I always have a hard time thinking of something to make with peaches because to me, peaches are best enjoyed exactly as they are. I'm talking fresh as can be, juice dripping down your wrist as you bite and slurp at the soft flesh, and sucking on the pit to get every last bit of deliciousness that you can. That is how I want to eat my peaches, 9 times out of 10.
But sometimes, I do want to do a bit more with them. You don't want to mess with them too much or you lose that delicate texture and flavour.
With these brioche, I keep it simple and classic. Brown butter and peaches are a great combo and brioche and pastry cream are a great combo, so it makes sense to put them all together. It's not too complicated or fancy, but it's still damn tasty.
Feel free to use any other stone fruits - apricots, plums, cherries, or a combination of them! Stone fruits hold up nicer than berries when baked in this way and don't leak a lot of juice (which would make the brioche soggy). So get creative!
Brown Butter and Peach Brioche Bun
Recipe from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook
263 g all-purpose flour
6 g instant yeast
31 g granulated sugar
6 g fine sea salt
132 g eggs
44 g whole milk
118 g unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Brown Butter Pastry Cream
Recipe from The Modern Café
216 g whole milk
82 g sugar
2 g salt
1/2 vanilla bean
110 g yolks
32 g cornstarch
32 g brown butter, warm
Fresh peaches, sliced 1/4 inch thick
For the brioche, place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for about 15 seconds to distribute the yeast evenly. Add all the remaining dough ingredients, except the butter, and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Continue to mix on low speed for 30 minutes. (At this point there will be some dough sticking to the sides of the bowl). Add the butter a few pieces at a time, incorporating after each addition before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. Continue to mix for 10 minutes.
Using a bowl scraper, release the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured work board: the dough will be sticky. Stretch and fold the left side over to the centre, then the right over to the centre. Repeat with the top and bottom. Place seam side down in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and set aside for 1 hour to ferment.
Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour, or preferably overnight. Remove the dough from the fridge and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 85 g balls and round each one out. Place seam side down on a silpat lined baking sheet and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place to proof for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the pastry cream,place the milk in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the cream. Place over medium heat.
Combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisk until slightly paler in colour.
When the milk mixture has come to a boil, slowly pour a small amount into the yolk mixture, whisking continuously. Continue tempering the yolks with the milk mixture, then transfer all of back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking continuously, until the mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes. Continue to cook for another minute, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Add the brown butter and stir to combine. Set the pastry cream over an ice bath to cool. Once it has reached room temperature, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325 F. When the dough has proofed, brush the surface with egg wash and liberally sprinkle with coarse sugar. Using damp fingers, push the dough down in the centre to create a well, being careful not to damage the dough too much. Pipe in the pastry cream and top with peach slices. Sprinkle a bit of coarse sugar over the peaches.
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the brioche is a deep golden brown colour. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Dust with icing sugar immediately before serving.