Delicious Brioche Bread ring filled with sweetened cream cheese, this is a great bread center piece for the Holidays!
Today, let’s make brioche (again).
To some of you who frequent the blog, it is easy to realize that this site has quite a number of recipes using brioche dough. And why not? After a long search for a perfect brioche recipe, I have finally found the one and I have been sticking to it ever since.
So now, we have a new recipe variation. Behold the Brioche Bread Ring.
This beautiful assembly of pastry is filled with honey-stung cream cheese, which is simply a blend of honey and cream cheese. This filling complements the buttery brioche well because it adds elements of creaminess and a little bit of sweetness to the pastry.
As a finishing touch, the bread is drizzled with a sweet cream glaze and adorned with tender-crisp almond slices. In short, this brioche bread is simply amazing.
How to Make Brioche Bread Ring
Besides the fact that it is downright delicious, this pastry is so stunning with it’s elegant ring assembly. But don’t let that intimidate you. It looks so intricate, yes. It looks so artistic, yes. But this brioche bread ring is not as complicated as it may seem and you can execute this well as long as you take your time and let go of any perfection.
So with that said, I would say that this recipe involves two major processes:
- The making of the brioche, and
- The assembly of the brioche bread ring
Make the Brioche
- The Sponge is a mixture of yeast, milk and flour and egg that you mix and let sit for 45 minutes to prove the yeast. Mix together in a bowl 1 cup of flour, an egg, yeast and warm milk. Stir until incorporated. Then sprinkle one more cup of flour over the mixture without stirring. After 45 minutes, cracks will develop on the flour surface. It is a sign of your activated yeast.
- The Dough. Add the sugar, salt, eggs and 1 cup of flour to the bowl with the yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, run the heavy-duty mixer on low speed for about a minute. Add the remaining half cup of flour and run the mixer at medium speed. Continue to beat, scraping the bowl as needed, for about 15-20 minutes. You will know when the dough is ready if it is coming together in the center of the bowl. You should see the dough slapping the sides of the bowl with slapping sounds.
- Add the Butter. Now add room temperature butter bit by bit. but not warm or oily. When you add the butter, the dough will fall apart again for a moment. Continue to beat until you hear the slapping sounds again. This should take about 5 minutes or so. The dough is sticky but shiny at this point.
- The Rise and the Long Chill. Place the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature until the size is doubled, about 2 hours. Then, gently deflate the dough in the bowl, cover it with a plastic film and chill it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
Note: To make the brioche bread ring, we are only going to need 1/2 of the brioche dough. The other half can be frozen for up to three weeks. Just wrap it in plastic, then wrap it again in foil. Or you can also make another bread ring with a different filling as I did. I used Nutella.
Assembly of the Brioche Bread Ring
Flour a work surface and roll your brioche dough into a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick. Trim the edges of the rectangle so that they are neat and straight.
Spread the honey cream cheese on the surface of the rectangle.
Starting on the long side, roll the rectangle into a tight log. Trim the edges so they are straight. Press and squeeze the log to make it thinner and longer so it is easier to shape it into a circle.
Now form a circle from the log by connecting the two ends. Pinch the ends together to seal them close. Important: Transfer this circle into a large baking pan that is lined with parchment paper. You see below, I forgot to transfer the circle to a baking pan before cutting it into sections. I nearly had a heart attack transferring it afterward because the flaps are so wobbly.
It transferred fine but save yourself from the hassle.
Using a sharp knife, cut one-inch sections around the outer edge of the circle but leave about half an inch of dough uncut on the inner edge (see photo below).
Fan out each cut section by twisting it it to the right. The left cut end of each section should be somehow facing up. Let pastry rise for 2 hours, covered loosely with plastic wrap. Preheat oven to 350 F. Brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the brioche is light brown. Let pastry cool (or be warm) and drizzle the glaze, then sprinkle almond slices on top.
Brioche Bread Christmas Ring
Brioche Bread Christmas Ring that is beautifully assembled and filled with honey stung cream cheese filling and studded with tender crisp almonds.
