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There are months when I feel like I barely go out or do anything fun, mostly because nothing is going on or because I’m too lazy to organize an outing for me and my people. My weeks are fairly solitary, consisting mainly of work at home, by myself. I go out to do the groceries and attend my usual gym classes, and maybe a freelance gig somewhere around the island thrown into the mix. It’s quiet and perhaps a little lonely.
Then there are weeks when EVERYTHING is happening at once. I am tugged in all directions with parties, visitors, and events. It’s a shocking contrast from my usual schedule, and sure, I’m happy about all the fun things I have scheduled and the long-lost friends that I get to catch up with because nobody should spend that much time alone. But why, oh why does it all have to happen at the EXACT SAME TIME? I end up mapping my bus/metro routes so that I can properly judge how much time all the transiting will take and how much time I can spend at each stop. My patience is thin at best. Sometimes there’s no time for dessert and coffee at the end of a restaurant meal. My groceries in my fridge go bad because I’m not home enough to cook with them. I even set my alarm clock for an early Saturday and Sunday morning wakeup time because there is no room for weekend leisurely-ness.
I know I should “do more” in general, and I absolutely want to, but when it all happens at once in the same week, or it all falls in one weekend, I just want to hide under the covers and wait for the weekend to be over. And I wish that all the happenings and gatherings would magically spread out over the month instead of all being concentrated in the tight span of 3 days. In the end, I feel like I need a weekend to recover from the weekend. I think this confirms that I am an introvert, doesn’t it?
The reward for a hectic week is homemade maple brioche. The trick to fresh homemade brioche and a leisurely stress-free weekend morning baking session is to make the dough the evening before. If you want fresh brioche in the morning, I suggest making the dough when you first get in from work on Friday evening. Make the dough and then let it rise, slowly on the counter for 3 hours. Punch it down and put it in the fridge before bed. Then in the morning, you just have to shape the dough into brioche buns as I have shown before, or for a different look, you can roll out the dough with a rolling pin, cut out circles to form these brioche flowers (see step-by-step above). Make sure you use pure maple sugar (like this one on Amazon and Amazon Canada).
There are a few steps to buttery brioche, but it’s all worth it, and really quite easy when you do it all in the mixer. Just understand that it is important to first form a nice, smooth dough before adding in the butter. Once the butter is added, the gluten-network completely breaks down, so you have to go through another long kneading process to get back that structure. Patience is important. Just let the mixer do the work. It’s not stressful; it’s just bread. And having freshly baked buttery maple brioche for breakfast in the morning is the best. I suggest eating as much of it as you possibly can once they have cooled slightly because honestly, they are best eaten the day they are baked.
Maple brioche buns recipe
Little maple brioches
These maple brioche buns are made from a buttery brioche dough and sweetened with maple sugar and maple syrup.
- 63 mL milk 1/4 cup, 100ºF
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 250 grams all-purpose flour 2 cups
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp maple sugar
- 130 grams cold unsalted butter 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp, cubed
- 14 grams Stirling Creamery unsalted butter 1 tbsp, melted
- 2 tbsp maple sugar
- 28 grams Stirling Creamery unsalted butter 2 tbsp, melted
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Combine warm milk and yeast in the mixer bowl. Let sit 10 minutes.
- Mix in flour and salt with paddle attachment of mixer (you will have a shaggy dough), then work in the eggs, one at a time, along with 2 tbsp maple sugar.
- Knead the mixture to form a smooth, elastic dough for about 10 minutes with the dough hook.
- Switch back to the paddle, and beat in the cubes of butter. When the dough starts to take shape again, you can switch back to the hook and knead for about 8 minutes. You will regain that smooth, elastic dough that stretches thin without tearing.
- Transfer the dough to a buttered bowl and let sit for 3 hours, covered with saran wrap. The dough will double in size.
- Punch down the dough, cover the bowl again and refrigerate overnight.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to a 12x12" square. Brush with 1 tbsp melted butter and sprinkle with ~2 tbsp maple sugar.
- Cut out sixteen circles (about 3–3.15 inch diameter)
- Place 3 of the circles side-by-side, overlapping them as in the step-by-step photo above. Roll the circles together into a log and cut in half. Place each half into greased muffin tins, cut-side down. Repeat with remaining circles. This way you will make 10 buns. For the last two brioche buns, you will have to cut out half circles from the leftover rolled out dough fitting the cookie cutter where you can and repeat the rolling process. I saved the dough scraps and placed them in a greased mini loaf pan because one should never waste brioche dough.
- Cover the buns with clean tea towels and let stand at room temperature for about an hour to puff a little. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Combine the 2 tbsp melted butter with 2 tbsp maple syrup and brush this over all the buns, generously. Bake in the preheated oven for about 23 minutes. Unmold quickly so they don't get stuck in the pan!
- Eat them all straightaway.
- For the butter in this recipe, I used Stirling Creamery unsalted butter
I do my best to bake with the finest ingredients. Stirling Creamery, a Canadian company, has provided the butter for this post.
Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University.