To make sixteen individual brioche buns, you will need:
- 50 ml (2 fl oz) lukewarm water
- 15g (1/2 oz) of fresh yeast or 1 tablespoon dried yeast
- 50 ml 2 (fl oz) milk at room temperature
- 150 g (6 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 50 g (2 oz) caster sugar plus one teaspoon of sugar to activate yeast
- 4 free range eggs – beaten together
- 450g (1 lb) strong flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt – finely ground
- A little butter for greasing
Measure water in a jug and add one teaspoon of sugar. Mix well to dissolve sugar and then add the yeast. Combine well to dissolve yeast and place beside AGA
Meanwhile put butter and remaining sugar in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attached. Beat well to combine. Then add flour and finely ground salt and continue on a low speed until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
Once yeast has activated, add milk and stir together. Beat eggs in a bowl and mix with yeast.
Remove paddle attachment and replace with dough hook. Pour yeast liquid into the bowl with flour and mix slowly to create a very sticky dough. Continue kneading dough for approximately five minutes so that it is smooth. Grease a large bowl with a little softened butter and transfer brioche dough. Cover with cling film and place in fridge overnight or until it has doubled in size.
Generously butter sixteen small brioche or pudding tins. Gently knock the dough back and then shape into 16 balls. Cut one third of each ball to make the decorative top. Shape the large ball into an equal sphere and place into a tin. Make an indentation in the centre and brush inside with a small amount of egg wash. Do not glaze the surface of the bun.
Shape the decorative top in to small sphere and pop inside the indentation. Press down gently. Leave beside the AGA to rise (second prove).
Glaze the buns just before you slide them on the lowest runner of the AGA roasting oven for ten minutes. Transfer to baking oven for another ten minutes to cook through. Or slide cold plain shelf over.
Remove from oven and leave in tins for 5-10 minutes. Remove from tins and cool on a rack over a baking sheet.