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 have made the pumpkin pie brioche and the Rosemary flax baguette and they both have come out perfect (I love these books!!!) My next venture will be the Cinnamon Raisin Whole wheat bagels and the Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes. Yum!

  2. If I can stave away the desperate need for another batch of WW olive oil dough for pizza… I’ll be making the 10-grain bread next. Found a package of the 10-grain cereal at the store this week.

    I need a bigger refrigerator, and more dough buckets!

  3. Several Comments: long-time fan of ABi5, LOVE the new book. Made 10grain today, used a small “baking” Pam-treated paper loaf pan from King Art, popped (well, peeled paper off) it out after 20 min., put back on stone for 5 minutes to firm up: PERFECT! Used 6.5″ brotform for free form 10-grain: BEAUTIFUL.
    Reading back of Hodgson WWF bag and they equate Graham to WWF? Is this your understanding?
    Been a long-time baker of Bruce Healey’s Brioche recipe, want to make yours, I know it doesn’t say to, but DO I SLASH THE TOPS OF THE TWO PARTS BEFORE BAKING?
    Thanks, you two, for revolutionizing our lives, all my friends are getting your book for xmas. Last week, I hate to say it (I’ve just lost 30lbs so this might be considered bad behavior), but we ate an entire batch of Whole Grain Rye (and we also made grissini with it: STELLAR!) making french toast, sandwichs, and just snackin’.
    Successful at 7,000 feet in Colorado with no adjustments needed yet, Marcia

    1. Hi Marcia,

      Wow, I am amazed at all the recipes you are making and none with adjustments at that altitude. Wonderful to know! I never slash my brioche, but you certainly can, it will just be a different look.

      Graham flour is just wheat that is processed differently. The endosperm (white part of the flour) is separated from the bran and germ and ground very finely. The germ and bran are then ground coarsely and then they are all reassembled into graham flour. Whole wheat flour is the grain ground all together.

      Hope that helps!? Zoë

  4. In Dec. 5, 2008 you talked about holiday wreath bread. I would love to try this. Honestly, I do not know where to start. You have a lot of amazing items….and it’s a subject that I can not keep my hands off.
    [email protected]

  5. I have already baked the Master Recipe, the 100% Whole Wheat Bread, the 100% Whole Wheat Bread with Olive Oil (which makes fantastic pizza), the 100% whole wheat and flax bread (which my kids ate up) and the Pumpkin Pie Brioche (which is rising on the counter right now as cinnamon rolls). Probably will be making Sandwich Bread next for lunches next week. THANKS for a great book!

  6. I am going to try the Vollkornbrot and the Carrot Bread and serve them with some cheeses for holiday entertaining this week. I have again become obsessed with bread!

  7. My husband and I purchased a signed copy of your book in San Francisco. We were celebrating our 25 wedding anniversary and thought it would make a terrific souvenir. I LOVE it! Your method and book are fantastic. I’ve made several batches of the Master Recipe and have shaped it all different ways. The next I’m going to try is the Pumpkin Pie Brioche. Thank you so much for making a beautiful and useful book!

  8. I have the oven preheating as I type. I’m getting ready to put in a loaf of soft whole wheat sandwich bread. I’ve been eyeballing the Avocado Guacamole bread, and think that will be what I try next. I will be purchasing copies of the new book for my mom and sister for Christmas, as well as some vital wheat gluten to get them started.

  9. I’m debating between the carrot and the banana breads, though I’ve also got lots of roasted pumpkin puree, and that brioche looks incredibly tasty! I think the banana bread will be my choice, though–it will taste amazing with nutella 🙂

  10. Since I just got the book today (I’ve had ABIFMD for months, though) I’ll probably start with the master recipe tomorrow and then try something more exciting for Thanksgiving. I’m excited to try them all. 🙂

  11. I just picked up the book last week! I’m going to start with the Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf tomorrow. I haven’t had a chance to look through the whole book yet, but I am considering making the Pumpkin Pie Brioche for Thanksgiving. I don’t have a brioche pan; could I use a regular loaf pan? I know it won’t be as pretty, but I just want to *taste* it 🙂

  12. Have been anticipating your book since it was first announced: congratulations on its successful “fruition”! I had planned to start with the “Master Recipe” but the pumpkin brioche looks amazing. :o) Just got some “super gluten 80%” in the bulk foods section of our local store this week, and hoped it was the right thing! Can’t wait to try out these new recipes.

