When people go to Paris, I think the first pastries they run to are the croissants and macarons. Both are incredibly perfect in what can only be described as a treat dreamt up by a French genius. Whether it’s the warm, buttery flakes of a croissant or delicate almond crumbs of a macaron, they’ve made Paris a bread and pastry mecca for bakers and foodies around the world. As much as we talk about croissants and macarons, I feel like there isn’t as much discussion about the French bread brioche; it’s so underrated. If you’ve never had brioche, it’s a typical French breakfast bread made with eggs, milk, and butter. It’s definitely an indulgence, similar in that way to a croissant but not quite as airy. Instead, brioche is extremely fluffy, making it a real treat with every bite.
I’ve shared how to make brioche a tete on the blog before, which is a traditional brioche recipe made in their classic molds. The molds are fluted and really gorgeous for an intimate brunch or breakfast gathering. If you’re hosting a gathering that’s a little larger, or if you just want to have some brioche in stock for the week, it’s a little easier and more efficient to make the brioche in a loaf shape, as I did here. Not only did I create a loaf shape this time around, but I also added some cinnamon, orange zest, and raisins into the dough. The brioche doesn’t become sweet as much it becomes spiced and fragrant. I love eating this brioche when it’s toasted with either butter or something like orange marmalade, which compliments it well. Just make sure you plan ahead for this bread, as it requires a bit of time for the dough to fully rise and proof, as well as some time for the flavors to develop to their full potential. The reward, however, will be a luxurious, buttery bread that delivers the heavenly scents and glorious taste of warm cinnamon and sweet orange married together.