These brioche buns with almond filling are flavorful, nutritious, and satiating. The perfect snack, in my opinion. They are sweet, but not overly sweet. The texture is crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside. They taste delicious right out of the oven, as well as 2 days later. I made them to bring with me to work in the cold winter and they hit the right spot. But beware around people with nut allergies since they contain almonds.
When making the dough I mixed quick cooking oats with regular flour to add more nutrients and I’m very happy with the result. I was afraid the oats would be too heavy and bring the dough down but they didn’t. The dough still rose quite well. For leavening you will need instant yeast, which is easier to work with than fresh yeast. The only liquid you need to add to this recipe is ½ cup warm milk to help activate the yeast and bring the dough together.
For recipes that require yeast as leavening, the quantity of liquid is crucial. If you use too much, the dough won’t rise properly and the final baked item will be very dense and hard. For that reason I chose to use vanillated sugar instead of vanilla extract. You can find it in all grocery stores that carry European products, as well as online. If you have vanilla paste, you could use that instead.
The filling is made with almond meal. If you don’t have almond meal or you dislike almonds, you could make substitutions. You can use walnut, hazelnut, or pistachio meals. Additionally you could use crushed sesame seeds for a nut-free alternative.
Once your dough is ready, you need to roll it and cut it into circles. You slightly overlap two circles, place the filling length-wise, and roll them together. Then you cut it in half in the middle, forming two flower-like heads. Place each of them in a muffin tin. I recommend you use liners for easy removal. Additionally you can bake them in paper or aluminium baking cups.
For cutting the dough I used a cookie cutter of 9 cm (3.5 inch) in diameter, and this gave me 10 brioche buns.
If you wish to bake them in advance and freeze them, you can. Freeze 1-2 of them inside a ziplock bag, then let them thaw with the bag slightly open. I recommend thawing them the same day you eat them. If you wish to take them to work/ school, take them frozen and allow them the thaw in the bag on your desk.
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Here’s the recipe for the brioche buns with almond filling:
Brioche Buns with Almond Filling
For the brioche buns:
- 1 ½ cups (225 g/ 8 oz.) all-purpose flour
- 1 cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) quick cooking oats
- 1 stick (115 g/ 4 oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
- ½ cup (120 ml/ 4 ¼ fl.oz.) milk, warm
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 pouch (8 g) instant yeast
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. vanillated sugar
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2-3 tbsp. flour for dusting the work surface
- 1 egg, beaten for brushing the dough
For the filling:
- ½ cup (50 g/ 1 ¾ oz.) almond meal
- ¼ cup (50 g/ 1 ¾ oz.) granulated sugar
- 50 g (1 ¾ oz.) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
For the brioche buns:
- In a large bowl, place the flour, oats, salt, and whisk to combine. Add the sugar, yeast, and whisk again. Add the eggs, warm milk, and mix well until mixture resembles a soft and sticky dough. Add the butter, piece by piece, while mixing continuously. Use your hands if you have to.
- Place the dough into a greased bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Set it aside at room temperature until it doubles in size (approximately 1 hour). Gently deflate the dough with your palm. Cover it again, and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
For the filling:
- In a medium bowl, whisk the butter with the sugar, until light and fluffy. Add the egg and whisk to incorporate. Add the almond meal and whisk again to incorporate. Set aside at room temperature.
For the assembly:
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Transfer the dough from the freezer to a lightly floured work surface and let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes. Roll the dough to about 4 mm (⅙ inch) thickness. Using a cookie cutter, cut circles. Re-roll scraps until all dough is used.
- Place one circle of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Take a second circle and overlap it by one third over the first circle. Place one tsp almond filling in the middle of each circle, and spread it length-wise. Roll the first circle over the second circle, forming a tube. Cut it in half and place each half in a greased muffin pan, resembling a flower. Repeat until all dough is used up. Set the pan aside at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow dough to rise. Brush each brioche with beaten egg.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until they are golden-brown.