Cumin brioche

Cumin brioche

By
From
A Lot on Her Plate
Makes
8
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

These light demi-brioche buns, spiked with warm and earthy cumin, use less butter than standard brioche recipes, making them really soft and bouncy; ideal for toasting, buttering while hot and using to scoop up the gorgeous keema pau. They’re also great for the hangover-busting breakfast baps.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
240ml water, lukewarm
40ml whole milk, lukewarm
30g caster sugar
10g dried active yeast
470g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
60g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg, beaten, plus 2 extra, for egg wash
1 tablespoon ground cumin
oil, for greasing
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
sea salt, for sprinkling

Special equipment

Quantity Ingredient
stand mixer
pastry brush

Method

  1. Combine the warm water, milk, sugar and yeast in a bowl, stir well and leave for a few minutes until it’s puffing and bubbling.
  2. Put the flour, salt and butter into a separate mixing bowl, and rub in the butter until the mixture is the consistency of breadcrumbs. For ease, you could use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to do this. Stir in the beaten egg, ground cumin and the yeast mix, mixing it on a low setting if using a stand mixer, for a few minutes until you have a sticky, scruffy dough. If mixing by hand, just stir with a wooden spoon until well-combined, turn out onto a heavily floured surface, flour your hands and rub them together, and work the mix for 5–7 minutes, until the dough comes together. It will be very wet and sticky at first but don’t worry – this makes for a light dough.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the mixing bowl, greased with a little butter or oil. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and put in a warm place (I like to find a sunny windowsill) to rest for 1–3 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and punch the dough to knock out any air. Using a sharp knife or dough scraper, divide the dough into 8 equal portions (you can weigh each one on baking paper to make sure they’re equal if you like). Flatten out each portion, and fold the edges into the middle, pinching gently in the middle to make a circular shape. Gently flip them over so they’re seam side down and, one at a time, hardly touching them, clasp your hand over each portion, with your fingers encasing them and touching the work surface, and move your hand round and round (as though you’re drawing clockwise circles), to create a nice round shape.
  5. Transfer the buns to a baking sheet lined with baking parchment, cover with oiled cling film and rest for 1 hour, or until they’ve risen again by about a third and puffed up. During the prove the buns may bond together, but don’t be alarmed as you can break them apart once baked.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Half-fill a baking tin with boiling water and place it in the bottom of the oven – this will create steam to help crisp the top of the brioche. Whisk the remaining eggs with a splash of water, and gently brush each bun with egg wash. Scatter over the cumin seeds and some flakes of sea salt, and bake for 15–20 minutes, until crisp on top and golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
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