Recipe by Martin Philip

A Roman maritozzo is the epitome of simple and sublime: The two components — a fluffy roll (in this case, it's a mini brioche) and freshly-whipped cream  are elemental on their own but join forces to create a treat that's light yet decadent, rich yet neither heavy nor sweet. Enjoy one as a breakfast or an afternoon pick-me-up. Bring your own espresso and your creative flair: The whipped cream is a blank canvas for sliced fruit, chopped nuts, and chocolate.

30 mins
15 to 20 mins
7 hrs 6 mins
12 maritozzi
Maritozzi - select to zoom
Maritozzi - select to zoom
Maritozzi - select to zoom
Maritozzi - select to zoom
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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. 

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together all the ingredients except the butter. Mix and knead until a smooth, stretchy dough forms that cleans the sides of the bowl. This should take 7 to 10 minutes at medium speed. 

  3. Once the dough has developed some strength and elasticity, add one piece of the butter and mix at medium speed until it’s fully incorporated into the dough, 1 to 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl if necessary, then continue adding the butter one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate fully before adding the next piece. This dough takes longer than most to develop so be prepared to let the dough knead for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until it has formed a soft, smooth ball. We don't recommend trying to knead this dough by hand. 

  4. Form the dough into a ball (it'll be very soft), place it in a greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour at room temperature. Then refrigerate the dough for several hours or overnight. This will slow the fermentation and chill the butter, making the dough easier to handle. 

  5. Turn the chilled dough out onto a work surface and divide into 12 pieces (60g to 65g each). Shape each piece into a tight ball by cupping it in your hand and making a circular motion, with the side of your pinky and your thumb gliding along the surface. 

    Beautiful Burger Buns – Step 4
  6. Evenly space the buns across two greased or parchment-lined baking sheets, cover lightly, and let rise for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until doubled and puffy.  

  7. Towards the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 375°F. Right before baking, gently brush the risen buns with the egg wash for extra shine and color, if desired.

  8. To bake the brioche buns: Bake the buns for 15 to 20 minutes (tent after 10 minutes if they're browning too quickly), until golden-brown and well-risen. Remove them from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a rack to cool completely. (See “tips,” below for details on how to ensure the bottoms are protected from over-browning if your oven runs hot or has a bottom heating element.) 

  9. To make the whipped cream: When buns are baked and cooled, add the cream to a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form, being careful not to overbeat.  

  10. To fill the buns: Use a serrated knife to make a slit lengthwise down the center of each bun while keeping it intact at the base.  

  11. Open each roll slightly and spoon in 2 to 3 tablespoons of whipped cream to create a cream-filled center about 1 1/2” wide. Run an offset spatula along the edge of the bun to level the cream, making it flush with the edge of each roll, and to remove any excess that may have spilled over the edge. (Traditional maritozzi have a very clean finish.) 

  12. To garnish the maritozzi: Generously dust the top of each roll with confectioners’ sugar, or garnish with additional ingredients as you wish. See “tips,” below for some of our favorite options. 

  13. Storage information: Filled maritozzi are best served immediately, or at least the same day. If 12 is too many, freeze half of the unfilled brioche buns, and use them later as burger buns, sandwich rolls, or to make more maritozzi!

Tips from our Bakers

  • To ensure super soft rolls, place your baking sheet with the maritozzi onto another baking sheet so that they're nested (doubled up) before baking. This protects the buns' bottoms from over-browning.

  • To fill only 6 buns, reduce the whipped cream amounts by half. 

  • While brioche, which is heavily enriched and gets a long, slow rise, is our favorite foundation for maritozzi, our Beautiful Burger Buns are a faster (and basically just as delicious) alternative.

  • Use your imagination when filling the rolls. The addition of jam (we like raspberry), lemon curd, or even ganache beneath the cream, or a garnish of chopped nuts or candied citrus peel, can add texture and a burst of flavor.