Bacon and chive brioche buns

Bacon and chive brioche buns

  • Makes 10 buns
  • A little effort

Mastering this beautifully light, fluffy bread is well worth the time and effort. You’ll need a stand mixer to make these buns – they freeze really well, just defrost and toast before eating

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Try our brioche buns recipe then check out our sourdough recipe and our soup ideas


What is brioche?

Brioche is an enriched bread from France, typically eaten for breakfast or dessert, or as a pastry-like snack. Its uniquely rich flavour and fluffy texture come from the addition of eggs and butter to the dough mixture, as well as milk and sugar. This recipe is straightforward, it just requires a little patience while you wait for the yeast to do its good work raising the dough. The resulting bacon and chive buns, loaded with crispy bacon, fried eggs and brown sauce, guarantee a perfect brunch.


How to make brioche

Enriching ingredients: the additional ingredients that make brioche an enriched bread – milk, sugar, eggs and butter – each do different things to the dough. The milk and sugar provide added food for the yeast, super charging it so it can create extra puffy and light bread, as well as a more cake-like texture. The eggs and butter also make the structure of the dough more elastic for a better rise.

Adding the butter: the amount of butter in brioche is a crucial factor in its fantastic flavour, textured crumb and deep caramelisation. Adding it little by little to the dough is important, as adding too much at once will prevent it from fully incorporating, resulting in a greasy dough – the butter will flood out as it bakes and onto the baking sheet, leaving the brioche dry.

The initial mix: it’s important to give the dough a really good mix at every stage. Strong white bread flour contains more gluten than plain flour and, when it is kneaded or mixed, aligns and builds a stronger structure in the dough, trapping the carbon dioxide released by the yeast, giving a better rise. Also, the addition of lots of butter into the mixture means it needs to be combined fully and evenly throughout the dough. And because, in this recipe, bacon and chives are being added, making the dough heavier and potentially preventing rise, it becomes even more important to have a strong dough.

Overnight rest: brioche really benefits from a long, cold overnight prove in the fridge. This lengthy rest develops the flavours over a longer period of time, allowing the yeast to continue breaking down the carbohydrates in the flour, adding carbon dioxide and acids to the dough. These bring a level of flavour complexity, making it even more delicious. It also makes the dough easier to handle for shaping because the butter will have solidified and set.

The second prove: shaping the dough after the overnight prove will knock out a lot of the air but the second prove is where you get that back, ensuring light, airy and puffy buns once baked.

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Ingredients

  • streaky bacon 8 rashers, finely chopped
  • whole milk 100ml
  • fast-action dried yeast 7g
  • strong white bread flour 500g
  • fine sea salt 12g
  • caster sugar 40g
  • eggs 250g (about 5), plus 1, beaten to glaze
  • unsalted butter 250g, cubed and softened
  • chives a small bunch, finely chopped
  • sesame seeds 1 tbsp
  • poppy seeds 1 tbsp
  • crispy bacon rashers, brown sauce and fried eggs to serve, if you like

Method

  • Step 1

    Cook the bacon in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, tossing, until really crisp. Tip into a heatproof bowl to cool completely.

  • Step 2

    Heat the milk in a small pan until warm to the touch, then add the yeast, stir to dissolve and leave for 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Tip the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix briefly, then add the eggs and yeasted milk, and mix well for 5 minutes or until a smooth, strong, shiny dough has formed.

  • Step 4

    With the mixer running, add the cubes of butter, one at a time, after each is fully incorporated. Keep mixing for 2 minutes once the last of the butter is in. Tip in the pancetta and any fat from the bowl, plus the chives, and mix for 1 minute until incorporated. Cover and leave for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size. Then leave in the fridge overnight to rest.

  • Step 5

    Tip the dough onto a clean worksurface and shape into 10 balls and divide between two baking-paper-lined trays, leaving a good space in between each. Leave for 2-4 hours, covered, to prove or until doubled in size and really puffy.

  • Step 6

    Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix the sesame and poppy seeds in a small bowl. Brush the brioche all over with beaten egg, then sprinkle generously with the seeds. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until bronzed and cooked through. Cool on wire racks, then split in half and serve with crispy bacon, brown sauce and fried eggs, if you like.

Check out our best brioche recipes

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe with Pears

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 499
  • Fat 29.4g
  • Saturates 15.9g
  • Carbs 42.5g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Fibre 2g
  • Protein 15.1g
  • Salt 3g
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