Faux-Laminated Maple Brioche Rolls
Text excerpted from THE FEARLESS BAKER © 2017 by Erin Jeanne McDowell
- Ready In:
- 5 cups bread flour, plus 3 tablespoons
- 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 5 large cold eggs, lightly whisked
- 1 cup cold whole milk
- 14 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup maple sugar, plus more for sprinkling if desired
- The day before you want to make the rolls, make the brioche dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, granulated sugar, and salt on low speed to combine. Add the yeast and mix to combine, 10-15 seconds more. Add the eggs and milk and mix for 4 minutes. The dough should form a sticky, shaggy ball around the hook.
- Increase the speed to medium and slowly add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, being careful to incorporate each addition before adding the next; the entire process should take about 3 minutes. (If you add the butter too quickly, it can create a greasy disaster in the bowl, so pace it out.) Scrape the bowl down once or twice to make sure everything is homogenous. (This mixing period is called intense mixing – and it is! Don’t be alarmed if the mixing is noisy or difficult in the early to mid stages, it will come together.) Then knead the dough (in the machine) until it is smooth and uniform, 1 minute more.
- Grease a large bowl with nonstick spray. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 12 hours, and up to 18.
- The next day, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and about 20x12 inches (though no need to be precise). Brush the surface of the dough evenly with melted butter and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of the sugar evenly over the dough.
- Position the dough so that one of the long sides is facing you. Fold the left edge over toward the center, about three quarters of the way over the dough. Fold the right edge one quarter of the way over the dough and make sure it meets and doughs the left edge. The dough will now look somewhat like an open book with an off center spine. Fold the larger side over the smaller side. You will now have 4 layers of dough. If the dough feels soft or sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes – if not, proceed.
- Roll out the dough again to a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick and about 20x12 inches (though no need to be precise). Brush the surface of the dough with melted butter and sprinkle another 2 tablespoons of sugar over the dough. Position the dough so that one of the long sides is facing you. Fold the left edge of the dough one third of the way over the dough. Do the same with the right edge, resting it on top of the piece you just folded over, as though you were folding a letter to fit into a business envelope. You will now have 3 layers of dough. If the dough feels soft or sticky, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes – if not, proceed.
- Repeat step 4 to complete another 4-fold.
- Repeat step 5 to complete another 3-fold.
- Lightly grease 16 muffin cups with nonstick spray. I do have to use two muffin pans to make this – if you only have one, refrigerate the remaining pieces while you bake the first. Place the second round only around the edge of the pan so that they bake evenly.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle, about 12x20 inches. Cut the dough lengthwise into 16 even strips. Tightly roll each strip up into a spiral and place it, spiral side up, in a cup in one of the prepared muffin pans. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let the rolls rise until they appear puffy, 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit with racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Sprinkle the rolls with more maple sugar, if desired. Bake, rotating the sheets from front to bake and top to bottom at the halfway mark, until the rolls are evenly golden brown all over and the internal temperature reads 190 degrees Fahrenheit on a thermometer – about 25-33 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan before unmolding and serving.
- Citrus Faux-Laminated Brioche Buns: After you mix the dough, mix ¾ cup granulated sugar with the zest of two oranges - let sit, covered, overnight. Use this in place of the maple sugar in the recipe. In step 8, lightly grease a 9x9 inch pan. In step 9, cut the dough into 12 even strips. Roll the strips into spirals and place spiral side up in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Vanilla-Bay Loaf: After you mix the dough, mix 3/4 cup granulated sugar with the seeds of 1 scraped vanilla bean and 2 finely crushed up bay leaves – let sit, covered, overnight. Use this in place of the maple sugar in the recipe. In step 8, lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. In step 9, cut the dough into 1 inch cubes. Stack the cubes tightly in the prepared pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes.
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