Brioche is a lovely enriched bread, using eggs, milk and lots of butter. Often made as large loaves they can also be made in mini versions. I have done this before my the blog, using a muffin tin.
Today I am making them once more, but this time using mini brioche moulds. The recipe will make 12 in my moulds, which are 4 inches/10 cm across at the top. But it can be used to make them in a muffin tin too, but in that instance it will make 16.
The process is rather long, as the dough needs to be rested in the fridge for at least 7 hours, though overnight is probably better and certainly more convenient. Then, once the buns have been formed they need to proof again, for about an hour and a half, until they have doubled in size. But the end result is certainly worth taking the time to make them. These buns are simply delicious, a moist, light and fluffy bun full of rich buttery flavour.
Since I only had 6 mini moulds I decided to simply roll the remaining dough into round buns and sprinkle some pearl sugar on the top. That worked well too.
All in all I am very happy with how both versions turned out, beautifully browned on the outside and the insides are a soft, airy and fluffy texture. They taste very good indeed.
These buns are best eaten fresh, but they can be frozen too and then reheated in the oven to bring that freshness back.
- 500g(4 cups) strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 6g salt
- 50g(1/4 cup) caster sugar
- 10g instant yeast
- 140ml(1/3 cup +1/4 cup) whole milk
- 5 medium eggs(large in USA)
- 250g(2 sticks plus scant 2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- Pearl sugar, for sprinkling, if desired
- 1 egg, beaten, for an egg wash
- Warm the milk to about 43C/110F.
- Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
- Add the milk and eggs and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes.
- Increase the speed to medium for a further 6 – 8 minutes, until you have a soft, glossy, elastic dough.
- Add the softened butter and continue to mix for a further 4 – 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl periodically to ensure that the butter is thoroughly incorporated. The dough will be very soft and sticky.
- Tip the dough into a plastic bowl, cover with plastic wrap and allow to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, the dough should double in size.
- Knock the dough back and cover again.
- Chill overnight or for at least 7 hours, until it is firmed up and you are able to shape it. If the dough reaches the top of the bowl during this resting time you can gently knock it back and cover again.
- Lightly dust the worktop with flour and tip out the dough onto it
- Knock the dough down and fold it into itself a few times, using a little more flour to make it workable, as necessary.
- Roll the dough into a sausage and divide into 12 equal pieces(16 if you are using a muffin tin.
- Grease the tins.
- Roll each piece of dough into a ball .
- Using the side of your hand roll an indentation into the dough, dividing into 1 third, to 2 thirds. Roll gently, stretching the neck of the indentation slightly.
- Flatten the larger part of the dough and make a hole in the middle, with your thumbs.
- Pull the head, which is attached to the neck of the dough, through the hole and gently form the roll into a round, place into the brioche mould(or the muffin tin), as level as possible.
- Gently press the head into the rest of the dough.
- Repeat the process for all the remaining balls of dough.
- Cover and allow to rest until they have doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/170C Fan/375F
- Using a beaten egg brush the buns to lightly cover and then sprinkle some pearl sugar over if desired(preserving sugar or any that has those nice large granules will be ok too).
- Place in the oven, on the middle shelf, and bake for 20 minutes(15 minutes if making 16 in muffin tins)
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about one or two minutes.
- Tip out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.