Zoë & Jeff’s Gluten Free Brioche Recipe

I’ve just found my new favorite thing, a gluten free brioche recipe. But first, a little background.

In the very beginning of my gluten free life, I had some dark days indeed. I used to watch everyone else eat whatever they wanted, and in my mind, I just could not reconcile the fact that wheat was suddenly bad for me. It was so completely difficult to unlearn a lifetime of nutritional education that simply did not apply to me anymore. How was that scientifically possible? Why was I different? How would I survive in the modern world? Oh, woe is me!

After a few years of feeling sorry for myself, I got tired of moping and snapped out of it. I mean, hello! There’s a whole world of food out there that doesn’t involve wheat, and I had to get busy rediscovering how to feed myself. Not only did the rules of nutrition change for me, but so had the rules of cooking in general. Everything was different – how I made sauces, soups, and most distinctly, breads.

Many years ago, back when I could eat regular wheat-based bread, I remember making my favorite brioche recipe every chance I had. I’d scarf it down plain with butter, turn it into Thanksgiving stuffing and slice it up into the most amazing French toast I’ve ever eaten. I’d have to say that brioche was my favorite bread in the world – so it was with a heavy heart that I gave it up when I learned that I had a gluten intolerance. And I mean a really, really heavy heart.

Zoë and Jeff developed this gluten free brioche recipe for Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and I’m so completely stoked to have brioche in my life again. The first thing I made was a panini, which I’ll post a recipe for tomorrow, and a huge serving of French toast. What will you do with your brioche recipe? Please share in the comments and let me know what you think.

Thank you Jeff! Thank you Zoë! Be sure to check out their interview from last week, wherein they share some tips for gluten free baking and talk about how they developed their recipes.

For this brioche recipe, you’re not limited to a loaf pan – feel free to turn this recipe into a classic brioche as well. Here are some non-stick brioche molds for sale online, thanks to a commenter below!

Zoë & Jeff's Gluten Free Brioche Recipe
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: baking
From "Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" by Zoe François and Jeff Hertzberg
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup tapioca starch (tapioca flour)
  • 3 3/4 cups cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons granulated yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons xanthan gum
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup neutral flavor oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Egg wash (1 beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water) for brushing on loaf
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling on top crust
  1. Whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, yeast, salt and xanthan gum in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
  2. Combine the liquid ingredients and gradually mix them into the dry ingredients using one of the following: a spoon, a 14-cup food processor (with dough attachment) or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. Mix just until there are no dry bits of flour. You might need to use wet hands to get the last bits of flour to incorporate if you are not using a machine.
  3. Cover (not airtight!) and allow the dough to rest at room temperature for 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used now, after this initial rise, or it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days - do not store in an airtight container!
  5. On baking day, grease a 8.5"x4.5" nonstick loaf pan. Use wet hands to break a 1.5 pound piece of refrigerated dough and shape it into a ball. Note: the dough isn't stretched because there's no gluten in it - just gently press it into shape. You might need to wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking and to create a smooth surface. Do not make the dough soggy.
  6. Elongate the dough into an oval and put it in the loaf pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers. Cover loosely and allow to rest for 90 minutes (40 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  8. Just before putting it in the oven, use a pastry brush to gently paint the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle raw sugar.
  9. Bake in the center of the oven for about 40-45 minutes. The loaf is done once it is caramel brown and firm to the touch. Smaller or larger loaves will require adjustments in resting and baking times.
  10. Remove brioche from the pan and allow it to cool on a rack before slicing and eating. If it will not come out of the pan, let it sit for five minutes to allow the loaf time to steam itself loose from the pan. To firm up the outer crust again, place it back in the oven for three minutes to dry out the damp sides.
Also, this brioche recipe can be switched up to make a variety of other gluten-free treats:
• Brioche Cinnamon Rolls
• Chocolate Chip Buns
• Prosciutto, Havarti and Tomato Panini
• Mini Summer Pizzas


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Comments from other ninjas:

  1. kamran siddiqi says

    Beautifully, beautifully done! Looks absolutely delish! You totally make me forget that this is a gluten-free blog (great thing!) and have me making recipes like your Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Sauvignon Blanc (awesomeliciousness in a bowl!).

    Have a Happy and joyous New Year!

    P.S. I’m following you on twitter. :)

    • steph says

      Hi Kamran, I’m SO glad that you like the blog. And thanks for reminding me about the mashed potatoes – I think I’ll make those tonight!

