Blood Brioche Buns

Putting blood in bread isn’t something new, both Sweden and Finland keep that tradition alive with the traditional rye blood bread (verileipä in Finland),  which is even generally available commercially.

What I am proposing here is slightly different. It’s a recipe with lower blood content, for very versatile, airy and moderately sweet pig’s blood brioche buns, (as opposed to rather dense, blood packed rye bread), that can be enjoyed on their own, toasted with a little salted butter, in soups, or even as burger buns.

Here we go :

Three little buns

First of all, let me warn you : I am no expert baker, and the use of blood in bread can really alter the behavior of the dough, and tends to make it harder to handle and a bit unpredictable. That said, this particular recipe is rather straightforward and easy.

I have been experimenting quite a bit, using different bases : rye, lupin or buckwheat mixed with white bread flour, using full rye or, in the case of the latest batch, a rye sourdough starter and black wheat flour. But as a general rule, I’d say, stick to white bread flour for reliable results.

Ingredients (for 10 small buns)

  • 60ml fresh blood
  • 250g of all purpose flour
  • 10g of fresh yeast (4g fast action dried yeast)
  • 100g heavy cream
  • 35g of sugar
  • 45ml warm whole milk (or buckwheat milk)
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 egg yolk (for brushing)
  • 1 Tbsp milk (for brushing)
  • (optional) : a little nutmeg and freshly ground pepper
These particular buns were made using a rye sourdough starter and black wheat flour. All purpose flour will yield puffier, more tender buns.


  1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and instant dried yeast in a large bowl or in the bowl of your food processor.
  2. Add the blood to the milk and use a fork or a whisk to combine well. Add the blood-milk mixture to the flour.
  3. Knead thoroughly (about 10 minutes) until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and has a smooth and velvety texture. Cover with a towel and leave to rise for 1 and a half hours. The dough should double in volume.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4).
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a thick roll.
  6. Cut the roll into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece again, into a longer, thinner roll and cut each roll into 5 pieces each. Shape each piece into a ball by rolling it while pushing it down with the palm of your hand.
  7. Place each ball on your baking tray, cover and leave to rise again for 20-30 minutes.
  8. Make your egg wash : mix the egg yolk with the milk and brush the buns with it.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes.
  10. Take out and let cool a couple minutes.

Notes and Tips:

– They are the best warm, out of the oven, but they are delicious eaten the following day, toasted with a little salted butter.

Toasted blood brioche tartines with salted butter

Errors I’ve made :

– Resist the temptation to add too much flour while kneading or they will come out a bit dense.

– The proofing time was a bit too long, and I let the outer skin dry. The second attempt was way more successful.

Dough’s skin dried up, remember to keep your dough covered when not manipulating. (dark brown color due to again, using powdered blood .)


Sources :

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