Just say “morning bun” and you feel like a gentle morning is waiting for you. Add apricot jam and these buns will be even more delicious.
This recipe is excerpted from Little Flower Baking, by Christine Moore and Cecilia Leung, published by Prospect Park Books.
- 1/2 recipe (775g) brioche
- + all-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1/4 C (85 g) apricot jam
- 3 T (43 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 C (100 g) granulated sugar
- 1 C (235 g) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 T + 1/4 t active dry yeast
- 5 1/4 C (630 g) bread flour
- 1/2 C + 1 T (113 g) granulated sugar
- 1 T + 1/2 t kosher salt
- 7 large eggs, room temperature
- 3/4 C (171 g) unsalted butter, softened
apricot morning buns
Allow the brioche dough to come to room temperature and line a work surface with a sheet of parchment paper. Lightly flour the parchment paper and transfer dough to parchment. Lightly flour the dough and roll into a 9- by 12-inch rectangle that is 1/4-inch thick. Arrange the rectangle in the landscape format, so the 12-inch side is in front of you. With a small offset spatula, spread apricot jam evenly over dough.
Starting from the short side, begin tucking and rolling the edge of the dough over the jam, keeping it snug. It’s important to roll the dough tightly, so the foundation is strong and it won’t unravel later when the dough is cut. Continue to roll the dough similar to a jelly roll. Lift the parchment paper to help roll the dough up. Press on the seam to make sure it sticks. Wrap parchment around the rolled dough and freeze until firm, at least 1 hour.
Heat the oven to 375°F. Use a pastry brush to coat a 6-cup muffin tin with the softened butter. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons sugar in each cup. Hold the tin upright at a slight angle and turn it clockwise to shake the sugar so that each compartment is coated with sugar.
Remove the dough log from the freezer and slice into 6 equal portions, about 2 inches thick. Place each bun in sugar-lined muffin cup, cut side up. Leave dough to proof in warm place until it is soft and pillowy, rising above rim of molds, about 1 hour.
Bake until golden brown, about 36 minutes, rotating halfway through.
Cool for 10 minutes before unmolding. Use a small offset spatula to loosen buns. If caramel is too cool to unmold properly, return tin to oven for 5 minutes and unmold. Toss in remaining 1/4 cup sugar to coat. Serve warm.
Combine the milk and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk milk and yeast together by hand until yeast dissolves.
Add 1 cup (120 g) bread flour and the sugar and continue to whisk by hand until ingredients resemble a thick slurry. This is the sponge.
Spread 4 1/4 cups (510 g) bread flour evenly on top of the sponge, then place the salt on top. Do not let the salt touch the sponge, or it will kill the yeast. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until sponge bubbles around edges and flour splits and cracks, 30–45 minutes.
Return bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add 6 eggs to sponge mixture and mix on lowest speed until combined, 3–5 minutes. Add the butter in three additions, mixing on low speed after each addition until just combined. Scrape bowl well with a rubber spatula or plastic bowl scraper to incorporate all ingredients. Mix on lowest speed for 20–30 minutes. Dough will eventually make a slapping sound in the mixing bowl. You may need to hold on to the mixer to steady it.
The dough will look shiny and smooth and pull away from the mixing bowl, gathering around the dough hook. Check the gluten formation by using the windowpane test: pinch off a 1/2-inch ball of dough and stretch it out. It should be strong enough to stretch out into a thin, transparent sheet. Transfer dough into a large bowl lightly coated in oil or nonstick spray. Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
Remove plastic wrap and punch dough down by taking the edge of one side of the dough and pulling it to the center. Repeat with the other three sides, so the seams are all in the center. Dough should be shiny and smooth. Rotate the dough so the seams are at the bottom of the bowl.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the refrigerator until doubled in volume, about 4 hours. For the best flavor development, let it rise longer, 8 hours to overnight.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly coat a Pullman loaf pan with nonstick spray. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll it back and forth by hand to shape into a log. Place dough into prepared pan and set aside to proof until it has risen and is room temperature, about 2 hours.