Happy 2016!

Happy New Year!
How have you been? I hope you’ve been well, and I’m actually shocked there is somehow somebody still checking this site.
I’m sorry, I never introduced my twin daughters, Cassis Lydia Chen (陳恩惠) and Violet Sophie Chen (陳慈愛) born December 10, 2014. They turned one year old last month, and I didn’t even post then. I drop some pictures on Instagram and on Facebook now and then, but I never followed up on my last post which was my pregnancy announcement.
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Well, here is a snapshot of Violet (L) and Cassis (R) when they were two days old. Their names are inspired by macarons and Lydia from Acts (Chinese names are from Psalms 23:6), but we call Cassis “Cassie” with a very American accent.

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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.😀

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!