2 ¼ tsp or 1 package active dry yeast
- ⅓ cup + 2 tbsp nondairy milk
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ cup bread flour
- ¾ cup aquafaba
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon sugar
- ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil (I don't mean to sound like Ina Garten, but it's important you use a good olive oil for this recipe.)
- Place the yeast and ⅓rd cup of warm, nondairy milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and let the yeast bloom, about five minutes.
- Add the all-purpose flour, aquafaba, sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture. Mix well on medium speed until everything is incorporated.
- Add the bread flour and knead for five minutes on medium speed or until the dough comes off the sides of the bowl and clumps around the dough hook.
- Add the olive oil and knead. It will look like there is too much oil in the beginning, but don't worry. Be patient and the dough will eventually begin to absorb the oil. It took me about 25 minutes on medium-high speed for all of the oil to incorporate.
- When all of the oil is gone and the dough looks smooth again, scrape it out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured board. Form into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough into a large, oiled bowl (or back in the bowl of the mixer after oiling) and cover with cling wrap. Place in a warm place to rise for 90 minutes.
- After 90 minutes, the dough should have doubled. Punch it down and once again form the dough into a smooth ball. Place it back in the bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for 8-12 hours.
- In the morning the dough should have risen again. If it's not doubled at least, let it stand outside in a warm place until it doubles. Otherwise, punch the dough down and shape into four even balls.
- Let the balls stand on the countertop, covered with a kitchen towel, for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, oil a standard eight-inch loaf pan. Place the four balls side by side in the pan so they are touching each other.
- If you want a shiny top, mix the remaining 2 tablespoon milk with a tablespoon of aquafaba and some salt and apply to the top of the brioche. Do this once more just before putting the loaf in the oven.
- Once the loaf has risen and domed over the pan (about 90 minutes), place in a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the loaf pan and let it cool on a rack until it can be handled. Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool thoroughly on a rack. Serve.
Love this vegan olive oil brioche recipe? Check out more vegan bread recipes on Holy Cow!
I never comment on recipes, but I just can't help myself! This is the best vegan brioche recipe! I was a professional baker for many many years before I went vegan and this brioche is absolutely comparable to the dairy version. Thank you for posting this, I am so grateful. I also did what another reviewer recommended and added the oil with a little of the flour at the end of the mixing process. Worked like a charm!
This turned out so well!!! Trust in the directions and ingredients. It’s delicious and so pretty in the end 🙂
Can you use whole wheat flour in place of all the other fours? I like to keep my diet on whole grains. Would love to try this recipe soon.
Hi Megan, you can, but keep in mind that the texture and flavor would change a lot. The brioche won't be as light and fluffy. If you do use just ww flour, add a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to the mix. Let me know how it goes.
Hi! I can't wait to try this. I have two questions. 1) is the olive oil overpowering, like can you taste the olive oil in the bread? 2) What about grapeseed oil?
Hi Jo, it's not overpowering at all. The fruity flavor goes really well in a brioche, which is meant to be slightly sweet. That said, grapeseed oil could work although you won't get that lovely flavor. If you try it let me know how it goes!
Hi! So I made it with avocado oil my first time and it was good. My second time I used Earth Balance unsalted butter sticks. Let those soften to room temperature. Omg it was so good! Your recipe is perfect! You can use any good oil!
I highly recommend mixing the last cup of flour with the olive oil. I didn't have any problems mixing and my dough came together in only a minute or so (in mixer). The entire family loved the results-I set the pan of bread on the table for lunch, and that's all they wanted to eat for the meal (no leftovers).
The top turned out crunchy instead of soft (still very yummy, but in a different way than I expected). Maybe because I accidentally deflated the dough when I brushed it with the milk/aquafaba mixture? Maybe because I put the pan in the oven before allowing it to preheat? Not sure, but I'm definitely going to make this recipe again!
I am new to bread making and was wondering about the step of putting the dough in the refrigerator after the first rise. I thought you needed warmth for bread making. I am going to try this, just curious about this step. Thanks!
You can put dough in the fridge. The yeast will eat slower so the dough will rise very slowly. You want to leave it in there for the full 8-10 hours for maximum rise.
