This cinnamon orange raisin brioche is fluffy and fragrant with the aroma of cinnamon and zesty orange. It’s the kind of breakfast bread you’d be excited to get out of bed for.
Cinnamon Orange Raisin Brioche
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.
Cinnamon Orange Raisin Brioche
- 2 c all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/4 c whole milk room temperature
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 1/2 c unsalted butter 1 stick, cut into tbsp-size slices and slightly softened
- c heaping 1/3 raisins
- 1 egg for egg wash, beaten
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, yeast, salt, and ground cinnamon over low speed with the paddle attachment in place. Add the eggs, orange zest, and milk and mix just until a dough starts to form. There may still be some unmixed egg - this is OK.
Remove the paddle attachment and swap for the hook attachment. Knead the dough on medium speed for 2 minutes. It should be firm and have pulled away from the sides of the bowl by the time you're done.
Now, with the mixer on medium-low speed, add in half of the butter slices. Continue to knead for 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and use a rubber spatula to somewhat fold the dough over the unmixed butter, trying to incorporate the butter into the dough as best as you can. Turn the mixer back onto medium-low speed and add the rest of the butter. Continue to mix for another 4 minutes. Stop
the mixer and use your rubber spatula to stir the raisins into the dough.
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured board. Fold the dough in towards the center at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Place the dough in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Turn on your oven’s warm/hold setting for 30 seconds, before turning the oven off and placing the dough in the oven. Let the dough rise in this warm, draft-free place for approximately 1 1/2 hours, or until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Gently take the dough out and place it back on your lightly floured board. Again fold the dough in towards the center at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Either refrigerate overnight for best flavor, or let it rise for another hour in the oven until it's doubled in size. If refrigerating, see notes below.
Very gently, turn your dough out onto your lightly floured board, trying to be delicate and light handed with the dough. Slightly stretch the dough so that it's in a rectangular oval shape rather than a circle shape. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces using either a bench scraper or sharp knife. Take each piece of dough and fold the dough in towards the center like you had previously done (12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock) to create a ball shape.
Place the smooth-side of the dough ball facing up into a greased 1 lb. loaf pan. Repeat this step for the rest of the dough so that you end up with 8 balls in the loaf pan (2 columns, 4 rows). Cover the loaf pan with a light kitchen towel and let the dough proof for another 40 minutes to 1 hour. It's finished proofing when you can gently press down on the top of the dough with your finger and find the dough immediately springs back.
Once proofed, lightly brush the top of the dough with a beaten egg. Bake the brioche at 375°F for approximately 25 minutes, until deep golden brown. You can also check the internal temperature of the bread to make sure it reads 190°F. To enjoy, let the brioche come to room temperature or until it's just slightly warm for best flavor and texture.
Recipe NotesIf refrigerating dough overnight, let the dough come to room temperature the next day (about 2 hours) before shaping and proofing.