  13. Definitely trying the tabbouleh bread! I tried three different local grocery stores (without success) for the vital wheat gluten before turning to Amazon where I bought a case of it.

  14. I am SO looking forward to this book under my Christmas tree! Thanks to your generosity in sharing the master recipe on this site, we’re about to finish our second batch of the WW master. Well, the 2nd was a variation on your master. I don’t know if I rushed the measurements on the first, but it was very “spongy” (perhaps too much VWG). So the next batch I used your Master, but cut back to 2.5 TB of VWG, added 3 TB of ground flax seed, and a half cup of oat bran. It was terrific — so much more whole wheat than my variation on your Light WW from the 1st book and delicious.
    I can’t wait to try more recipes starting Christmas Day!
    Count me in for the give-aways. I haven’t found white WW in my stores.
    Thanks for all the help and sharing your advice!
    (Oh — and per my last question to Jeff — I still use the “old dough” method and just mix the dry ingredients right on top of bits of the old dough to mix in the VWG. I add a tiny bit of extra warm water if there’s a lot of old dough. Then mix well. I love the flavor development!)

  15. Question — any suggestions for which adjustments can be made to swap regular whole wheat flour for white whole wheat in this recipe?
    Can I make this (and others) even without WWW?

    1. Elizabeth: Ordinary WW can be swapped for WWW used but the flavor won’t be quite as delicate– there’s a slight bitterness to whole wheat. Another option is whole grain spelt (there’s a Bob’s Red Mill product or natural food coops often sell a version in bulk). Spelt is a wheat variety that’s not bitter like whole wheat, and less carbohydrate and more protein. If you can find it, you may prefer it in this recipe to wheat. Jeff

  16. I made an apple- blue-cheese-ham tart the other day (great!), and will use the rest of the dough to make dinner rolls for Thanksgiving. I was eying that rye-pumpernickel combo that you have in HBi5 (sort of a twist or braid) & thinking maybe I’d trying rolling it together pinwheel fashion — to make tasty sandwiches with leftover turkey! Then gotta try the pumpkin brioche, and already bought the flour to try the spelt. I am realizing that we may be kind of lucky in the Twin Cities because all of these things are so easy to find. Oh, and last year, my wreaths were a huge hit, gotta do those again!

  17. I have the 100% Whole Grain Maple Walnut Bread dough in the refrigerator right now and am planning on baking my first loaf later today. I actually stumbled upon some coarse maple sugar at the grocery store and am going to sprinkle that on the top instead of regular sugar. I can’t wait to taste it!

  18. I tried a half recipe (good thing my fraction division math is good *G*) of the pumpkin pie brioche recipe. It was great! And, that was before I knew that there was an error in the amount of VWG. It worked fine with 1/2 the amount stated. We ate it with a whip of Olivio and sugar free maple syrup and then the rest of the week just toasted. I am planning to make another one today. I want to try making French toast. Also, plan to try one of the WW recipes. Happy Holiday,


  19. I mixed up a batch of the pumpkin pie brioche yesterday and baked it this morning. It is great! Reading the other posts for cinnamon rolls and using an actual brioche mold will definately have me making this bread again! I thought that I would make a pumpkin bread pudding out of today’s leftovers, but I think in order to have enough I’ll have to mix up another batch. It is had to walk past it without eating another slice!
    Thanks for the new book. I didn’t think that you could top the first one, but there is lots of inspiration in this one as well.

  20. I loved the pumpking pie brioche (and the bread pudding I made from it!), but I can’t wait to make the rye and the 10 grain! I’m so excited to get my new book 🙂

  21. I made up a batch of the Pumpkin Pie Brioche and it is ready to go into the fridge. Tomorrow morning, I will bake it up. We just had some neighbors move in yesterday, so I thought I would bring over the brioche and welcome them to our street. I was so happy to find this recipe posted online since I had been looking at the book at the store and copied the recipe, and missed some steps. The book is at the top of my Christmas List!

  22. I plan to make cinnamon rolls with pecans from the pumpkin brioche for a holiday breakfast. Last year I made cinnamon rolls from the original master recipe and they were excellent.