      See you on Twitter. :)

  2. Meredith Resnick - The Writer's [Inner] Journey says

    Wow, Stephanie. This looks fantastic. Thanks for so many great recipes–I can’t help but share them and the word I’m getting back is many of my friends are now fans of your blog (and your food!)! Yay!!
    .-= Check out Meredith Resnick – The Writer’s [Inner] Journey

  3. Alexandra says

    I was hesitating about buying a gluten-free cookbook, but wow, does this brioche look amazing! Think the cookbook is definitely going on my wish-list for when the innkeeping season starts in spring.
    .-= Check out Alexandra

    • steph says

      I can’t recommend it enough. Though it’s not completely GF (has one GF section) it’s going to add many great additions to your B&B menu!

  4. Donnalee Thrasher says

    The recipes look awesome. I just wonder if Xathan Gum is absolutely required. My daughter can’t have anything like that. What will happen to the dough if it is omitted?


    • steph says

      Hi Donnalee, Xanthan Gum really is necessary to create the gumminess that resembles gluten/wheat protein, so without it, the dough won’t stretch or hold together. What sort of allergies does your daughter have? Perhaps we can come up with an alternative.

      • Donnalee Thrasher says

        Actually, she has epilepsy and needs to stay away from gluten, soy, sugar and corn (along with other things). I know xanthan gum is derived from corn. Are you awareo of any version of x g that is not derived from corn?

  5. Sarah E. Ludwig says

    I have absolutely no idea what brioche is, but the very first picture, especially, looks amazing! I might just have to try this.

    Also, how did you find out you had a gluten intolerance? I think I might have some of that as well. My son used to have it as a toddler, but outgrew it.
    .-= Check out Sarah E. Ludwig

    • steph says

      I love brioche – and it can be made in several different shapes/styles. How fun!

      I learned I had a gluten intolerance because I was very sick for a very long time. Besides the standard fatigue/overall “ick” feeling, I had developed some pretty severe symptoms. I recently wrote an article on NPR about my story – if you want to check it out, here’s the link:

  6. sheryl says

    This looks absolutely amazing and delicious. Beautiful photos and descriptions; enough to make me CRAVE brioche about now!!

  7. Ola says

    Gorgeous. What sized brioche molds should I use for this recipe? I want to use the traditional ones. Should I just make one big one or many smaller ones? How many will this recipe make?

  8. Zo says

    Hi Ola,

    You can bake the dough in a regular (larger) sized brioche pan. The times and amounts are actually for that larger size. If you want to bake them in the small brioche pans you will need use a golf ball size piece of dough, only rest them for about 30 minutes before baking and bake for about 20 minutes.

    If you have any other questions feel free to contact us at http://www.artisanbreadin5.com

    Enjoy! Zo

  9. Alisa Bowman says

    Oh man, your photos. Your photos. Whenever I come here, I want to eat. So beautiful!
    .-= Check out Alisa Bowman

  10. Zo says

    Hi Ola,

    The brioche pan that you link to is perfect! Here is a post I did about forming the brioche a tete (It means Brioche with a little head) . When you try this with gluten free dough you will not be able so handle it in exactly the same way. You have to be much more gentle and shape it using wet hands.

    Thanks! Zo

  11. Jennifer Margulis says

    Sadly I’m having weird digestive stuff that includes a bad reaction to gluten-free flour (Ugh!). I also can’t eat butter or any kind of dairy right now. So, sniff, I won’t be trying these…
    .-= Check out Jennifer Margulis

  12. Learning Treasures Homeschooling Resources says

    THANK YOU!! In the last couple of years I have discovered I am gluten )or at least wheat) intolerant. But finding good bread recipes is like mining for gold!! I also have friends whose children need to be gluten free. What a find this recipe is – I cannot wait to try it out.

    Cooking with Kids

  13. BNDQ8 says

    looks delicious…i would love to try it for breakfast…but i doubt i’ll find tapioca starch over here :)
    .-= Check out BNDQ8

  14. tovie says

    This is a wonderful, wonderful recipe. Thanks so much. I did a loaf, which didn’t turn out but that’s because I was having problems with my oven, and then I did some mini broiches with the rest of the dough using my muffin pan with paper collars and those turned out wonderful.

    I’ve been helping provide snacks for a meeting at my church and there are several people who need gluten-free and these were a big hit.

