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This was my first time making brioche dough from the Bouchon Bakery cookbook. I was hoping to make the brioche dough specifically for the Brioche au Levain, but that recipe calls for proofing the dough overnight and I wanted to bake bread that would be done by the end of today. The option that didn’t require overnight proofing was brioche dough for Hot Cross Buns, but I added my own little twist on it.

The recipe calls for a LOT of butter. Like a 2:1 ratio of flour to butter. After mixing the flour, yeast, milk, eggs, salt and sugar for about 34 minutes, I added the butter pieces a few pieces at a time. I noticed that the butter wasn’t incorporating that easily into the dough. I’m wondering if maybe the butter was too hard? The recipe didn’t specify what texture the butter should be…

The recipe in the cookbook calls for dried currants and dried cranberries but I opted for chocolate chips instead of the dried fruit. I honestly despise any sort of dried fruit in my baked goods. Blegh! I forgot to knead in the chocolate chips and went straight into the stretch and folding of the dough. I let the dough proof for 45 minutes, repeated the stretch and fold and then proofed for another 45 minutes. I then divided the dough into 12 equal pieces and rolled each piece into balls.

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At this point I noticed that the buttery dough is SUPER greasy and doesn’t feel at all similar to any of the dough I’ve previously made. Rolling the dough into the ball shape was a lot easier than I had anticipated. At this point, I think I botched the recipe along the way but I won’t be sure until they’re done…

The buns went into the oven preheated at 350F for about 27 minutes. The tops of the buns were very golden brown and on the harder side due to the egg wash that I had brushed on. Once the buns had cooled a bit, I tried one and I was really amazed at how delicious the brioche turned out! Very fluffy and buttery with slightly melted chocolate chips in every bite, yum! My one complaint, again, was the top being a bit hard but I think if you add icing on top it’s supposed to soften the top part of the bun. I opted for no icing because I figured the brioche would be sweet enough without it but I think it would have definitely tasted better either with icing or with more sugar in the dough. Overall I was really impressed with this recipe! I thought I had messed up but the end result proved that this recipe is easy to follow and results in buttery fluffy brioche buns!

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Recipe for Brioche Dough for Hot Cross Buns (Adapted from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook)

Brioche Dough

  • 372 g All-purpose Flour
  • 8 g Instant Yeast
  • 44 g Granulated Sugar
  • 9 g Fine Sea Salt
  • 186g Eggs
  • 63 g Whole Milk
  • 167 g Unsalted butter cut into 1/2″ cubes

Hot Cross Buns

  • 183 g Guittard (or Valhrona) Chocolate Chips
  • 3 g of Vanilla Paste
  • Brioche dough (recipe above)
  • Egg wash
  1. Place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for about 15 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly. Add all of the remaining dough ingredients, except butter, and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Continue to mix on low speed for 30 minutes.
  2. Add butter a few pieces at a time, incorporating each addition before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Continue to mix for 10 minutes.
  3. Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray. Run a bowl scraper around the sides and down to the bottom of the bowl of brioche dough to release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, adding flour only as needed to keep it from sticking.
  4. With your hands, gently pat the dough into a rectangular shape. Pour the chocolate chip mixture onto the dough and knead it into the dough (which will be sticky) to distribute it evenly. Pat the dough into a rectangle again.
  5. Stretch the left side of the dough out and fold it over two-thirds of the dough, then stretch and fold it from the right side to the opposite side, as if you were folding a letter. Repeat the process, working from the bottom and then the top. Turn the dough over, lift it up with a bench scraper, and place it seam side down in the prepared bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and let the dough sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  6. Repeat the stretching and folding process, then return the dough to the bowl, seam side down, cover, and let sit for another 45 minutes.
  7. Spray the quarter sheet pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper.
  8. Use the bowl scraper to release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a bench scraper, divide the dough into 12 equal portions (78 grams each). Cup your fingers around a portion of dough and, using the palm of your hand, roll it against the work surface to form a ball. Continue to roll until the dough is completely smooth. Repeat with the remaining dough. (When you become proficient at rolling with one hand, you can use both hands and roll 2 portions at a time.) Set the balls on the prepared pan in 3 rows of 4. Brush the tops with egg wash.
  9. Cover the pan with a plastic tub or a cardboard box and let proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the balls have risen and are touching.
  10. Preheat the oven to 325 F (convection) or 350 F (standard).
  11. Brush the tops of the buns with egg wash again. Bake for 17 to 22 minutes in a convection oven, 25 to 30 minutes in a standard oven, until the tops are a rich golden brown and, when tested with a toothpick, the centers are baked through. Set the pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  12. The buns taste best if eaten on the same day but can also be wrapped tightly in saran wrap and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
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