Spicy Brioche Buns

It’s been years since I’ve had a cold. Now that I’ve been struck after such a prolonged hiatus, I’m helpless. I’ve capitulated to a cough that is so vocally complex, it takes Tibetan Monks years of training to achieve this phantasmagorical dual pitched wheeze. At once it’s a squeakily high castrato and simultaneously it's a brutally phlegmatic baritone. Remember that monster movie Cloverfield, where the mere sound of the beast was supposed to be enough to make you piddle in your velour movie seat? I’ve got it beat.

I’ve been trying to combat all this viral nastiness with food. Chicken noodle soup, naturally. Hot lemon water with local honey, of course. An atomizered spritz of zinc as a chaser, mais oui! Spicy onion/garlic brioche, say what?

I figured, spicy is supposed to help with the congestion, garlic and onion are just good for you and the brioche is comforting. Instant cure. And if not, a splendid receptacle for a juicy burger.

Spicy Onion and Garlic Brioche Buns


For the Sponge:

1 ounce instant yeast

½ cup milk, warm (not hot! Don’t kill the yeast!)

1 tablespoon honey

5 ounces bread flour

Procedure for the sponge:

Bloom the yeast with the warm milk and honey in the bowl of an electric mixer until it’s nice and bubbley (or bublé, as I like to say). Add flour and with the dough hook attachment, mix until the sponge is soft and smooth. Sray with non-stick spray and cover with a damp towel. Put in a warm place and allow to double in size.

For the Brioche Dough:

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons salt (and extra sea salt for sprinkling on top)

4 eggs

1 pound all purpose flour

1 stick butter, soft and cut into small pieces

1 tablespoon cayenne

1 small onion diced

4 cloves garlic minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

egg wash (1 egg beaten with a tablespoon of water)

Procedure for Brioche Dough:

Sauté onion and garlic with a tablespoon of olive oil until softened and translucent. Set aside to cool.

In a small bowl, beat together the eggs and the honey. Pour the egg mixture and the salt into the bowl with the sponge and start the mixer on low. Slowly add the flour and cayenne. Once you’ve finished adding the flour, slowly add the butter and cooled onion and garlic mixture. Add butter one small knob at a time until all the butter is completely mixed in and the dough is shiny and is not longer sticking to the sides of the bowl.

Spray the dough with nonstick spray, cover with a moist towel and allow to double in size in a warm space.

Baking the Brioche:

Preheat oven to 350°.

Once the dough has doubled, punch the dough down and divide the dough into 10 even pieces. Roll each piece into a firm ball and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow the rolls to rest and rise slightly, not exactly double in size.

Brush the rolls with egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tops of the rolls are golden brown .

Alternative. Divide the dough in half and make a large braided loaf.

Roll each half into a long rope. Cross the two ropes into an X. I start twisting from the middle otherwise the loaf gets lopsided. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes more than you would the rolls.

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