Friday, May 18, 2012

Savory Chive-Pesto Brioche Rolls

From the moment I saw the recipe for Holly B's Savory Brioches on Dana Treat, I knew this was a recipe I wanted to make. My friend Charity inspired me to get on the homemade bread bandwagon about a year ago and since then I've conquered my fear of yeast and love making homemade bread. Don't worry, we still consume plenty of store-bought bread around here too (there's nothing like a turkey sandwich on Dave's Killer Bread!).

This recipe spoke to me because I love being able to cut fresh herbs from my garden (chives!) and because it was an invitation to fill these savory rolls with more than just chives, garlic and cheese. This time around, I added pesto. Next time I may throw in sun dried tomatoes or prosciutto.

I baked five rolls to have with soup for dinner and because I was impatient I only let them do their final rise for about 30 minutes. I froze the remaining five after I put the dough in the muffin cups, without the egg wash, and the second time around let them rise for several hours before baking. We had the last five as an appetizer with cocktails over Mother's Day weekend, in the sun on my parent's deck. Both batches were amazing, but round 2 was so light and fluffy. It's the worth the wait to add more rising time!

The directions are long, but after I read them through 2 or 3 times I realized this really wasn't that difficult of a recipe. But do read the directions first because this is a 2-day project!

What savory goodness would you add to brioche rolls?

Cheddar-Garlic-Chive-Pesto Brioches
Adapted from Dana Treat 

Makes 10 rolls 

¼ cup warm water
2¼ tsp. (1 packet) quick-rise yeast
1 egg plus 1 yolk for dough, plus 1 yolk for wash
2 tbsp. honey
¾ cup whole milk
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, for dough, plus 2 tbsp. for brushing surface
¾ tsp. salt
3+ cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. pressed garlic
¼ cup minced chives
1 cup grated extra sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup pesto (this is my addition and I used Kirkland Signature pesto from Costco) 

The day before: 

Put the water and the yeast in a mixer bowl and swish around with a spoon.  Attach the dough hook.  Add the 1 egg plus 1 yolk and the honey and mix briefly.  Add the milk, 6 tablespoons melted butter, salt, and 3 cups flour and mix until smooth.  (This will take about 5-10 minutes.)  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again.  Toss a handful of flour on top of the dough and mix for a couple of seconds or until the dough balls up, but stop mixing before the flour disappears.  The dough will be soft and sticky.  Turn into a well-oiled bowl or tub with enough room for the dough to triple in size.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Day of: 

The next morning, butter the rims and cups of 2 standard-sized 12-hole muffin cups.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a rough rectangle with your hands.  Lightly flour the top of the dough, then flip and flour the bottom.  Roll the dough into a rectangle about 8 by 16 inches and ½-inch thick.  Regularly check the underside of the dough for sticking and scatter on a bit more flour.  The dough should be free from the surface but not too floury.

Position the rectangle of dough on your work surface with the short sides at the top and bottom and the long sides left and right.  Brush the entire surface with the remaining two tablespoons of melted butter.  Scatter on the pesto, garlic, chives, and Cheddar cheese (or whatever savory goodness you want to fill your rolls with).  Press the toppings lightly into the surface.

Fold the top 1/3 of the dough to the center of the bottom 2/3, as if you were folding a letter.  Fold again to close the bundle.  The dough will now be folded in thirds.  Use the rolling pin to gently flatten the dough to about ¾-inch thick.  Now use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 10 event strips along the short dimension.

Take up a strand of dough, one end in each hand.  Stretch the dough slightly and twist 3 or 4 times in opposite directions.  (Or, you can place the strip on your work surface and use the palms of your hands to roll the ends in opposite directions.)  Now gather both ends in one hand, maintaining the twist, and grasp the loop that’s hanging down with your other hand.  Place the ends in one of the muffin cups and arrange the loop around the rim on top of the cup.  (It will seem like there is a lot of empty space but the dough will fill it when it rises and bakes.)  Repeat with the remaining strips of dough, filling every other cup to give the brioches plenty of room to expand.

I just twisted up the dough and piled it in! 

Whisk the remaining egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water and brush the tops of the brioches.  Cover with plastic wrap and set to rise in a warm place until puffy and roughly doubled in size, 30 to 90 minutes (I'd recommend 90 minutes or even several hours). 

Preheat the oven to 375ºF with the rack in the center position.  Remove the plastic and bake the brioches 10 minutes, then rotate the pans and bake another 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until golden brown and not doughy in center.  Cool.


  1. These are definitely delish!!!! I like the fact that you prepare the dough and let rise the first time overnight. Yummers!

  2. I see those really easy bread recipes on pinterest and I just don't know. I'm not a baker and don't really have the desire...and then I read/see a post like this and I wish I was! It looks so yummy! Wow! And yeah, I agree Dave's bread is pretty killer for sandwiches.