Most bakers love bite-sized things. They’re just irresistible to make. There’s something about seeing a small army of pastries, all properly lined up on baking sheets waiting for their time in the oven. And when dressing, rolling, cutting or stuffing, there’s a strange pleasure to be found in doing the same thing for each one of the small baked goods, trying to get them as even as possible. (Or maybe I’m slightly obsessive and find this satisfying…). But who can deny the appeal of a basket filled with bite-sized treats? No one. And I’ll tell you why; if you had a basket of regular-sized croissants sitting on your breakfast table, the most you could grab in one sitting, without losing face in front of your breakfasting companions, is one lonely piece. And pushing it, you could eat half of this piece with one topping and the other with a different one. But if you have a basket full of mini-croissants… the possibilities are endless! Because no one will judge you if you spread nutella on one, take another one and smear some butter and marmalade on it, take a third one and dip it in your milk, or even if you take a fourth one to accompany a little bit of ham and cheese you had left over on your plate. That’s the beauty of bite sized. Small pastries just keep telling you to eat them because they know they’re so small that what could be the harm in just one more? And they’re absolutely right. Such is the case with these fluffy, buttery, cinnamon stuffed mini-brioches. It’s like just eating the center of a brioche-a-tete several times over. Because once you have one you will have to have a second one and quite possibly a third one. And that’s ok. No one will judge you.
Read more for the recipe!
Cinnamon Brioche bites
For the brioche:
250 grs (1 3/4 cups) flour
6 grs (1 scant tsp) salt
25 grs (1/8 cup) sugar
15 ml (1 tbsp) milk
11 grs packaged yeast (1 packet)
150 grs (1 stick) butter, softened
For the filling:
1/3 stick butter, melted
1 tbsp flour
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar
-Slighlty warm the milk in your microwave for just a few seconds. (it should be slightly warm, not hot, or it will kill the yeast. A good way to know the temperature is right is dipping the back of your little finger in it, it should be the same temperature as your skin, meaning you won’t feel neither hot or cold) Sprinkle a little bit of the sugar in it, add the yeast and gently stir until dissolved. Let sit covered with a damp towel for 5 minutes. (It will become frothy)
– Place the remaining brioche ingredients in the bowl of your mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the milk-yeast mixture and mix on med-low speed for 5-7 minutes, using a scraper every minute or so to bring down the dough stuck on the sides of the bowl. (since you’re working such a small amount of dough, it will stick more than usual to the bottom and sides of the bowl). The dough should now be very elastic and sticky. Switch to med speed and add the butter in two or three chunks, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Continue mixing for one more minute. (The dough now should not stick as much to the sides of the bowl but it will still be quite soft and sticky). Use a scraper to transfer to a floured work surface. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
– Make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together. Set aside
– Take the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Working gently roll it out to form a square or rectangle about half a centimeter thick. Cut this square into smaller squares, depending on the size you want your final bites to be. (I cut mine into 25). Place a small tsp of the filling on each square, then press the sides together to close it up. Gently roll each ball between your hands to smooth it out. Place on a greased or silpat-lined baking sheet. Let the balls rise for another couple hours (they won’t double in size but they will grow about half their original size).
-Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Once ready, eggwash the brioche bites and bake until golden brown on all sides. This will take less than 10 miutes, depending on your oven. Transfer to a wire rack and while still hot, sprinkle with icing sugar.