Brioche! I cannot even begin to describe how thrilled I am to finally have a brioche recipe to share with you. The idea for these buns came last week after I adapted a fantastic recipe for brioche-like soft pretzels to a gluten-free version (still polishing it up, stay tuned!). Their brief swim in a boiling water bath, coupled with an egg wash, made them emerge from the oven with a lovely sheen. Thinking back on my previous brioche attempts, it was a luster that I had been unable to achieve with egg wash alone. I wondered …
With a few more tweaks to my adapted pretzel recipe — a little more butter, evaporated cane juice substituted for half of the honey, no baking soda in the water — I was soon in yeasted bread euphoria, an absurdly giddy place. As I’d guessed, the brief boil does wonders for the buns, not only lending more shine, but also giving the crust an ever-so-slight snap. (If you want to see the difference in sheen between a boiled and non-boiled bun, check out this photo from my first batch when I cooked each bun differently — the non-boiled one is in the back left corner.)
But what about the texture beyond the crust? I think a photo does it more justice than I ever could with words:
And while totally delicious when nibbled plain, they’re just as good spread with jam as they are topped with all kinds of burger fixings, making them perfect for the Fourth!
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) millet flour, plus more for pan and rolling
- 60 grams (1/2 cup) garbanzo fava flour
- 96 grams (1/2 cup) potato starch
- 32 grams (1/4 cup) arrowroot starch
- 9 grams (1 tablespoon) xanthan gum
- 7 grams (2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 12 grams (1 tablespoon) evaporated cane juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 57 grams (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temp
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 21 grams (1 tablespoon) honey
- 113 grams (1/2 cup) water, room temperature
- 4 cups water
- 12 grams (1 tablespoon) evaporated cane juice
- 1 large egg white lightly beaten with 5 grams (1 teaspoon) water
Make and Shape Dough:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together millet flour through salt; fit mixer with paddle attachment. In a small spouted bowl or measuring cup, whisk together melted and cooled butter through water. Turn mixer to low and pour butter mixture into dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 2 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a millet floured surface. Sprinkle the top with more millet flour, then roll the dough around a little, covering all sides with flour. Pat the dough into a disk and divide into four, equal-size pieces. (See photos below for a visual how-to of the next steps.) Shape each piece into a rough ball; set aside. Pat one ball out into a smooth disk (about 6″ wide). Tuck edges underneath, toward the center to form a somewhat-flat-bottomed, nearly-a-sphere shape. Cup the dough with both hands and gently rotate it — start with hands facing each other, then move your left hand up and right hand down, both a bit clockwise — to form a tight ball. Place ball in the center of a ring and it out pat it out evenly to the edges. Repeat with remaining dough.
Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a draft-free spot to rise for about an hour or until doubled in height.
Boil and Bake Buns:
About 15 minutes before buns are through rising, position oven rack in the center and preheat to 425°F. Line a clean, small baking pan with parchment; set aside.
Once dough is through rising, warm the 4 cups water in a 4-quart saucepan or pot² over high heat. Add evaporated cane juice to water once it reaches a boil; stir well to dissolve. Remove ring from the first bun, lift it (bottom side down) onto a mesh skimmer³ and lower it into the boiling water. Cook for 1 minute on the bottom side, then flip it using the mesh skimmer and cook the top for 1 minute more. Remove the bun with the mesh skimmer, allowing water to drain back into the pot, and place on the parchment-lined baking sheet top side up. (Please note: the buns will look a little puckered after boiling — click here for a photo — but puff right back up in the oven.) Repeat with remaining buns.
Please note: As the water level lowers, you may need to gently nudge the bun around using the skimmer to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. You may also cook two buns at a time if your pan allows, I can do so with the linked 4-quart pot above.
Allow last bun to cool for about 5 minutes before brushing all the tops with one or two coats of egg wash. Place pan in oven and bake until deep golden brown, 18 – 20 minutes.
Cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. If desired, slice just before serving. Best enjoyed when still slightly warm, not hot. Store buns unsliced and tightly wrapped at room temperature for a day or two. For best results, reheat cold/room temp, unsliced buns in a 425°F oven for about 5 minutes before serving.
¹ You can absolutely make these without the rings, they just help give the dough some support when rising to prevent it from slumping slightly. If it’s any incentive, I do have a recipe for English muffins that uses them as well!
² If your pot is much wider than 8″, you will likely need to use more water and sugar.