Briochettes Au Dulce De Leche (Dulce De Leche Brioche Buns)

These brioche buns make for real comfort food. Sweetened with vanilla extract and orange flower water, the Rachel Khoo dessert is filled with dulce de leche.

Introduction

The brioche recipe I use here is similar to brioche vendéenne, which is traditionally shaped as a plait for Easter and is made with crème fraîche and orange flower water.

The dough makes a great base for buns, and one of my favourite fillings is the Argentinian caramel spread dulce de leche. I discovered it during my first cooking job in Paris, at the cookery store La Cocotte. I used to bake coquetines (biscuits filled with dulce de leche) and other sweet treats for their tea salon and book events.

Makes 6

Ingredients

75g butter
50ml milk
5g dried yeast
250g plain flour
50g sugar
A pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange flower water
1 beaten egg, for the eggwash
For the filling:
150g dulce de leche
For the optional filling:
3 small dessert apples, cored and roughly chopped, or 150g nuts (e.g. almonds or hazelnuts), roughly chopped

Essential kit

You will need a 25cm springform tin (8-10cm deep), or a regular cake tin.

Instructions

Melt the butter in the milk. Add the yeast and stir to dissolve (the milk should be lukewarm, definitely not hot, otherwise the yeast will not work).

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Create a well in the middle, add the milk mixture and the rest of the ingredients, and combine together until you have a soft, sticky dough. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, line a 25cm springform tin (8-10cm deep), or a regular cake tin, with baking paper Turn the dough on to a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, then roll into a large rectangle (roughly 40 x 30cm). Spread the dulce de leche on top, leaving a 2cm border; and sprinkle over the chopped apples or nuts (if using). Roll up the dough to make a long sausage and cut into 6 equal pieces. Place each piece, swirl-side up, into the prepared tin and brush with eggwash. Cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Eggwash the buns a second time and then bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. If the briochettes start browning too much, cover with some aluminium foil. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Best eaten warm, or on the same day.

Preparation time: 30 minutes. Resting time: overnight, plus a couple of hours. Baking time: 30-40 minutes.

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