Sugar and Spice Brioche

close-up photo of sugar and spice brioche
I saw a blog post by Dessert First for sugar and spice brioche a few months ago and immediately bookmarked the recipe.  The recipe appealed to me for multiple reasons: I had been wanting to try more brioche recipes, I was curious about Joanne Chang’s Flour book and the recipe is her recipe from the book, and also I had never had sugar and spice brioche and it sounded delicious.

The recipe requires you to make a big batch of brioche bread and then use half of it for the sugar and spice brioche. I had some trouble determining how to arrange the pieces inside the baking pan. I tried to make them look like bubble buns, but some of them came out better look than others.
photo of brioche in a muffin tin
I have to confess, this was not my favorite brioche bread recipe. I found the brioche dough a little hard to work with and it took a long time to rise. I didn’t find the bread as buttery, flaky and rich as other brioche breads I’ve had in the past.
photo of sugar and spice brioche on a baking rack
That being said, since these brioche were covered in cinnamon and sugar, it covered some of the flaws I found with the brioche itself. I loved pulling apart the little brioche pieces when eating them. The rolls were soft, buttery, and sweet. I just don’t think I’d use this brioche recipe again to make a loaf of brioche.

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You can view the full recipe here.close-up photo of brioche in a muffin tin

Sugar and Spice Brioche

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups (340g) bread flour
  • 1 1/2 packages (3 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (82g) sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cold water
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 6 tbsp (2 3/4 sticks/310 g) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into about 12 pieces

For the Topping

  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter melted

Directions:

  1. For the brioche dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, water, and eggs.

  2. Beat on low speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until all of the ingredients have come together.
  3. Once the dough has come together, beat on low speed for another 3 to 4 minutes. The dough will be very stiff and seem quite dry.
  4. On low speed, add the butter one piece at a time, mixing after each addition until it disappears into the dough. It's important to wait until each piece is fully mixed in before adding other, or you'll have a greasy mess.
  5. Continue mixing on low speed for about 10 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. It is important for all of the butter to be mixed thoroughly into the dough. If necessary, stop the mixer occasionally and break up the dough with your hands to help mix in the butter.
  6. Once the butter is completely incorporated, turn up the speed to medium and beat for another 15 minutes, or until the dough becomes sticky, soft, and somewhat shiny. It will take some time to come together. It will look shaggy and questionable at the start and then eventually will turn smooth and silky.
  7. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute. You should hear the dough make a slap-slap-slap sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. Test the dough by pulling at it: it should stretch a bit and have a little give. If it seems wet and loose and more like a batter than a dough, add a few tablespoons of flour and mix until it comes together. If it breaks off into pieces when you pull at it, continue to mix on medium speed for another 2 to 3 minutes, or until it develops more strength and stretches when you grab it. It is ready when you can gather it all together and pick it up in one piece.
  8. Place the dough in a large oiled bowl or plastic container and cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap directly onto the surface of the dough. Let the dough proof in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. At this point, you can freeze the dough in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
  9. When you're ready to make the brioche buns: take out half of the dough. Line 10 cups of a 12 cup standard muffin tin with paper liners or generously butter and flour them.
  10. On a floured work surface, press dough into a 10 inch x 5 inch rectangle.
  11. Using a bench scraper or knife, cut dough into 10 equal 1 inch x 5 inch strips. Cut each strip into 5 pieces. You should now have 50 squares of dough.
  12. Place 5 squares in each prepared muffin cup. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot for about 1 1/2 hours, until the dough has risen and feels puffy and soft.
  13. Heat oven to 350°F and place rack in center of oven.

  14. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Let buns cool for 5 to 10 minutes on a wire rack until cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, combine sugar, spices, and salt in a small bowl.
  15. Brush tops of buns with the melted butter. Roll the buns in the sugar mixture to coat evenly.
  16. Buns are best served within 4 hours of baking. They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 day, then rewarmed in a 300°F oven for 5 minutes.

Notes:

Recipe found on Dessert First who found it in Joanne Chang's Flour book

All images and content are © Kirbie's Cravings.

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