Given its richness in butter and eggs, I always considered brioche more of a brunch or breakfast food. But things changed a few months ago when we were served some very light, savory, herbed brioche at The Royal Palace on The Disney Dream. It felt indulgent eating brioche from a before-dinner bread basket, but the rolls were just light enough to enjoy without ruining our appetite.
Inspiration from Brioche Col Tuppo
Since the cruise I’ve been hunting for a similar herbed brioche recipe – one that’s very light textured, not too sweet and that would be amenable to the addition of herbs. I found that recipe on my friend Nika’s blog. Nika introduced me to Brioche Col Tuppo, the Italian version of brioche which Sicilians fill with gelato. That’s right! They hollow out bread and put in a scoop! I haven’t put ice cream in my brioche, but I have added the chopped herbs and served it before dinner. Is it the Disney bread? It sure comes close.
Unbaked Herbed Brioche Rolls
Here's a picture of an Herbed Brioche Roll ready for the oven. Putting one small ball of dough on top of a larger ball of dough creates the little top knot that gives the rolls their distinctive appearance. The rolls will puff up quite a bit.
Everything But the Bagel Brioche
Update: I've been making this for a few years now and the latest experiment was making Everything But the Bagel Brioche Rolls by substituting Everything But the Bagel seasoning for the herbs.
Brioche Hamburger Buns
I recently started using this recipe to make hamburger buns. For Brioche Hamburger Buns, make the dough as directed. Instead of shaping as Brioche Col Tuppo, shape the dough into buns and skip the herb topping. For rolls, the recipe makes 6, but you'll probably want to make your hamburger buns a little larger, in which case you should get
5 more like 4 hamburger buns. These are very good, but definitely a little heftier than some light, fluffier brioche buns. The NYT cooking section has a recipe I've been meaning to try that's similar, but with more water and less butter, so it should make for a fluffier brioche bun.
Herbed Brioche Rolls
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (130 grams)
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons bread flour (110 grams)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar (25 grams)
- ¾ teaspoon salt (you can lower it to ½, but I think it's better with a scant ¾)
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm milk 125 degrees F
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (42 grams)
- Herbs: Your choice of crushed dried herbs I used parsley, rosemary, thyme and basil
- 1 large egg
- egg wash for brushing 1 egg beaten with 2 tsp water, optional
- Combine the flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt in a stand mixer bowl.
- Pour the warm milk into the flour mixture and stir until blended, then add the egg. Stir to make a somewhat sticky but sort of dry-ish dough. It will soften as you add the butter, which you will add gradually.
- Attach the dough hook to the mixer and let the mixer knead the dough on medium speed. As it kneads, add pieces of butter one at a time, allowing each piece to be absorbed before adding the next. Continue kneading on medium, stopping to scrape the bowl often, until it is smooth and sily and clings to th hook. I using the herbs, add them too.
- Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, then cover and let it rise until doubled in bulk (about 60 minutes).
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Punch down the dough and divide into 6 equal portions of about 75 grams each. Pinch off a small piece (about 10 to 12 grams) "the tuppo" (the little top part).
- Form each of the large portions into a ball and make a little hole in it. Shape the little "tuppo" section you snipped off into another little ball and press it onto the top. Arrange the rolls evenly on the baking sheet and let rise for another 45 minutes or so.
- If making burger buns, just divide into 4 parts and shape into balls. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 45 minutes. Brush with egg wash shortly before baking.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush the brioche rolls with some egg wash and put them in the 400 degree oven.
- Immediately reduce heat to 375. Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Keep an eye on them because they start browning pretty quickly. If they are brown after 15 minutes, lay a sheet of foil loosely over the rolls.
- Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.