We have flour, butter, eggs, whole milk... but no, we are not baking cakes, cupcakes or cookies, rather cake-cousins and beauties of the bread world - simple but classic brioche buns. This elegant, yeasted dough is enriched with butter, eggs and whole milk, yielding a bread roll that is ever so slightly sweet and has a soft and tender crumb.
The prospect of baking your own bread at home can be intimidating, but this recipe is great for both bread novices and experienced bakers alike. By incorporating a Tangzhong roux into the dough, you are guaranteed to end up with a glossy bun that's so pillowy soft, light and airy that it will take your bread making game to a whole new level!
This technique involves creating a roux of flour and liquid, that is added to the bread dough and yields a bread that is softer, lighter and has a longer shelf life.
The flour used in this technique is usually all purpose or bread flour and the liquid is water, milk or a mixture of both.
The technique of heating the water and flour to create a roux, pre-gelatinizes the starches in the flour allowing it to absorb and trap moisture throughout the bread making process - the dough is easy to knead since it isn't a sticky, the trapped moisture creates more steam, resulting in a better rise when it hits the heat of a hot oven and the bread rolls stay moist and fresh longer.
For this recipe, you will need:
For the Tangzhong:
2 tablespoons (20g) bread flour
2 tablespoons (27g) water
4 tablespoons (60g) whole milk
For the Bread Dough:
1/2 cup(120g) whole milk at 95F (30C)
1 tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar
1 tablespoon (9g) instant yeast
2.5 cups (320g) Bread flour
1 teaspoon (7g) kosher salt
2.5 tablespoons (35g) granulated sugar
1 whole egg + 1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, softened
For the Egg wash:
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon (15ml) whole milk
For the Garnish:
Black or white Sesame seeds
Yield: 14 medium sized buns
- Start by blooming the yeast in the warm milk and sugar. Set aside in a warm place until it is frothy, around 10-15 minutes.
- Next make the Tangzhong roux, by heating the milk and water and sprinkling in the bread flour and whisk continuously to form a roux. Set aside.
- In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, mix the flour, salt and pour in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed.
- Then add in the Tangzhong roux and continue to mix.
- Next add the egg and the egg yolk and continue to mix on slow, allowing all the ingredients to incorporate nicely.
- slowing add in the soft butter, bit by bit with the mixer running. Allow to mix until all the dough has been absorbed into the dough.
- Turn the bread mixture onto a work bench and bring together gently to form a ball.
- Grease a bowl with butter and gently place the ball of dough into the buttered bowl. Cover it with a clean tea towel and place in a warn spot for about an hour to an hour an a half, until it doubles in volume.
- Turn the dough onto the work surface, and gently press with clean hands to deflate the dough.
- Divide the dough into equal portions using a bench scraper. Using a kitchen scale is a great way to ensure uniform bread rolls.
- shape each portion gently into a uniform ball, by cupping your hand and rolling the dough between your thumb and little finger, as you roll it on the surface of the work bench. Pull the bread towards you and rotate it 90 degrees and repeat.
- Place the balls of dough with even spacing on a silpat lined sheet pan. Cover with an inverted sheet pan and place in a warm area to allow the bread to rest and double in size (approximately 1-2 hours).
- Pre heat your oven to 375 F.
- Prepare the egg wash by whisking an egg with a splash of milk.
- Gently brush all over the bread rolls.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds and pop these babies in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes at 375 F.