Nothing looks (or tastes) better than a batch of swirled, filled brioche buns covered with a shiny, sweet glaze and nestled into a cast iron skillet. While we love a more classic cinnamon and pecan filling, we also love chocolate. Choose between the two filling options below to customize these morning buns to your taste—and no matter which route you take, you’ll find that this simple brioche recipe is easy to make and yields a perfectly soft, slightly crumbly texture.
Pistachio cream, or cream of pistachio, is a sweet pistachio spread with a consistency similar to Nutella. You can find it at large grocery stores with artisanal products, like Whole Foods, or at smaller Italian markets.
If you’re making the cinnamon-pecan filling, you can swap in other kinds of chopped nuts for the pecans.
Recipe: Cast Iron Brioche Rolls, Two Ways
For the dough:
2¾ cups (326g) all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons (35g) granulated sugar
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 large eggs (cold from the refrigerator)
¼ cup whole milk
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces, slightly softened
For the filling:
7 ounces (about one jar) pistachio cream (see Field Notes)
1 cup finely chopped semisweet chocolate
⅔ cup dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
⅔ cup roasted, unsalted pecans (or other nut), finely chopped
For the glaze:
⅔ cup confectioner’s sugar
1½ teaspoons water
The Field Method for Cast Iron Care
Make the dough: Combine all of the ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix at low speed until a rough dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and mix, stopping to scrape the side of the bowl as needed, 15 to 20 minutes. The dough is done kneading when it’s no longer sticky; a good way to test this is by lightly pinching it. If a lot of dough sticks to your fingers, continue kneading. If you can pinch it with hardly any sticking, then it’s ready. Gently form the dough into a ball. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic, and let rest in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.
Fill and roll the dough: Roll the dough out into a 10-by-14-inch rectangle about ¼ inch thick. (No need to be super precise here, you just want to get something around these proportions.)
If making chocolate pistachio buns: Using an offset or silicone spatula, spread the pistachio cream in a thin layer over the dough, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the chocolate evenly over the pistachio cream filling. Take the long edge of the dough and begin rolling it towards you. Try and roll it as tightly as you can without displacing the filling.
If making cinnamon pecan buns: In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, brown sugar and butter until evenly combined. Using an offset or silicone spatula, spread the cinnamon butter mixture in a thin layer over the dough, all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the pecans evenly over the filling. Take the long edge of the dough and begin rolling it towards you. Try and roll it as tightly as you can without displacing the filling.
Once the dough has been rolled into a log, lay it so that the seam side is facing down. Using a serrated knife, cut the log into 8 to 12 equally sized rounds. Place the rounds in a greased No.10 Skillet, about one inch apart. Lightly cover the skillet with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for about an hour, until they’re visibly puffy (they won’t quite double in size, but they should come close).
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake the buns for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool in the skillet for a few minutes.
Glaze the buns: When the buns are finished, whisk together the confectioner’s sugar and water in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush or spoon to lightly glaze the buns while still warm. Serve.