Pumpkin Pie Brioche just in time for Thanksgiving!


Pumpkins are associated with the quintessential Thanksgiving dessert, a decadent pie filled with spices and sweetness. The pumpkin adds a smooth and luxurious texture that amounts to pure comfort food. Pumpkin is not only wonderful for its flavors but is also chock full of healthy vitamins. This was the inspiration for making a pumpkin pie brioche to include in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. It can be baked as a loaf, in a brioche pan or even made into our Indian Spiced Doughnuts (page 287) or as the bottom crust for the Pear Tarte Tatin (page 290). It is fabulous as dessert or breakfast.

Pumpkin Pie Brioche:

3 cups white whole wheat, or traditional whole wheat

4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons Vital Wheat Gluten**

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/4 cups lukewarm water

4 large eggs

1/2 cup honey

3/4 cup neutral flavored oil or unsalted butter, melted

1 3/4 cups pumpkin puree (freshly roasted or canned)

Egg wash for brushing on top

Raw sugar for sprinkling on top

These directions are abridged from the book, for more detailed instructions go to page 354 in The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Note that there was an error in early versions of the book, which called for 2 cups of water– the correct amount was 1 1/4, as above.

Mixing and storing the dough: whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a 5-quart Food Storage Container, fitted with a non-airtight lid. Combine the liquid ingredients and add them to the dry with a wooden spoon. Mix thoroughly, until there are no more dry bits of flour. The dough will be quite loose when you are done.

Cover the container and allow the dough to rest on the counter for 2 hours. Once it has risen refrigerate for at least 2 hours before baking or it is too difficult to handle. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

On baking day: Grease a six-inch Brioche Mold. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2-pound (cantaloupe size) piece of dough. Dust with more flour and quickly shape into a ball.


Place the ball of dough into the prepared pan with the smooth side up.  Allow the dough to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap for 1 hour 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 with the oven rack in the middle of the oven.


As you can see it didn’t rise that much during the rest. That is normal for our dough. Brush the top of the dough with egg wash using a pastry brush and sprinkle it with the raw sugar.


Bake for about 50 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then turn it out and


form a thick ring with a clean kitchen towel…


and invert the brioche onto the towel so that the dome of the brioche is supported by the towel. This will prevent the top or bottom of the loaf from getting crushed as it cools. Let the dough come to room temperature before cutting and serving.



There have been many questions about Vital Wheat Gluten (also known as Vital Wheat Gluten Flour) and where it can be found. We are lucky in Minnesota to have many grocery stores and co-ops that carry it. There are several brands, including some in bulk, but the most readily available is Bob’s Red Mill.


Happy Baking! Zoë and Jeff

277 thoughts to “Pumpkin Pie Brioche just in time for Thanksgiving!”

  1. I’m going to make the carrot bread. The timing is perfect because I was planning to take something special to my sister’s for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m glad to hear your recommendation for Bob’s Red Mill Vital Wheat Gluten. I’ve tried another brand and would like to compare the two.

    Wishing everybody an Artisan and Healthy Thanksgiving!

  2. Our family is totally addicted to pizza and fresh pita/flat breads because I discovered your first book. Now, using your new Healthy Bread Master Recipe, I’m trying the Pesto Pizza with grilled Chicken on the Gas Grill.

  3. This weekend I plan to make/bake the Chocolate Bread from your blog entry back in October. When I read it, I thought it sounded like a great Christmas gift for my “local” presents (the gifts that stay in town here in Minneapolis). So I’m going to test the recipe and take a loaf to a get-together this weekend.

    For Thanksgiving I’m going to try the Pain au Potiron (Peppery Pumpkin and Olive Oil Loaf). I’ll substitute sweet potato; if it gets a good review on Turkey Day, I might be doing two breads as gifts.

    I found that second recipe today when I went to the Amazon.com site to check out the HBin5. Being diabetic, and with just me to eat the bread (unless I give as gifts), I never bought ABin5. But I was interested in taking a look at the HBin5, especially once I saw it has gluten-free and vegan recipes. Several times a year I follow a vegan and/or gluten-free diet for a few weeks (and the breads I’ve bought gluten free never have any flavor). At the Amazon site they had a couple recipes from the book posted, and I like food that has a kick to it; sweet potato just ups the nutrition and flavor factor.

    I’m really looking forward to making both these breads!

  4. I am going to try every bread recipe in the book. I am working my way from front to back. Love both books. They have changed the way we eat!

  5. I am planning to teach the original brioche recipe in the Holiday Bread class I’m doing in December and because I was hoping for everyone to have brioche to take home with them, I was going to order the paper mini-brioche pans from King Arthur. Do you think I could cut the rise & bake time at all? Perhaps if I made the dough a couple of hours before driving to class? These longer rises sure test my ability to teach a two-hour class and actually show them anything. But I love it – the enthusiasm is so energizing! Teaching my first class Saturday at our farm – should be fun!

  6. Your technique is incredible, and your willingness to help us as we work through your recipes is so generous of you . To top it all this giveaway. I am so glad that I found your books, and I am going to be passing it along.

  7. The Pumpkin Pie Brioche looks like an excellent addition to a Thanksgiving meal. I’ll probably give that a go next week.

  8. I want to try the Pumpkin Brioche and of course the Sweet Potato Bread. Both sound so yummy. I have both books and I’ve gone from never baking bread to now never buying bread, your books were the best investments I ever made.

  9. Loved your first book and modified for whole grains myself. Now you’ve outdone yourselves with this book. Wow. Whole Grain Pizza is next on the list – hopefully this weekend!!

  10. I hope that I am chosen. I’m so excited to try out your new book but have to wait until Christmas, as I’ve already been informed that it “may or may not be” part of my presents.

