Cardamom Brioche Buns

Flaky, buttery, and kissed with warm spices, these croissant-style buns are worth every bit of the effort that a few laminating folds require. Although a process, you'll reap the rewards when you’re peeling apart rich, butter-basted layers of bun.

40 mins
16 to 20 mins
16 hrs 50 mins
12 buns
Cardamom Brioche Buns


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  1. To make the dough: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine all the ingredients and mix and knead — by stand mixer or bread machine — to form a smooth, shiny dough. Don’t worry; it will start out as a sticky mess but will become beautifully satiny as it's kneaded, which will take 10 to 15 minutes in a stand mixer. We don't recommend trying to knead this dough by hand; it's simply too sticky.

  2. Form the dough into a ball and place it in a greased bowl or dough bucket, cover, and let rise for about 90 minutes, until puffy.

  3. Gently fold the dough over onto itself to deflate it, then cover it again, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Refrigeration will slow the fermentation and chill the butter, making the dough easier to shape.

  4. The next day, prepare the butter for laminating: Place it on a lightly-floured piece of parchment paper and dust the top with flour. Use a rolling pin to pound and/or roll the butter into a 6” square. Wrap the butter in plastic and refrigerate it for 30 minutes.

  5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it into a 9” square.

  6. Unwrap the butter and place it in the center of the dough at a 45° angle, so it looks like a diamond in the square.

  7. Fold the flaps of the dough over the edges of the butter until they meet in the middle. Pinch and seal the edges of the dough together, using a little water if necessary.

  8. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll it from the center out into a 16” x 8” rectangle.

  9. Use a dry brush to lightly sweep off any excess flour, then fold the bottom third of the dough up to the center, and the top third over that (like a business letter). Line the edges up on top of each other, and even up the corners so they're directly on top of each other. Use a dab of water to tack the corners together. This is the first "turn."

  10. Rotate the dough 90° and do another “turn” the same way: roll into a 16" x 8" rectangle, sweep off excess flour, and fold. Return the dough to the refrigerator for 60 minutes.

  11. Repeat the above two-turn process (rolling, folding, and rotating) one more time, for a total of four turns.

  12. Return the dough to the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes, or up to 24 hours. The longer the dough rests, the less resistance it will have when you’re rolling it out.

  13. To make the filling: Combine the sugar and spices in a small bowl. Set aside 1/4 cup of the filling for the topping.

  14. Lightly grease 12 individual brioche molds or the cups of a standard muffin pan.

  15. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough into an 8” x 24” rectangle. Brush the surface with the egg wash and sprinkle the filling (minus the 1/4 cup for the topping) evenly over the surface, leaving a 1/2” bare strip of dough along one of the long sides.

  16. Starting with the filling-covered long side, roll the dough into a tight log. Cut the log into 12 equal slices. Place each slice cut-side up into the prepared brioche molds or muffin cups.

  17. Cover the brioches, and let rest for about 90 minutes; they'll become puffy.

  18. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 400°F.

  19. Brush the brioches with the egg wash, and bake for 16 to 20 minutes, until golden and a thermometer inserted into the center of one reads 190°F.

  20. Remove the brioches from the oven, let them cool for 5 minutes in the molds, then turn them out.

  21. Toss the brioches in the reserved filling/topping mixture and let cool on a rack.

  22. Store brioches at room temperature for two to three days, or freeze for up to three months.