Milk brioche rolls are a delectable, soft, and rich pastry, perfect for breakfast or as a snack. These rolls are characterized by their golden-brown exterior, which has a slightly crisp texture, and a soft, fluffy interior that melts in your mouth. The key to their delightful flavor and texture is the use of high-quality milk, which adds a creamy richness.
The dough for these rolls is made using a traditional brioche recipe, which includes a generous amount of butter, giving them a tender, rich crumb and a buttery taste. The dough is carefully kneaded to develop gluten, which contributes to the rolls’ soft, airy texture. After kneading, the dough undergoes a slow fermentation process, often in a cool place, which allows the flavors to develop fully.
Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, it’s divided into small portions and shaped into smooth, round rolls. This shaping process is crucial as it ensures the rolls bake evenly and have a uniform appearance. Before baking, the rolls are often brushed with an egg wash, which gives them a shiny, golden finish.
In the oven, the rolls bake until they reach the perfect balance of a crispy exterior and a soft, fluffy interior. The aroma of butter and freshly baked bread fills the air as they cook. These milk brioche rolls are best enjoyed warm, straight out of the oven, where their buttery and milky flavors are most pronounced. They can be served plain, or with a variety of spreads like jam, honey, or even more butter for an indulgent treat. The contrast between the golden crust and the light, airy center makes each bite a delightful experience.
Milk brioche rolls are versatile and can be adapted to various flavors. Some variations include adding ingredients like chocolate chips, dried fruits, or nuts into the dough, or even filling the rolls with sweet or savory ingredients. Regardless of the variation, these rolls remain a favorite for their rich flavor and luxurious texture.
For the Brioche Dough:
- 4 cups (500g) bread flour
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (7g) active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (180ml) warm whole milk
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg yolk for egg wash
- Sesame seeds or poppy seeds (optional)
Making the Brioche Dough:
- Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, combine the warm milk and a pinch of sugar. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
- Combine Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the bread flour, sugar, and salt.
- Mixing the Dough: Add the activated yeast mixture and eggs to the dry ingredients. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together.
- Incorporate Butter: Cut the softened butter into small cubes and gradually add them to the dough, mixing on medium speed. Continue mixing for 10-15 minutes until the dough is smooth, elastic, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. It might be sticky but avoid adding more flour.
- First Rise: Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel, and let it rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Shaping and Baking:
- Preheat the Oven: Once the dough has risen, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Divide and Shape: Punch down the risen dough to release excess air. Divide the dough into equal-sized portions, shaping each into a smooth ball. Place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each roll to allow for rising.
- Second Rise: Cover the shaped rolls loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let them rise again for about 30-45 minutes, or until they double in size.
- Egg Wash and Topping: In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk. Gently brush the risen rolls with the egg wash. If desired, sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds on top for added flavor and texture.
- Bake: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the rolls are golden brown on top and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Cooling: Once baked, transfer the rolls to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
These milk brioche rolls are wonderfully soft and rich, perfect for enjoying fresh out of the oven or using for sandwiches. Enjoy the delightful taste and texture of these homemade rolls!