  11. I have already madre the Master, the WW with Flax, the Pumpkin and the milk and Honey Raisin. I am looking forward to the Garlic Studded Baguette and WW Pita! Love the book and the breads!

  12. Love the giveaway! I intend to make two loaves of rosemary kalamata olive bread using the olive oil dough. I made one loaf last week for a party and it was devoured! I showed every one the book and they were all excited! I would love a version of a shepard’s bread if you have one! Thanks!

  13. I adore HBin5 and with so many recipes to choose from I’m not sure which to try first. Perhaps the Milk and Honey Raisin as it uses regular whole wheat flour. I’m finding it impossible to get white whole wheat here. People look at me like I’m from another planet!

  14. I haven’t yet done a recipe from this book so the Master Recipe would be my choice. So it looks like I will be needing some vital wheat gluten soon! 🙂 Lovely site by the way. And your pumpkin pie brioche looks stunning!

  15. Just wanted to say how happy I am with the new book! I love that it uses white whole wheat specifically – my favorite bread from the old book was the basic recipe, with 2C or so of the www subbed in for AP flour. The vital wheat gluten makes a huge difference – I was experimenting with it myself, but I put in WAY too much apparently, and it was really hard to work with. Keep up the good work!

  16. I am going to make the whole grain pizza
    with roasted red peppers and fontina cheese. I have been making pizza from scratch for years and I would love to make it healthier with whole grains. And the red peppers and fontina sound delicious.

  17. The sweet potato bread is on the menu for Thanksgiving, as is the Red Wine & Cheese. Am going to take your Multi Grain breads and do some serious experimenting with stuffed bread ideas this winter.

  18. I’m thinking the Pumpkin Brioche would be my next batch of dough. From what I have read hear your new book sounds so wonderful. I’ll drop some hints for an early Christmas present. Today I made your Basic WholeWheat Bread dough and used it all up on a lunch pizza, a loaf in my stone breadpan lined w/parchment (it worked great thanks for the suggestion) and a boule for my neighbor. Then I made another batch for the fridge! Making your recipes are sooo much fun! Thank you for giving us these wonderful books!

  19. We’ve been eating the HB5 Master recipe here. And I’ve Pumpkin Brioche mixed up & in the fridge right now. So, it’s the “next bread”.

    Made a friend a seeded HB5Master Recipe boule for part of bread/salt housewarming gift (major remodel taking a SF Victorian and restoring 1/2 of it to being a house instead of broken up into 3 apts).

    Looking forward to tommorrow’s Pumpkin Brioche.

  20. It’s been hinted that the book is mine at christmas, so I’m impatiently waiting to get my copy. I have the master recipes from thier 1st book in the fridge for my sandwich bread, but I think I’ll try the pumpking Brioche next.

  21. How serendipitous; I fully intended to make the pumpkin pie brioche next! (In fact, I intended to make it two days ago, but had a brain-skip and forgot the yeast. I had taken it out and everything, yet… sigh.) After that, I’m going to take a stab at the buckwheat bread, I think!

  22. I just purchased your book yesterday and just finished reading the introductory chapters. So I will be making the very first recipe in order to get my feet–and dough–wet. I am an avid bread baker and look forward to this time saving method.

  23. I am making up the dough for the whole wheat brioche for this weekend– I think in a week or two (as we continue the holiday theme) the plan will be to make some of the pumpkin brioche. I’m also testing out the whole wheat potato rosemary rolls w/ the salt crust for Thanksgiving.

  24. Just made the HBin5 dough for the first time yesterday. Baked the first two loaves today!
    LOVE IT! I’m a sucker for hot bread and was waiting with a stick of butter when it was ready to come out of the oven. YUM! Got to find larger portions of the Vital Wheat Gluten…our store only has small boxes! Looking forward to getting both of your books!

  25. I will bake the 4-Leaf Clover Broccoli and Cheddar Buns. Would like to try them because they are different. Thanks for a great book on baking Healthy Breads!

  26. Love HBin5 and now have tried the pumpkin brioche in the new book—it was wonderful. I used regular whole wheat flour, but next time I will use the white wheat.

  27. I too am waiting for Christmas for the new book. I can’t wait so I’m very happy you posted this pumpkin recipe so I can try something before December 25th! I consider your books one of the many blessings I’m grateful for this Thanksgiving. Thank you!

  28. So far, I have tried the Sandwich bread (good, but kinda flavorless on its own, so good for not competing with fillings), and the pumpkin pie brioche (made monkey bread, it was yummy!)

    Next up is a rye or pumpernickel for Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwiches 🙂

  29. I just mixed up a batch of 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil today. I added some ground flax seed to it and I used potato water for the liquid. On Tuesday, I plan to make a batch of the whole grain brioche to take to Michigan to make on Thanksgiving at my Mom’s. How would that be for making rolls in muffin tins? I’d also like to make Dutch sugar bread from some of it. You roll it out and sprinkle some cinnamon and sugar cubes on it. Roll up and bake in a loaf pan. mmmmmmmmm sweet!

  30. Linda, thank you for the sugar bread idea! We loved the sugar bread in the Netherlands. I bought a mix there but it didn’t turn out well. Thanks again!

    The pumpkin brioche is so addicting, it is all I want to eat! I made a twist with cream cheese filling from the Bread Over Heels blog. I will make cinnamon rolls with some of the dough.

  31. I need to keep practicing the master recipe. My first attempt came out somewhat gummy in texture. It was great toasted, though.
    I still don’t have my new book. My daughter bought it for my birthday, and had it shipped to her place. She better not forget it when she comes for Thanksgiving!

  32. I’ve made the master and the rye bread…yum! Now I want to try the 100% whole wheat and the whole wheat sandwich bread.

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