We finally know if brioche is really a bread or a cake

Any bread lover knows that brioche is one of the softest and richest types available. In fact, its texture coupled with its slightly sweet taste can definitely make you wonder if you’re actually eating cake and not bread. So, just to clarify, is this brioche cake or bread?

Brioche is actually classified as viennoiserie, a subcategory of bread that also includes croissants, chausson aux pomme (French for “apple turnovers”), and oranais (apricot-filled pastries). These breads are sweet and made with enriched dough, which refers to a dough made with butter, sugar, eggs or oil, as well as typical bread ingredients like flour and yeast. The enriched dough sets it apart from other breads, as the sugar and butter seriously affect the overall consistency. In addition to this, brioche often contains milk and sometimes vanilla. The end result is richer than, say, typical white bread.

As for what makes it different from cake, it comes down to yeast: Most cakes don’t contain yeast but instead use leavening agents such as baking powder or baking soda to make it rise. Additionally, although some brioche recipes contain sugar, the amount is much less than you would find in a cake: a brioche recipe might have a few tablespoons, while a simple cake recipe will likely require at least 1 cup. In other words, although brioche is sweet for bread, it is not as sweet as a cake.

Read more: 23 Whole Foods Baked Goods, Ranked

Brioche can be used for both sweet and savory recipes.

Chocolate brioche placed on a wooden board – Ika Rahma H/Shutterstock

Brioche is the ideal candidate for a multitude of sweet recipes. For example, because it is thick and soft, it is often the bread of choice for making French toast. Likewise, brioche is the bread of choice in Tasting Table’s Golden Waffle recipe, which combines the two popular sweet breakfasts. It can also be transformed into a dessert bread on its own by simply adding chocolate, like in our chocolate brioche recipe.

On the other hand, brioche can be used in savory recipes, adding just a touch of sweetness to balance everything out. That might mean using it as a bread for a pesto and prosciutto breakfast sandwich or to add texture to brioche-crusted salmon. Plus, just like you can add chocolate to make a brioche loaf more dessert-like, you can add ingredients like herbs and garlic to make a more flavorful loaf.

Read the original article on the tasting table.

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