Buttery soft brioche buns aren't as hard to make at home as you might think. The soft dough needs a gentle touch and patience with proving time but the results are more than worth the wait.
This recipe produces 16 delicate mini buns that make the perfect canapé base, so we've filled ours with slightly spicy, lemony prawns.
For the brioche buns:
- 150ml warm milk
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp fast-action yeast
- 275g bread flour, plus extra to dust
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg and 1 yolk, plus another yolk for glazing
- 60g soft unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 20g black and white sesame seeds, to garnish
For the prawn filling:
- 350g cooked king prawns
- 60g mayonnaise
- 1 stick celery, cut into 1cm chunks
- 5g chives, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
- pinch cayenne pepper
- juice ½ lemon, plus wedges, to serve
You will need: a standing mixer with a dough hook
- For the brioche buns, mix the milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl, and leave to bubble for 5 mins.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour and add the egg and extra yolk to create a scraggy dough. Begin to knead on a medium speed.
- Add a third of the butter and knead for at least 3 mins before adding another third of the butter. Repeat until all the butter has been added.
- Knead for 5-10 mins until the dough wraps itself around the hook and begins to slap the sides of the bowl. You may need to add another 1tbsp flour. The dough is ready when you can pull off a small portion of it using wet fingers to prevent it from sticking, and stretch it without breaking. This is known as the windowpane test.
- Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Dust your fingers with flour too. Pull the edges of the dough over and into the centre to form a ball. Carefully turn over and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave until doubled in size. This will take around 2 hrs.
- Knock-back the dough with a brief knead and divide into 35g portions. Form into tight balls or ovals, place on a lined baking tray and cover with oiled cling film. Leave for another 1 hr or until doubled in size.
- Heat oven to 200C/Gas 6 and place a shallow baking tray at the bottom.
- Uncover your buns, brush with egg yolk and sprinkle with the sesame seeds. Have a cup of water ready.
- Place the buns in the middle of the oven and pour the water in the tray at the bottom. This creates steam, which helps the buns rise.
- Bake for 20 mins or until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped on the bottom. Leave to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
- For the prawn filling, mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and reserve until needed. This can be done the day before. Spoon a little sauce into the sliced brioche before adding some prawns and celery. Garnish with cayenne pepper and additional chives, and serve with lemon wedges.
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