Today I'm gonna show you a new variation on one of my most popular recipes that hasn't appeared in its full form yet on this blog. Tis the season for pumpkin spice, but the secret is, you can fill brioche with anything. Cinnamon sugar is a staple, Nutella is pretty darn good, and pastry cream is to die for (though I use a slightly different shaping method for that one.) It's a good simple trick to have up your sleeve if you need an impressive brunch item or snack!
EDIT: IT GOT BETTER. Thanks to some genius test baking by my bff Kitt, I was given the inspiration to put some cream cheese in here too. OH MAN. Read on for more.
So for this recipe I use Peter Reinhart's Middle Class Brioche. I also, on a whim, threw a few tablespoons of pumpkin in with the eggs in my dough. It really wasn't enough to make a difference in color or flavor so I'd just skip that addition. Prepare your dough at least 4 hours beforehand, or up to 3 days in advance, and refrigerate.
For the pumpkin filling, I used:
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
scant 1/4 tsp clove
About 2-3 tbsp whole milk. You could use heavy cream or condensed milk for this (in which case, cut the sugar content first.) I didn't add enough to thin out the puree much, I just wanted to add a little fat and creaminess to it.
Cream cheese filling!
Mix 1 package of softened cream cheese with 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, and alternate dobs of pumpkin filling with dobs of cream cheese filling.
1 egg for egg wash
This is pretty heavy on the spice (that's how I like it!) so you can adjust to your taste.
Take your chilled dough and divide it into 80g pieces (I did 100g pieces today just for fun and they are BIG. 75-80 is a good size for most regular muffin pans.)
From there you just stretch the dough into a rectangle, spread a generous amount of filling inside, fold over the sides and ends to make a tube, roll it up, and pop it into a lightly greased tulip cup.
At this point, you can freeze the brioche to bake them at a later date. If you plan to have them frozen for over a week, you should take them out once they are solid enough to handle and wrap them in plastic wrap to keep them from getting dried out or freezer-burned.
If you're ready to bake, cover the brioche lightly with plastic wrap and proof for anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the temperature and humidity in the room. Once they are one and a half times their original size and nice and puffy, but before you begin to see air pockets under the surface of the dough, they are ready to be brushed with egg wash. Cover them again, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and let them proof for another 10 or so minutes before baking.
Bake at 350 for about 18 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.
Let them cool to room temperature, and then they're ready to enjoy!