For the Brioche (sponge)
- 1/3 cup warm milk 110 F
- 2 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
For the Brioche (dough)
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 and 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 and 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature 6 oz
For the Honey Stung Cream Cheese Filling
- 1/2 block softened cream cheese about 125 grams
- 3 tbsp. honey
For the Glaze and Toppings
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp milk
Make the Brioche Sponge
In the bowl of heavy duty mixer, add the yeast, milk, egg and 1 cup all purpose flour. Mix with a rubber spatula just until combined. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of flour over the top as if to cover mixture. do not stir in. Let this stand for about 40-45 minutes. There will be cracks on the flour surface at this point.
Make the Brioche Dough
Add the sugar, salt, eggs and 1 cup of flour to the bowl with the yeast mixture. Using a dough hook, run the heavy duty mixer on low speed for about a minute until the mixture is just about incorporated. Add the remaining half cup of flour and run the mixer in medium speed. Continue to beat, scraping the bowl as needed, for about 15-20 minutes. You will know when the dough is ready if it is coming together in the center of the bowl, and also attaching itself into the dough hook. You should see the dough slapping the sides of the bowl, like it is almost violently throwing itself to the sides white it still clinging and rotating with the dough hook. You should also hear the slapping sounds.
Now add the butter bit by bit. Make sure that the butter is in in room temperature, but not warm or oily. When you add the butter, the dough will fall apart again for a moment. Continue to beat until you hear the slapping sounds again. This should take about 5 minutes or so. The dough is now , once again, clinging together in the center and in the dough hook with the slapping sound. Dough is sticky but shiny at this point.
Place the ball of dough into a greased bowl and cover with a plastic wrap. Let stand in room temperature until the size is doubled, about 2 hours.
After the dough has doubled in size, gently deflate it by lifting and then letting it fall back to the bowl. Cover the bowl again with a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight. The dough will double in size again ( After the long chill, you can now divide the dough in half. You are only going to use 1/2 of the dough for one bread ring. Reserve the other half for future use. You can freeze the dough for up to three weeks, tightly wrapped in plastic and foil).
Honey Stung Cream Cheese Filling
Whisk together honey and cream cheese until smooth. This can be stored and refrigerated for up to two days.
Assemble and Bake the Brioche Bread Ring
Sprinkle a work surface with flour. Take 1/2 of the brioche dough (as we are only going to need half of the recipe as stated above) and roll it out to a rectangle that is 1/4 inch thick. Trim the corners and sides of the rectangle as needed so you have neat straight edges. Spread the cream cheese filling over the surface of the dough. Use a spoon or an angled spatula to make the filling even.
Starting on the long side, roll the rectangle into a tight log. Trim the the two ends of the log so they are straight and even. With your hands, gently squeeze and stretch the log to make it thinner and longer. Put the seam side of the log down against the surface and connect the two ends together to form a circle. Pinch the ends together to seal. Place the dough ring on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. If you feel that the dough is too warm, refrigerate it for about an hour or so just to firm it up again.
Using a sharp knife, cut one inch sections around the circles starting from the outer edge but without cutting all the way through. You have to leave about half an inch uncut on the inside edge of the circle. Now use your hands to fan out the sections: Twist each section to the right so that the left cut side is facing almost up (about ten o clock position). Let this rise for 2 hours.
Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Brush the surface of the assembled dough with egg wash and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the pastry is lightly golden. Transfer the parchment paper to a wire rack and let the pastry cool or be warm before drizzling with the glaze and topping with almonds. (To make the egg wash beat 1 tablespoon of milk with 1 egg).
Make the Sugar Glaze
Whisk together powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla until smooth. Pour this over the cooled pastry. Top with sliced almonds.
Method of assembly from Pinch of Yum.
- The brioche dough should be made at least a day ahead. On the day of making the brioche bread ring, the workflow is simpler because the dough is all ready to be rolled, filled and assembled.
- The honey-stung cream cheese filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to two days. These make-ahead components simplify the process and make baking a whole lot easier. It is also important to chill it before using it so it is easier to spread.
- Assemble the bread while the dough is still cold from the fridge. This will help with easy shaping of the dough.
- You can either freeze the other half of the brioche dough or, if you are serving this on a holiday, make 2 bread rings. I used Nutella for my other one.