Brioche Buns

brioche buns

Baking these buns has been a long-time dream of mine. I’m a huge bread lover, and I actually do dream of baking bread. I have many crazy and vivid dreams, but that’s a topic for another day or blog. Well, it took me a while to set aside enough time to get these buns baking, but it has finally became a reality.

Ta-da! A picture of me with my buns. Oh, and yes, I also want to share some wonderful news with you all. Tim and I are expecting. Twin baby girls. Yes, I said TWINS. And girls! Not one, but two. Two delicious buns, I mean babies.

The buns and the babies have both been a dream of mine, so I thought I would celebrate them together in this little post. We are beyond excited (and nervous) about what our future life will look like, but we will embrace all things God chooses for us.

brioche buns

So far, my journey into motherhood has been pretty nice. I mean, there was a lot of planning, waiting, then more planning, and more waiting, so in a way, it parallels this brioche recipe. I’m half-kidding, as I know the rest of the pregnancy will be a lot harder than just turning on an oven, but it has been a joy preparing for this radical change in our family’s lives.

brioche buns

Now that we know we are expecting two little girls, I’m dreaming about the day I will have two little kitchen helpers kneading breads and preparing dinners together. Though I would want to do this with all my children regardless of their gender, I know it will be extra special to have that mother/daughters time in our little kitchen.

brioche buns

One day, I will introduce this recipe to them and share their birth story over our brioche and milk. What a time to look forward to. I cannot wait. :D

Brioche Buns

Ingredients:
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup warm milk
2-1/4 oz packets active dry yeast
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (if cold, cut into tablespoon pats)
1 egg, beaten with water (for glaze when ready to bake)

Directions:
1. In a stand mixer bowl, combine warm water and milk. Sprinkle active dry yeast over milk mixture. Let sit for about 8 minutes, until mixture becomes foamy.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add flour mixture into milk/yeast mixture and using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for about 1 minute.
3. Slowly add in eggs to the flour/yeast mixture. Keep mixer on low and make sure to incorporate eggs one at a time.
4. Add room temperature butter, one tablespoon at a time, and mix together on low for about 5 minutes.
5. Grease a large bowl and place dough in bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm and draft-free place for about one hour, or until dough has doubled in size.
6. Deflate the dough (use a rubber spatula to avoid sticky hands), and cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.
7. Keep in fridge overnight, or at least 8 hours. This will help the flavor and bring the dough to a workable dough.
8. On the next day, after dough has been properly chilled, butter a 12-muffin tin. Remove dough from fridge. Prepare egg glaze by beating one egg and combining with 1 tablespoon water.
9. Using a pastry cutter and a floured workspace, divide into two equal portions. Divide again. And again. Keep doing this until you have 36 small pieces of dough.
10. Drop 3 pieces of dough into each section of the muffin tin.
11. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
12. Cover muffin tin with wax paper and let rise in a warm, draft-free area for about 1 hour, until doubled in size.
13. Brush the tops of each bun with the egg/water glaze.
14. Bake for about 20 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
15. Serve warm. Enjoy with your choice of spread!

Kolaches

Being March 2.. y’all must be excited for today! Why? Well, it’s Texas Independence Day! It’s been a tradition of mine to celebrate the day, which really just means proclaiming it to the world. And occasionally I’ll bake some Texas-themed things too.

This year I’m proud to share with you this kolache recipe. Kolaches are pillowy pastries of dough wrapped or filled with fruits or some kind of sausage. The ones I’ve had growing up in Houston are almost always savory, but since then my view of kolaches has expanded to include the traditionally sweet Czech version. I’m accepting of the sweet kind, but I’m still quite partial to the savory version.

Just like beignets, I can’t seem to find kolaches readily available in the north outside of the south. And also like the beignets, I decided to take matters into my own hands and make them myself. After reading through several recipes, I chose one that was featured in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times back in 2001. With an article named “Perfect Kolaches” and a recipe called “Grandma Rosie’s Kolaches,” how could I not? Turns out they’re mighty close to the kolaches I’m used to eating back home, and I’m ever grateful for Grandma Rosie for sharing her secret recipe with us. This recipe worked out wonderfully as a savory pastry, and I’m sure it’d be just as great for a sweet kolache too.

Grandma Rosie’s Kolaches
adapted from Rosalie Bohuslav via Corpus Christi Caller-Times

Ingredients:
1 cup warm milk
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
2 1/3 cups flour
1 tablespoon dry yeast
16 little smokies or cocktail beef franks

Directions:
1. Place ingredients in stand mixer in the order listed above and mix on medium speed for 10 minutes. The longer you beat it, the nicer the dough.
2. Let rise for 1 hour (or until dough roughly doubles in size).
3. Work dough into 16 balls and place on greased cookie sheet. Let dough balls rise for 15-20 minutes.
4. Using your hand, flatten the dough and wrap each flattened dough ball around 1 little smokie or cocktail beef frank. Place kolaches about 1 inch apart on the cookie sheet and allow to rise again for another 10-15 minutes. At this time, preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.
5. Bake kolaches for 10-15 minutes until tops turn golden brown. Recipe makes 16 kolaches.