These strawberry and vanilla cream buns are delicious soft brioche buns filled with strawberry jam, luscious vanilla pastry cream and topped with sweet seasonal berries!
How to make the brioche buns?
The recipe for these brioche buns is quite straightforward, however you need patience in order for the dough to produce enough gluten in it, which will then become a light and fluffy bun. Ideally, the dough is worked in a stand mixer with a dough hook and is left to knead for a while so that this gluten develops. So as to check whether the dough is ready to be let to rest, I recommend to use the windowpane test.
What is the windowpane test?
To carry out the windowpane test, take a small amount of dough and hold it with both hands (using the thumbs and first two fingers). Gently, spread open your hands so to stretch the dough. Keep stretching gently until the centre part of the dough is translucent. If the dough doesn’t break that means that the gluten has developed and you can prepare your dough for the rising part. However, if the dough breaks easily when you open your fingers, the gluten hasn’t yet fully developed. Therefore, transfer the dough ball back to the main dough and let it knead for more minutes. Try again until the dough passes the windowpane test.
How to make the vanilla pastry cream?
Making this vanilla pastry cream is relatively easy! However, you need to be careful so as an not to burn it. You will need to stay close and constantly stir the pot until it’s nice and thick. It’s very important to use good quality vanilla! It will change everything. I prefer to use a whole vanilla bean pod. Apart from giving that delicate fragrant vanilla taste, I like the little black dots of vanilla left swirling in the pastry cream.
How to store these buns?
Ideally these buns are eaten on the same day that they are baked. However, you can store these buns in an airtight container for not more than 2 days. I like to slightly warm them up before serving if they are day old leftovers.
What can I fill the buns with?
For this recipe, I went with some seasonal strawberries which have been extra juicy and sweet lately! However, you can easily swap them out with any berry you like! You can also switch the flavours and make combos. Just be sure to use fresh fruit, because if you use frozen berries they will make the buns wet from all the water they have.
Strawberry and Vanilla Cream Buns
- 300 g strong bread flour
- 125 ml milk lukewarm
- 45 g castor sugar
- 6 g active dry yeast
- 1 egg
- 30 g butter room temperature cubed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Egg wash – 1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water
Vanilla Pastry Cream
- 125 ml milk
- 10 g cornstarch
- 15 g sugar
- 1 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Strawberry Jam
- Fresh Strawberries
Preparing the Vanilla Pastry Cream
- In a small saucepan with the heat turned off, combine together all the pastry cream ingredients. Cook your cream filling on medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens. It is important not to move away from the cream while cooking as once it thickens you have to remove it from the stove immediately or it will burn. Place the cream into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic wrap is touching the cream. Leave it to cool down in the fridge for at least an hour.
Preparing the Buns
- In a mixer bowl activate the yeast by adding the yeast, milk and sugar. Let the mixture foam for about 15 minutes.
- In a separate bowl add together the flour, salt and vanilla extract. Set aside
- Once the yeast is activated add the dry ingredients together with the egg to the mixer bowl. With a hook attachment knead the dough for about 3 minutes, until a soft dough starts to take shape.
- Then gently add the diced butter one piece at a time until all the butter is incorporated. Let the dough knead for about 10 minutes. Make sure it passes the windowpane test*.
- Cover the dough and let it rest for an hour in the warmest place in your kitchen until it doubles in size.
- Line a large baking tray with parchment paper and dust it with flour. Set aside
- Once the dough is doubled in size, transfer it to a well floured surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts and form into balls. Punch the centre slightly down with your fingers of each ball. Place the buns on the prepared tray keeping a good amount of space between each one. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C or 350°F while the buns are rising.
- Once the buns have rested, flatten again the centre of the buns. Add a teaspoon of jam in the centre, top it off with the vanilla pastry cream. Finish off with thinly sliced strawberries. Optionally, sprinkle some sugar on top. Brush them with the egg wash.
- Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the buns have a nice golden brown colour.
If you have any questions, feedback or comments on this recipe, please leave a comment below. Please also rate this recipe by double clicking on the stars below. If you did make this recipe, tag @apronandwhisk and hashtag #apronandwhisk, as I’m curious to see what you create!
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