What's not to love about buttery brioche with a centre of warm caramel? Although it's tempting to devour them straight out of the oven, the caramel will be hot so let them cool a little. A bowl of crème fraîche served alongside would be a delicious addition.
- 500 gm plain flour (3⅓ cups)
- 50 gm caster sugar
- 5 gm dried yeast (1¾ tsp)
- 200 ml lukewarm milk
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 100 gm softened butter, coarsely chopped
- 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 tbsp milk
- Slivered almonds, for scattering, and icing sugar, for dusting
- 350 gm caster sugar
- 110 ml pouring cream
- 110 gm butter, diced
- 1For salted caramel, stir sugar and 80ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and cook until dark caramel (5-6 minutes). Remove from heat, add cream, butter and 1½ tsp sea salt flakes, and swirl to combine. Pour half into a heatproof container and freeze, stirring occasionally, until of rollable consistency (15 minutes), then roll into 10 balls the size of cherry tomatoes and freeze until required. Reserve remaining caramel at room temperature.
- 2Combine flour, sugar, yeast and ½ tsp sea salt flakes in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add milk and eggs and mix on medium speed to combine. Gradually add butter and knead until shiny and elastic (4-5 minutes). Transfer to a lightly buttered bowl, cover and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours). Knock back dough, divide into 10 pieces and, working with a piece at a time, flatten into rounds. Place a caramel ball in the centre, then bring the dough up around, and pinch firmly to seal so the caramel doesn't leak out while baking. Roll into balls and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, leaving 5cm between each. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until risen by half (30 minutes).
- 3Preheat oven to 180C. Brush brioche buns with eggwash, scatter with slivered almonds and bake until golden brown (15-20 minutes). Cool briefly on a wire rack and dust with icing sugar. Warm the reserved caramel over low heat and serve with warm brioche buns.
Drink Suggestion: Strong coffee (and perhaps a small glass of muscat). Drink suggestion by Max Allen
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