Super soft brioche buns swirled with peanut butter with a crunchy peanut brittle bottom? Better make a double batch!
I’ve had the idea to put a crunchy peanut brittle on the bottom of my sticky buns for a while now. And if that sentence was too much for you then don’t read on because there are more bun puns where that came from! Back when I last tried the idea, it was an utter disaster. I chiselled caramel off the bottom of my pan while I drowned my sorrows in dry buns. Nobody likes dry buns. Or a burnt bottom.
Until Le Creuset sent me one of their brand new non-stick pans, which is 4 x stronger than before with 3 layers of non-stick coating, my crunchy bottomed buns were only a dream.
I used my super soft brioche bun recipe (which also makes the most incredible doughnuts!) and swirled it with a layer of butter, sugar and peanut butter on the inside. In the oven, this mixture melts away leaving a crispy crust on the outside – pure heaven!
I used a twist shape but if this is too much effort, feel free to make a simple chelsea bun style – simply roll up the rectangle and cut into wheels. Easy!
To create the crunchy peanut brittle bottom on the buns, I sprinkled white sugar and peanuts onto the base of the Le Creuset pan, then proofed my brioche buns on top before baking them. In the oven, the sugar caramelises into a beautiful brittle base that, when left to cool, makes an impressive crunchy crown on each bun. Well, at least it does if you have a killer non-stick pan!
Just make sure you flip your buns out in front of friends and family – that way everyone can ooh and aah over your bottom! (Okay I’m done now!)
- 100-125ml milk
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp instant dry yeast
- 250g (465ml) cake flour
- 25g butter softened
- 25g (25ml) castor sugar
- pinch of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 25ml rum (optional)
- 100g salted butter, slightly softened
- 35g smooth or crunchy peanut butter (If you’re not a peanut butter fan, switch it out for your favourite nut butter)
- 85g white sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
- 60g white sugar
- 100g toasted peanuts (or nuts that go with the nut butter above)
- 1 large egg, whisked for brushing
- Extra honey, for brushing
- Whisk the milk, egg and yeast together in a Le Creuset batter bowl. Place the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and add the butter, castor sugar and salt.
- Add the milk and egg mixture and mix to form a soft, sticky dough. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes or until a soft, smooth dough forms. Add the remaining 25ml of milk if necessary.
- Allow the dough to rest in the mixer for 15 minutes. Mix in the egg yolks then cover again with a large plastic bag and allow to rise in a warm place until puffy and doubled in size.
- TIP: Your car is the perfect place to proof yeast dough! I place the bowl of dough in a large plastic bag and then leave it on the back seat of my car (standing in the sun) for an hour. The car gets nice and warm and speeds up the proofing time.
- To make the filling, mix the butter, peanut butter and sugar together to form a paste - no creaming required. Set aside.
- Knock the air out of the dough by kneading it gently.
- Dot the surface of the dough with mounds of the filling. Using a Le Creuset spatula, gently spread the filling all over the surface of the dough.
- With the short side of the dough facing you, fold the top third of the dough down over the middle third of the dough, then fold the bottom third up to cover the remaining dough. Pinch the seams closed.
- Go over the dough gently with the rolling pin a couple of times, vertically, to flatten the edges, and stretch it a few more centimetres before cutting and shaping. You want a 30cm x 35cm rectangle (the longer side will be facing you).
- Using the straight edge of a ruler and a pastry cutter (or very gently using a small, sharp knife), trim any uneven edges. Cut the dough vertically into 16 (2,5cm by 30cm) long strips.
- Starting from the end, gently wrap one strip around the tips of your index and middle finger, like a bandage, two or three times, letting the dough overlap and working cautiously so it doesn't tear. Place your thumb on top of the wrapped dough, on the side closer to your wrist, to secure the shape, then loop the remaining end of the strand over and through the center of the bun, tucking it under at the base of the bun. You should have a rounded bun made out of bandage-like strips. The knotted part will be unexposed, hidden at the bottom.
- Sprinkle the sugar and peanuts on the base of a 30cm Le Creuset Toughened Non-Stick Deep Frying Pan. Arrange the buns on top, keeping a little space to allow for proofing.
- Wrap the pan and prove in a warm place until doubled in size and puffy.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius fan-forced (or 200 conventional) and bake the buns for 20-26 minutes or until golden brown - if you tap the tops of the buns, they should sound hollow.
- Immediately place the pan over medium-high heat and allow the bottom to caramelise for a further 5 minutes.
- Brush the tops of the buns with honey and allow the buns to cool slightly for 5 minutes.
- Turn the pan over onto a serving plate and serve immediately.