For those mornings when you want to throw moderation to the wind, I have these blueberry brioche buns waiting for you. You can pretend you’re going to be sensible, but just try to resist their charms. Flaky, crispy, impossibly buttery dough filled with cinnamon-sugar blueberries that turn sweet and rich in the oven; resistance is futile.
I read a book once (I think it was a Meg Wolitzer) where a character classified everyone into two types: brioche people and croissant people. And I want to remember which book it was, so I can ask that character, why not both? When you’re at a French bakery and can get a truly great croissant, then by all means celebrate its many layers. But for those days when you want to bring that French bakery into your own kitchen, I say go for the brioche. It’s got just as much butter as croissant dough, but with no laminating (or folding the dough over the butter many times) required. What you do get is an uber-enriched dough that you can form into whatever shape your heart desires, fill it with whatever sweet or savory ingredients you can imagine, and enjoy on a beautiful slow morning. It’s really the best.
Brioche is what a stand mixer was invented for. Getting all the butter, milk, and eggs into the dough requires some serious kneading, and a stand mixer can do all of the hard work for you. I still haven’t gotten my stand mixer fixed or replaced, so I did it the hard way, which means my arms got a nice workout. So it can be done if you don’t have a stand mixer, but I definitely recommend taking the easy way out.
This brioche recipe comes from The Fearless Baker, which if you love to bake I highly suggest getting. I made the basic brioche recipe exactly, then played around with the filling and shape. This recipe makes twice as much as you need for these buns. So you could either make a double batch and have two dozen, or be like me and save the rest in the fridge for more brioche baking experiments the next day. I knew I wanted a morning bun, because I never don’t want a morning bun. It’s blueberry season, and I love how sweet and rich they get when they’re baked, so I added them to your standard brown sugar and cinnamon mix, spread it on the rolled out dough, and made some gigantic blueberry rolls. Blueberry brioche buns, to be exact. Because alliteration, along with specificity, is the soul of narrative, right? These lovelies are definitely on the indulgent end of the baking spectrum, but they are so, so good. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself.
- 5 cups plus 3 tablespoons bread flour
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon instant yeast
- 5 large, cold eggs, lightly whisked
- 1 cup whole milk
- 28 tablespoons unsalted butter (3 ½ sticks), at room temperature and cut into 28 pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water for egg wash
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- Make the brioche dough a day before you want to bake the rolls. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast on low speed until combined. Add the milk and eggs and mix another 4 minutes, until the dough forms a shaggy ball around the hook.
- Increase the speed to medium and add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Make sure each piece is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next one. Mixing in all of the butter should take 3-5 minutes.
- Scrape the bowl down with a rubber spatula, then mix for another minute until the dough is smooth. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
- The next day, divide the dough in half. If only making 12 buns, refrigerate the extra half of the dough for up to two days before using for another baking project. Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, and blueberries together in a bowl. Butter a muffin tin.
- Roll the dough out into a rectangle on a lightly floured countertop until it is ½ inch thick. Spread the softened butter over the top, then sprinkle on the blueberry mixture. Tightly roll up the dough into a cylinder, being careful not to let all of the blueberries escape, along the long side of the rectangle. Cut into 12 equal circles and place each circle in the muffin tin. Let rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap, for 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake until the buns are golden brown, 25-30 minutes.