Simple Brioche Bread

Whenever I look through the recipes in the Fannie Farmer Baking Book I’m transported to a kitchen out of a vintage storybook, one that pictures an aproned grandma with flour on her hands and a gentle face, with the sound of a wooden screen door slapping and the sight of a spatula resting in a big, old batter bowl coated with something sweet and buttery to lick.

It could be the photo of author Marion Cunningham on the book jacket – a smiling, white-haired woman who seems to embody all that’s wholesome and homemade. Or maybe it’s just that the very name Fannie Farmer conjures nostalgia for a fantasy of well-ordered domesticity; a comfortable nest of a home where there’s always a glass of milk and some cookies waiting on the counter.

My own nest lacks the dear presence of a living, doting grandmother, but I’ve found I can remedy that situation very nicely by baking something.

However, I don’t have all day. You know how it is.

Happily, this brioche recipe from the Fannie Farmer Baking Book – it’s called Buttered Brioche Batter Bread in the book – satisfies the baking urge yet is simple to make. It’s actually a kind of yeasted quick bread, a bit different in texture and flavor than an authentic French brioche. It’s nice toasted, and Marion says it makes great tea sandwiches if you’re so inclined.

Now go forth and bake; fill your nest with the smell of something from the oven.


  1. YUM

  2. I was attracted to your website from seeing the bread photo on Foodgawker. Once I visited I decided to be a regular visitor because I love your writing style. Thank you for the images of hearth and home that your carefully placed words brought to my day. I’ll be making this bread this week and thinking of my Grandma and the sound of her wooden screen door.

  3. I made banana bread today — not as decadent, but the house smelled good. We must have been channeling the same grandmother, or something.

  4. I happened to make this yesterday, but yours look so much better!

  5. What temperature should the water be? This looks great.

    • Lisa – Thanks for visiting. Glad to hear I help inspire you to bake something.

      Liza, I bet the house smelled amazing with banana bread in the air – however toxic for me (cough cough)

      Jun, thanks! It can be hard to make bread look good, I think, especially when trying to take pictures of it. It is what it is – slice of white bread.

      Hi Liz – I just used water from the tap. I use instant yeast and it’s not fussy about temperature (which is one reason I like to use it) Just not too cold or hot should be

  6. great pictures for a brioche that looks perfect !

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