Super Soft Pan Brioche | No Butter

Light and soft pan brioche, made with no butter.

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Since in quarantine I have been dreaming of those nice breakfasts with cappuccino and brioche, served at an outdoor table in one of the old town streets here in Lecce.

I am sure those times will soon be back, but in the meantime I have taken things into my own hands, and made myself a nice soft and light brioche, which I have served with granita and cream, just like they do it in Sicily!

The dough is so soft, yet light, since I use no butter and only 1 egg. Just a few grams of yeast and long hours of leavening will give you a brioche bread just as good (but healthier) as the one you can buy at coffee shops or bakeries.

Just follow these simple instructions and always feel free to write me if you have any questions!


for the starter

  • 50 g bread flour (type 0)
  • 50 g water
  • 2 g fresh yeast

for the dough

  • 250 g bread flour (type 0)
  • 75 g whole fat milk
  • 200 g cream
  • 50 g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 8 g oil

for the aromatic mix

  • 1 tbsp rum (optional)
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tbsp honey


  • 1 egg with a splash of milk
  • oil for hands and kitchen table

First thing first, start preparing the aromatic mix, combining all the ingredients together. Let them marinate for 12 hours.

Next, in a large bowl combine the ingredients for the starter, stir them together with a fork, then cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment for about 4-5 hours (depending on room temperature). The mixture needs to become all bubbling.

When the starter is ready add in milk, cream, sugar, aromatic mix and flour. Using the hook attachment of your standing mixer or by hand, knead the dough. As it starts to come together crack in one egg, mix until it is completely absorbed. Next add in the oil. keep kneading, you need to get a soft and elastic dough.

Transfer on an oily surface and fold it a few times, just like shown in the pictures below

The dough should be now firm, soft and very smooth, with some bubbles of air inside. Transfer it into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for about 5 hours.

Next transfer it in your fridge overnight

Note: you could skip the fermentation process in the fridge, but I would not recommend so, as this extra time really help adding that extra softness and flavour to your brioche bread.

Here is the dough the following morning!

Cut it up into 7 small balls, each of 85g

Line a bread pan with parchment paper, and lay the balls of dough 4 on one side and 3 on the other. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest until it double in size (depending on room temperature this might take from 1 to 2 hours).

Next brush it with a mix of egg and a splash of milk. Let it rest 1 more hour. Then bake it in preheated oven t 180 C for 20 to 25 min.

Remove from the oven and let it cool down until it is lukewarm.

There you have it, super soft, not overly sweet and light brioche bread!

I made some coffee granita with cream (just like in Sicily) and enjoyed a nice breakfast!

If you make this recipe, tag me on IG @the_fit_mediterranean

Recipe adapted from

About the author:

An Italian living in China with a strong passion for cooking! Browse my 'left-overs' session for many tasty grub!. Follow her on Twitter / Facebook.