Last night on the Great British Bake Off we saw the 7 remaining bakers tackle sweet dough’s. This area of baking is one of my favourites as it is a form of bread baking mixed with what most people associate with baking-sugar. I thought I would share a recipe that I would have done for this week’s episode of the bake off.
For those of you who have never had (or are completely scared off by) Pumpkin spice flavoured food or drink you are seriously missing out! I had Pumpkin Pie for the first time about 2 years ago. I knew Pumpkin was part of the Squash family so assumed it should be savoury (admittedly I even tried to make a savoury pumpkin pie…fail) but was pleasantly surprised to find out that it was in fact a sweet dish. And boy is it tasty!
Since then I have often looked forward to Autumn when you see Pumpkins grace the shelves of vegetable shops and supermarkets with their presence. But you don’t have to wait until this time of year for Pumpkin based food or drinks. You can easily buy Pumpkin puree in most supermarkets and if it’s not available then you can substitute Butternut squash for it perfectly.
Since I made some puree the other day I decided to make it into a sweet bun just like they did on the bake off. I used Brioche dough which is a super rich and soft dough which takes a little bit of forward planning and time to make but the end results are fantastic. I also took the idea of monkey bread and incorporated it into how the buns are made up. So without me rambling on any further here’s my Pumpkin spiced Brioche buns!
You will need:
500g strong white bread flour
10g instant yeast
40g caster sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
150g Pumpkin puree*
Splash of rum (optional)
225g unsalted butter, at room temperature and cubed
*Use either store bought sweetened version or alternatively slice a Pumpkin or Butternut Squash in half and roast in an oven at 180°C for 25-30 mins or until soft. Scoop out the flesh and blend until smooth along with 1tsp cinnamon, nutmeg, ½ tsp allspice and 2 tbsp sugar.
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp allspice
150g icing sugar
1 tbsp Pumpkin puree
Splash of lemon juice
Nuts or dried fruit (optional)
How to do it:
- Put the flour into the bowl of a free standing mixer with the dough hook attached. Add the yeast to one side and the salt and sugar to the other. Mix together briefly.
- Add the eggs, puree, milk and rum (if using). Mix on low speed for 2 mins then switch to high speed for at least 5-8 minutes or until you have a very smooth, glossy and stretchy dough. Rest for 5 minutes.
- With the mixer on medium slowly start to add your softened butter one cube at a time. It will become very messy and look as if it’s not going to mix in but keep going and trust me it will all come together!
Once all the butter has been mixed in you should have a very, very soft, shiny and elastic dough.
Cover a place into the fridge overnight or for at least 8-12 hours. This will solidify the butter and make it easier to shape.
- Next day take the dough out of the fridge. You will notice it has doubled in size but also feels quite firm. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a long sausage about 60cm long. Cut the dough into slices (doesn’t have to be even) and then tear each into different sizes.
Roll each one into a ball, each one being a different size.
- In a separate bowl mix the spices mix together. Roll the balls around in the spice mix until evenly coated.
- Decide on how you want to shape your buns. I have shown 3 options below on how to do it. For the most evenly shaped and sized buns choose one of the two tin options, but again it’s entirely up to you.
Grab a couple of the balls and roll them together briefly. Use a little bit of pressure here to help them stick together. Now you will have a couple of large balls made up of many small balls. Place them into the tins as shown or together in pairs on a baking sheet. Prove them for about 1-3 hours or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan. Bake the buns for 10 minutes. Be warned they will colour very quickly due to the amount of sugar in the recipe and the puree colours it quickly.
Cool on a wire rack.
- To finish the buns mix all icing ingredients and until smooth and place into a piping bag (or you can use a spoon). Drizzle of the top and add some sultanas or nuts if you like for extra texture.
I hate to toot my own horn but I am really happy with this recipe! About an hour or two was spent on writing and developing it (yes that’s right I spend my spare time writing my own recipes) and normally it would take me 2 or 3 attempts at a recipe before I am happy with it. Few and far apart are those recipes that just work the first time. Today was one of those days!
You can see the little lines of sugar throughout the dough here from each ball. This gives it that lovely sweet flavour throughout.
These are perfect for this time of year and with the abundant supply of Pumpkin soon to come you would be stupid not to make these! And besides Pumpkin is a vegetable-vegetables=healthy so the only logical way to summarise is that Pumpkin brioche buns are healthy! Right?
Thanks for reading and remember to tune in to The Great Irish Bake off this Thursday at 9pm on TV3 for tart week!
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