Banana and date brioche buns

Banana and date brioche buns

How to Cook Bread
Peter Cassidy

A rich brioche dough is the perfect medium for the mellow flavours of bananas, dates and vanilla. You will need a 12-hole deep muffin tin.


Quantity Ingredient
250g butter, softened
20g butter, to grease
3 over-ripe bananas
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
200g pitted medjool dates
100ml milk
1 tablespoon milk, to glaze
15g fresh yeast
500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
30g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
1 extra yolk
5 brown sugar lumps


  1. Melt the 20g of the butter and use to generously grease the muffin tin.
  2. Peel and mash the bananas well using a fork, then stir in the vanilla. Roughly chop the dates and set aside. Put the 100ml milk in a small saucepan over a low heat and warm gently to tepid, no hotter than 38°C. Put the yeast into a small bowl, pour on a few tbsp of the milk and stir to dissolve.
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the sugar. Beat the eggs lightly and add to the flour along with the mashed bananas, yeast and remaining warmed milk. Mix, using a cutlery knife, until a very soft dough forms.
  4. Using a wooden spoon or an electric food mixer fitted with a dough hook on a low speed, beat the dough until smooth and elastic; this can take about 15 minutes by hand, or 5 minutes by machine.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and, using your fingertips, work the dough by stretching it to shoulder height; it won’t stretch this far until the gluten is fully developed, so keep working it until it does.
  6. Divide the 250g butter into walnut-sized pieces. Work each piece of butter into the dough completely before adding the next piece, using the same kneading technique. The dough should gradually become more shiny, elastic and glossy as more butter is worked in.
  7. Knead in the dates until just distributed, then lift the dough into a clean bowl and cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  8. Knock back the dough by flipping it with your fingertips just a few times, then refrigerate, covered, for several hours, but not more than 24 hours.
  9. Shape the brioche dough while it is still very cold. Divide it into 12 equal pieces, shape each into a ball and place in the prepared muffin tin. (You may need to use a little extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky to handle.) Cover loosely with lightly oiled cling film and leave at room temperature to rise to half their size again, then transfer the tin to the fridge for 10–15 minutes to firm the butter.
  10. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 220°C. Put the egg yolk in a small bowl, add the 1 tbsp milk and beat together using a fork. Crush the sugar lumps into small crystal clumps.
  11. Brush the brioche with the egg glaze, taking care not to let it drip down the sides. Sprinkle with the crushed sugar and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Lower the oven setting to 190°C and bake for a further 5 minutes, or until the buns are golden brown, sound hollow when tapped on the underside and feel light for their size. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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