  15. Kate says

    Delicious! Especially the first day and 20 minutes out of the oven. Several days later, a bit drier, but not bad. I made rolls in popover pans and did end up using potato starch because I didn’t have enough cornstarch on had. I will be making this often.

  16. lisa riehl says

    you have a great blog..
    have you got any ideas on how to substitute 4 eggs? the entire recipe rocks, except for that.
    if you can think of anything…..
    lisa living gluten free.

  17. HQMum says

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I thought I would never again have something so light, so reminiscent of real french patisserie delights! I made a loaf of brioche, cinnamon rolls and chocolate rolls. I even showed up at school with fresh from the oven for my delighted son. I can’t wait to try other flavour combinations and have already shared this website with other GF people. We are in wonderment!

  18. Justine says

    Thank you. Our family has been making GF bread for 13 years and this is the best we’ve tried. It is honey sweet with a soft springy texture. Yum, yum. Worth the trouble to make. I always slice and freeze GF bread two slices to a sandwich bag. It doesn’t keep otherwise. Put a bag in the microwave just till the bag puffs and grab it out. It softens like fresh.

  19. Jennifer says

    Before my husband went gf, I always made cinnamon rolls with a brioche recipe. I wonder if this recipe would roll out well for cinnamon rolls? It’s that time of year…

    • Kelli says

      It won’t roll out like traditionally-made cinnamon rolls, but you can still use it for that (we make these for xmas using this rrecipe). We find that you should make the dough, then let it sit in the fridge, covered lightly so it can breathe but not dry out, for about three days. . .it tastes less yeasty ths way. Then to make the rolls, set the dough out for a few hours to come to room temp, then put into a good piping bag (like a strong fabric one, not a homemade ziploc bag one) and pipe into spirals on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mix and bake.
      For a more decadent option, bake in a baking pan instead, and cover the bottom with brown sugar, and then melted butter, THEN pipe the spirals onto that mixture. Sprinkle more brown/cinnamon mixture, then drizzle with more butter before baking. You’ll get more of a sticky bun/caramelly end product. :)

  20. Angela says

    Any recommendations on how to do in 1lb zogirushi bread maker? I’m dying to try this so I can make a loaf for paninis!! My one sandwhich I truly have missed since Celiac diagnosis!

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      Hi Angela, not sure how to do this in a bread maker. If you figure it out, please report back and let me know how it goes!

  21. Kim@GFRealFood says

    I stumbled across this recipe accidentally last night. I HAD to make it right then. I had to make some changes to make it dairy free. It was amazing. Thank you so much for posting it. Now I have my eye on the Brioche Cinnamon Rolls I see here. I posted what I did on my blog with several backlinks to your site. I hope that is okay. Here is the link to the recipe as I made it.

  22. Mary says

    Hi! Recently found you on Pinterest, and have enjoyed cheking out your blog. Have already pinned some recipes for future meals. The sandwich at the top of this recipe looks scrumptious!!!!! Is there a recipe for this? If not, could you let me know how you made it, please.? Thank you very much.

    • Stephanie Stiavetti says

      Hi Mary, sorry, just saw this! It’s a very simple recipe – slice the bread and lay a big slice of gruyere down on the face of each slice, followed by a slice of tomato. Sprinkle with chopped green onions and slide under the broiler until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Enjoy. :)

    • Gulafsha says

      My wife has Celiac and I agree there are some absolute musts to alawys have in the house. One that we found, which is not on this list and we use ALL THE TIME is Rice/Corn Pasta. Rice gets monotonous. As an Italian family we need Sunday dinner pasta dinners and cant do without the rice/corn pasta. A little tip italian markets sometimes sell this and when they do it is much better than the supermarket brands. Find the italian versions of the corn pasta and you will find the best flavor. Sometimes you really cant even tell the difference.

  23. Lisa says

    OMGoodness! I have been gluten-free for just a few months and learning to bake and cook all over again has been an adventure…and sometimes not in a good way. I knew at once I had to try this recipe, I am a bread baker at heart and though I still bake organic wheat breads for my family I need something yummy for ME. This was it! The only change I made was to use one cup of melted butter instead of oil. Delicious! THANK YOU!!!

  24. Kim says

    Made this for Thanksgiving today. It was lovely. Can’t really say it had a brioche texture, but it was wonderful. Great, yeasty flavor. Nice crisp crust with a soft center. Crumb reminded me a bit of an English muffin. Perhaps I let it rise too much the first time, hence the big air pockets? More people ate my rolls than the wheat rolls that were served!!


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