Do you do anything to the aquafaba liquid or just add it as is out of the can?
Out of the can!
Hi there, is it possible to do this with gluten free flour? If so any tips?
The bread turned out great! I added 2 spoons of sugar more and orange blossom essence to turn it into a Spanish‘roscón’- will definitely try adding oil at the same time as second part of flour next time!
Made this in 11cup Kitchenaid food processor. Used bread flour in first addition instead of AP. I then incorporated the olive oil and added the AP. Took 4-5mn to incorporate all the oil. Felt like a good dough. Will add more comments as I go
I’m a practiced baker but made the most awful mess, trying to join dough & oil- (only have hand held mixer)- in the end, consistency is great - But have you Ever tried kneeding it in along with the second part of flour?? Hope it turns out yummy
A reader had suggested adding the last cup of flour with the oil--she said it made the kneading easier. I haven't made this since, but it sounded like a great idea.
Thank you so much for this recipe!
I followed really carefully the recipe and the brioche looks amazing, but the flavour was really yeasty... do you know what could have had happened? I'd love to make it again but I don't want to mess it up, It was so close to being perfect, it was fluffy and buttery and raised as expected but the yeast flavour was overpowering. Help
Hi, happy you liked it. I've never encountered a problem with the bread being too yeasty-- the amount of yeast in the recipe is what it needs. You can always try and use less yeast but I can't gurarantee it will be as fluffy or rise as well.
This was so easy and it came out great! Thanks so much for this recipe!!
So awesome to hear, Deborah!
What a pain to mix, and what a wonderful end-product. Thanks for a great recipe.
Hahah, yes, it is a bit of a pain but worth the results. So happy you tried it. 🙂
Can you freeze this? Mine is in the oven as we speak, really well risen, looks great, can't wait to taste it.
Can I sub the oil be oil for refined coconut oil?
Can I use all AP flour? I don't ave bread flour.
Instead of refrigerating it, can I keep it over the counter until it doubles up?
What is the best, richest non-dairy milk to use in baked bread? Almond, Soy, Cashew, Oat? Each has a different thickness. Thanks for sharing - I'm trying it this week. Thanks for sharing!
I haven’t tried this recipe but I like to you soy coffee creamer when I want a richer, thicker milk. (Unsweetened of course)
Hi I don't have a kitchen aid. Is this still possible by hand? I am willing to labour away 🙂
Can you substitute sour dough for the yeast?
Thank you so much for this recipe! What are you thoughts on using a more solid oil like coconut oil or a store-bought vegan butter like the country crock plant butter? I’m thinking that might incorporate a little more easily into the dough.
Hmm..I don't think I'd care for the strong coconut oil flavor in a brioche, but you could definitely do it. The olive oil does incorporate, FYI, it just takes a little time, and it's totally worth it. 🙂 I don't know much about the Country Crock plant butter--do they have baking sticks? My experience with spreadable butters is they usually don't have the fat content that you'd need to get the correct texture, but I'm sure you would get an okay bread. If you try, I'd love to hear how it came out.
Hey there! This recipe looks amazing. I was wondering if I could divide the dough into 8 balls and bake in two smaller loaf pans or would that mess it up? Thanks for your time!
Hello! As i don’t have bread flour and grocery shelves are empty, would using APF for the entire recipe work? Thank you!
Hi, your recipe looks great! would vegan butter work though instead of olive oil?
Do you whip the aquafaba so its white and makes stiff peaks before adding it or are you adding it whilst its still liquid and clear
No need to beat it -- should be liquid. Go about it exactly as the recipe says.
So so good! I made them into 8 burger buns - they very a tad too sweet for that in my taste, but really delicious on their own - and that beatiful, fluffy texture!
Awesome! Brioche is a sweet bread, but you can always reduce the sugar if you like.
Lisa A Boesen
I was honestly skeptical about this recipe but it turned out just fantastic. It took about 15 minutes for the oil to incorporate. I stopped occasionally and used a bench press to bring things together a bit. It turned out as fluffy as regular brioche. I will definitely be making again.