Petite Brioche with Pearl Sugar

Just one more brioche recipe...but I won't promise.

I believe I have mentioned that my parents have lived a life of serving as missionaries.  In 1952 my father served as  missionaries in the Tahitian islands.  He was just 19 years old.  He was there for almost three years.  He fell in love with the Polynesian people so much that he has served two other missions in Tahiti with my mother.  In 1996 we decided to take our three oldest children to Tahiti to visit my parents.  What an amazing experience for our family.  We stayed in the homes of some of the kindest people I will ever meet.  They treated us to well.  Far beyond what we deserved, I'm sure.

My father's favorite island is the island of Riatea, of course we spent a few days on that island.  The problem, for ME, was getting there. Once before on a previous trip there, my dad threw us on a ferry boat for the long 8 hour ride (I'm pretty sure it was that long).  Oh my goodness, I have NEVER experienced sea sickness like that before in my life.  I was pretty sure I was going to die. "Can't we just fly to Riatea?" I begged.  My father assured me they had a new air boat and  it would only take 5 hours travel time and the boat floated on air above the water.  He told me I would not get sea sick.  I had no choice.

I should mention that Tahiti is a member island of French Polynesia, which is a semi-autonomous French territory. Tahitians are full French citizens, which means there is a French influence in their food.  I noticed it more on this visit than on previous trips to the islands.  

The boat was called the "Ono Ono".  Translated that means "Oh no, Oh no I think I'm going to barf!!  For five hours we watched Indiana Jones in French.  Over and OVER again.  To pass the time and to get my mind of my stomach, I wandered around the boat and found a little snack bar.  There was a case filled with French inspired pastries.  One of which was a small brioche bun sprinkled with pearled sugar. It was so delicious.  The kids devoured the sugar covered brioche.   Whenever I think of brioche, fond memories of that vacation come flooding back to my mind. It's only natural to share my first introductions to this butter, rich bread.

For these petite brioche delights you will need:

1 batch Pain Brioche dough (remove from refrigerator 2 hours prior to making)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
Pearl sugar

12 small brioche tins or muffin paper liners
butter for brushing tins

Brush tins liberally with butter.

Alternatively, slightly flatten our muffin paper liners and place on a baking sheet.  Set aside

Divide brioche dough into 12 4-ounce (113 g) pieces and shape into balls.

Place balls of dough into prepared brioche tins.

Or muffin liners.

Place tins or papers on a baking sheet.  Cover with a clean cloth and allow to rise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.  The dough should feel like a marshmallow when gently pressed on.

Mix milk with egg yolk.

Mix well  to combine.  A whole egg can be used as well, minus the tablespoon of milk.

After the dough has finished rising, gently brush with egg wash.

Liberally sprinkle with pearl sugar.

Bake in a preheated 350 degree F (176C) oven for 18- 20 minutes or until deep golden brown.

Remove from oven.

Immediately remove from baking tins and cool on a wire rack.


Petite Brioche with Pearl Sugar

Pain Brioche dough:
2 tablespoons (30 mL)  lukewarm water
2 teaspoons (3/4 of an envelope) yeast
4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (175 mL) warm milk
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick/125g) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar (90 g)

For Pearl sugar topping:
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
Pearl sugar
12 small brioche tins or paper baking cups

Place the lukewarm water in a measuring cup, sprinkle with the yeast, and set aside for 5-10 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the butter and sugar, beating until smooth and pale yellow.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, add flour and salt.  With the mixer running add, milk mixture, yeast and eggs.  Mix until dough comes together.  Add butter/sugar mixture 2 tablespoons at a time.  Mixing well after each addition.  Continue to mix for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.  form the dough into a ball and place in a buttered bowl.  cover and allow to rise for 1 3/4 hours.  Punch the dough down and reshape into a smooth ball.  Return to bowl and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand in the bowl at room temperature for 1 hour.  Then divide the dough into 12 4-ounce (113 g) portions.  Shape into round balls.  And place in buttered brioche tins or flattened muffin paper liners.  Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for 1 1/2  - 2 hours or until dough feels like a marshmallow when gently pressed.  
After dough has risen, mix egg yolk and milk together.  Gently brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle generously with pear sugar.  Place in a 350 degree F (176C) oven for 18-20 minutes or until deep golden brown.  Remove from tins and place on a cooling rack.  Makes 12 small brioche buns.

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  1. I love this idea I made the brioche bread recipe I only had quick rise yeast so it didn't come out like yours but still tasted really good. I have to say I have made your crusty bread 100's of times and taken it to lots of functions. You have made me a bread hero! thank you so much.

  2. HI Cathy, Your quick rise yeast should work great. So glad to hear you are the queen of crusty bread. Love your comment.

  3. Is this possible to use as a loaf recipe? Or does it only make minis?

    1. It sure is:

  4. Aww, those are adorable! I think I need to find some pearl sugar, just so I can try it out... Of course, I really need to tackle the brioche first! Baby steps :)

    1. Once you have the brioche dough made, just thrown on the pearl sugar and you have it made. Thanks for your comment.