Hokkaido Brioche Dinner Rolls

These unique dinner rolls are on an entirely different level of delicate and light: you could almost inhale them. Their supremely pillowy texture comes from the use of tangzhong – a technique originating from Japan and popularized by Chinese bakers. The clean, wheaty flavor of Trailblazer, combined with the sweet, buttery tones of Edison help make these beautiful golden rolls a real show stopper.

Prep Time

45-60 minutes

Bake Time

14 minutes

Total Time

5 hours and 14 minutes

Yield

24 buns

Ingredients:

For the Tangzhong*:

1 heaping tablespoon (24g) Trailblazer flour

1 1/3 tablespoon (27g) water

1/3 cup (60g) whole milk (or any dairy-free alternative)

For the final dough:

1/3 cup (70g) Trailblazer flour

1¼ cup (250g) Edison flour

2½ teaspoons (9g) active dry yeast

½ cup (100g) liquid sourdough starter** (see Baker's Notes)

1 light teaspoon (4g) kosher salt

½ cups (120g) whole milk (or any dairy-free alternative), room temperature

2 tablespoons (50g) honey

3 tablespoons (42g) butter, diced, room temperature

1 medium egg (50g), room temperature

For the egg wash:

2 medium eggs (100g)

1 2/3 tablespoons whole milk (or any dairy-free alternative)

Instructions:

  1. Make Tangzhong: in a medium pot, combine the ingredients for the tangzhong.
  2. On low to medium heat, begin whisking the ingredients to remove any lumps that may form. Cook this mixture until a thick slurry begins to form.
  3. Partway through cooking, switch to a rubber spatula to avoid having the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pot *** (see Baker's Notes). This final stage should only take about a minute.
  4. Take the pot off the heat. Cover it with a damp tea towel and allow the tangzhong to cool to tepid.
  5. Make the final dough: in a medium-size bowl, whisk together Edison and Trailblazer flours. Set aside.
  6. To the bowl of an electric stand mixer add the cooled tangzhong, the milk, the egg, the sourdough starter and the yeast. Add the flour mix and begin mixing on slow speed to allow ingredients to combine gently.
  7. After 1 minute of mixing, add the salt. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with the rubber spatula as necessary. Mix for another minute before adding honey.
  8. Turn the mixer speed up to medium.
  9. When the dough becomes more developed, neat and lightly tacky, which should take about 2 minutes, begin adding the diced butter in small batches. Mix until the butter is fully incorporated into the dough, about 2 minutes per each small batch of butter.
  10. Place the dough into a lightly-oiled bowl. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap and allow it to ferment undisturbed for 2 hours. If your kitchen is on the cooler side, let ferment another 15-30 minutes.
  11. When the dough has risen to more than double, gently transfer it onto a well-floured work surface and cut it into 24 pieces of 70g each.
  12. Cover a sheet pan with parchment paper. If you prefer to make pull-apart rolls, prepare a 9"x9" baking pan by spraying it with oil or spreading it with butter.
  13. Gently roll each piece into a ball using a cupped hand and place onto your sheet pan or baking pan in rows of 4.
  14. Make the egg wash: whisk the eggs with the milk.
  15. Egg wash the rolls with a pastry brush before setting them out to proof.
  16. To protect the proofing rolls from drafty air, place them into a cold oven, with a bowl of hot water on the bottom rack. Let them proof until doubled in size, about 1-1.5 hours.
  17. Remove the proofed rolls from the cold oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the baking rack in the middle of the oven.
  18. Once the oven is heated, lightly egg wash the rolls again before placing them back in the oven.
  19. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the pan 180° to ensure even baking and bake for another 7 minutes, until the rolls are fragrant, golden-brown, and the internal temperature has reached 190°F **** (see Baker's Notes).
  20. Take the rolls out of the oven and, if desired, finish them with a wash of melted butter and Maldon flaky salt (or any other finishing salt of your choice).
  21. Let cool slightly on a wire rack before serving.

Baker's Notes:

* Tangzhong is a type of roux used throughout Asia to produce more tender, delicate breads and buns.

** The sourdough starter in this recipe is not the primary leavener. Rather, it is used to create a more subtle and complex flavor. You can use mature or fresh starter (at 110% hydration) or even a starter discard. If you do not have any sourdough starter on hand, substitute with 52g water and 48g Edison.

*** You can also use a double boiler to ensure a gentler cooking process.

**** We recommend that you use a kitchen thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the rolls.


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