  23. Love, Love, Love the book!!!
    I plan to make breakfast pizza using the whole wheat olive oil dough for my overnight guests this weekend. The day before, I partially bake the crusts on parchment, and prep the toppings (scrambled eggs, sauteed onions and bell peppers, sausage, salsa and cheese etc…). Then in the morning, top the crusts as desired, heat & eat! Easy & Yummy!

  24. I already have the Artisan Brean cookbook, but just received the “Healthy Bread in 5” the other day. I have been franticallly sifting through the recipes trying to decide which one to make first. My family LOVES homemade pizza, so I think Whole Grain Pizza with Roasted Red Peppers and Fontina will be the first recipe from this new book that I will make at home.

  25. I am a die-hard fan of ABin5 and have taught several classes on it now – it is such a great way for people of every age and stage to have delicious, healthy bread all the time. I just got my HBin5 and made my first batch of Whole Wheat and Flax Bread with the Bob’s Red Mill Products. My family loooves Whole Wheat Bread and I am looking forward to trying all the variations on that tune in this new book. However, I also can’t wait to try the raisin and honey buttermilk bread – it just sounds to die for!

  26. Do I have to choose just one? I bought Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day last week and have already made 100% WW Bread with Olive Oil. I’ve made several recipes from ABin5 and had been adapting recipes myself to include whole grain flours – we especially like my version of the Semolina Bread. OK, next I’ll probably make Spicy Chili Whole Grain Snack Crackers or Whole Grain Pizza (as I’ve been using my whole grain version of the original ABin5 master recipe for pizza). Love both books-thanks so much.

  27. Just baked 3 loves from the first book for a weekend getaway at one of Ohio’ beautiful state parks and I’m looking forward to making whole wheat from the second book for stuffing on Thanksgiving. MY FAMILY LOVES THIS STUFF!!!!!

  28. I recently made Aloo Paratha and cinnamon raisin whole wheat bagels. The Aloo Paratha is my favorite so far! I plan on trying Peppery pumkin olive oil loaf because I have some fresh pumpkins in my basement and then the indian spiced whole grain donuts! One question though: would it be possible to skip the boiling part of the bagels. My bagels had great shape until I put them in the stockpot of water. Thanks and LOVE MY BREAD!

    1. Julia: Well, boiling really creates the unique chewy texture of bagels. It’s true though, that they sometimes get mis-shapen in there. Just a matter of taste, skip it if you like. Jeff

  29. I just made Aloo Paratha and cinnamon raisin whole wheat bagels. The Aloo Paratha is my favorite so far! I plan on trying Peppery pumkin olive oil loaf because I have some fresh pumpkins in my basement and then the indian spiced whole grain donuts! One question though: would it be possible to skip the boiling part of the bagels. My bagels had great shape until I put them in the stockpot of water. Thanks and LOVE MY BREAD!

  30. I have a quick question: I don’t have a brioche pan…can I use my 10″x4″ tube pan? Thanks….I want to bake the Pumpkin Pie Brioche on Wednesday for Thanksgiving breakfast.

    1. Rosalie: You can use the tube pan; baking time may change and that will take a bit of experimentation. Let us know how it works out. Jeff

  31. I was kind of bummed that I decided to skip anything pumpkin with Thanksgiving this year–and then I decided to make the pumpkin brioche and make a make-ahead breakfast casserole (something sweet) with it for Thanksgiving Day Brunch! No work for me while I am cooking dinner but a heavenly way to start a holiday….

  32. My mother gave me both Five Minutes a Day books when I visited this weekend. I haven’t been able to put them down. I have a pumpkin from my Community Supported Agrigulture farm and can’t wait to use it to make the Pumpkin Pie Brioche. I already purchase Bob Red Mill whole wheat flour and Buckwheat flour and would love some vital wheat gluten to expand my options!

  33. I love your book and all the wonderful healthy recipes. I’ve been experimenting with a number of whole grain recipes and look forward to making the whole grain master recipe once I find some vital wheat gluten.

  34. Honestly, I’m excited to just make a whole wheat boule. With a 20 month old, we try to eat as many whole grains and possible and use white bread as a special treat. I’m looking forward to being able to have healthy bread fresh each day. Thank you!

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