Toasty, buttery French brioche gets a makeover in time for the holidays.
Credit: Photo: John Autry

Fluffy, flaky morsels of butter-laden brioche exemplify the art of the French baker, and this rich bread is deliciously adaptable in holiday dishes. Brioche dough makes a splendid base for bread pudding or sticky buns, and the baked bread makes delicious croutons and breadcrumbs. It's also wonderful alone, traditionally slathered with a bit more butter. But the Nutrition Grinch will point out that you can eat 27 grams of fat in just one fluffy roll—and he has a point.

How to keep this chubby carb from weighing down the holiday table? Our approach does not banish the trinity of butter, eggs, and sugar—it just slims it down. A stand mixer streamlines prep, and muffin tins keep portions in check. An overnight rise in the fridge builds flavor and develops texture. The result? Flaky rolls, buttery essence, and a top Test Kitchen rating. Brioche is back, better than ever.

524 calories per serving
27.1 grams fat
15.7 grams saturated fat
511 milligrams sodium
Loads of butter
Over-the-top portion

128 calories per serving
4.9 grams fat
2.8 grams saturated fat
94 milligrams sodium
Loads of flavor and rich, tender crumb with just the right amount of butter
Sensible, satisfying portion