When I'm bored, I look for new and exciting food blogs. When I hit a good one, I dig deep. The other day, I read a year and a half back into the Smitten Kitchen's blog (because really--who doesn't love that woman?). During one such blog reading frenzy, I came across Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness. Her blog is very readable and funny, and the recipes she makes are very much to my liking. So, imagine my elation when she tried out one of the recipes I'd wanted to try from Smitten Kitchen!
Once I read Lori's post about these Light Brioche Buns, I was unable to get them out of my head. It became an obsession. At work, I would answer the phone and say, "College of Briocheneering, this is Heather." I would arrive home, fall into Greg's arms and say "Brioche! I brioched you so much today!"
I am glad that I was so obsessed, because it resulted in fabulous buns. I brioched the hell out of those buns.
Light Brioche Buns (Yanked from Lori's Lipsmacking Goodness, who yanked it from the Smitten Kitchen, who yanked it from the New York Times recipe from Hidefumi Kubota, Comme Ça, Los Angeles)
-3 tablespoons warm milk
-2 teaspoons active dry yeast
-2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
-2 large eggs
-3 cups bread flour
-1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1. In a glass measuring cup, combine 1 cup warm water, the milk, yeast and sugar. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, beat 1 egg.
2. In a large bowl, whisk flours with salt. Add butter and rub into flour between your fingers, making crumbs. Using a dough scraper, stir in yeast mixture and beaten egg until a dough forms. Scrape dough onto clean, unfloured counter and knead, scooping dough up, slapping it on counter and turning it, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Shape dough into a ball and return it to bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using dough scraper, divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each into a ball and arrange 2 to 3 inches apart on baking sheet. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let buns rise in a warm place for 1 to 2 hours.
5. Set a large shallow pan of water on oven floor. Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in center. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush some on top of buns. Bake, turning sheet halfway through baking, until tops are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Yield: 8 buns.
Verdict: Mmmmmmmmmmmm. And furthermore: MMMMMMM! These are fantastic. Originally, I thought that "light" was descriptive of the texture of the buns--as in, 'airy.' But no. These are dense, rich, sinful buns. "Light" refers to the fact that they are MUCH lower in calories than normal brioche (as you may or may not know, brioche is loaded with calories, due to its high butter and sugar content). I planned on using these as sandwich buns for beef brisket (and they would work well as sandwich buns), but ended up just smearing some butter on it and enjoying it all on its own.