Hi there! Happy Saturday! I have a wee weekend baking project for you if you need a little something to make tomorrow - these Laminated Brioche Pesto Buns with Lemon, Parmesan, and Walnut! I’m eating one as I type this, getting pretzel salt on the keyboard, and can confirm, still amazing two days after baking.
I have been wanted to make a savoury laminated brioche bun for a while now, since I made these peach dudes a while back. I love the concept of a laminated brioche - it’s really only a couple of extra steps, one extra roll out and a little bit more of the filling, but it makes a huge difference to the end result, giving you a beautifully flaky layered dough.
I was a bit stuck on what to laminate the dough with that wouldn’t be too overpowering, but would still spread nicely, and pesto was the perfect choice. I of course went with my fave jarred pesto from Filippo Berio. They have so many amazing flavours, but this time I went with the Classic Basil, although these buns would work amazingly with any of their other flavours - there’s a sundried tomato, a spicy tomato, and a tomato and ricotta, and they are all so good!
I stuck with my regular brioche recipe, and spiked the dough with a little lemon zest and black pepper, then rolled it out and laminated it with the pesto, and some freshly grated parmesan cheese, mixed with some more lemon zest and black pepper. The whole thing then gets folded up like a letter, locking in the first layer of filling, and then rolled out again, spread with more pesto and cheese, and this time sprinkled with a layer of walnuts before being rolled up into a fat sausage. After a quick spin in the freezer (this step is totally optional but I love how it gives you a clean cut), the dough sausage is cut into thin buns before being risen for a second time, then baked to golden brown perfection. The multiple layers in the bread from the lamination create layers in the bread, which not only look incredibly fancy but makes them really fun to unwind and eat. These are so, so amazing just out of the oven, but almost as good a couple of days later zapped in the microwave and served warm.
This recipe is super super versatile. I encourage you to try different fillings - if you are looking for something else pesto based, this knot uses Filippo Berio’s Tomato and Ricotta. You can switch up the nuts as you like, the potential versions are endless.
A few wee tips:
Usually I would roll these guys to about 26”x16” but I got a little excited on the rolling and rolled them to more 28”x13”, which meant I got a fatter sausage and fewer, larger buns (10 rather than 12). Use your judgement as you are rolling out, because sometimes your ratios end up a little off. I cut each bun to 1bout 1.3” (3.3cm) thick, so measure your sausage of dough (I like to trim the ends first), and work out how many you can get from there.
I shot these on a smaller tray - ideally you want to bake them on two larger sheet pans.
You can also have them all joined together like these buns - just place them close when you cut them rather than have them individual.
I like to do the first proof in the fridge - and have recently been experimenting with dough times. If you are fridge proofing, about 5 hours works too if you don’t want to do it overnight. This makes it great to do in one day but still get the benefit of slightly chilled dough, which I find is easier to roll out. This way you can make the dough in the morning (or night before), then roll out as soon as a few hours later. Winner winner.
I didn’t eggwash these before I baked them (because I wanted to have the salt on the top for the photos), but you absolutely could and probably should to help them go nice and golden.
Laminated Brioche Pesto Buns with Lemon, Parmesan, and Walnut
- Makes 10-12 buns -
Inspired by / folding method from Izy Hossack
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
200g (3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp) whole milk, lukewarm
2 Tbsp sugar
565g (3 3/4 cups) all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
a few turns of black pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs, at room temperature
115g (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 x 190g jar of Filippo Berio Classic Pesto
100g Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated (I used Parmigiano Reggiano)
Zest of 2 Lemons
A few turns of black pepper
100g walnuts, medium chop
Egg wash - 1 Egg mixed with 1 Tbsp water (see notes)
Pretzel Salt to finish (Optional)
- PROCESS -
In a small bowl, combine the yeast, milk, and the sugar. Mix well, and leave to sit for 10-15 minutes, or until foamy.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Mix briefly to combine. Add the eggs and foamy yeast mixture to the bowl. Mix on low for 2-3 minutes, until the dough is starting to come together. It may look slightly dry but do not worry - it will mix together nicely in the next steps. Increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for another 10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
Reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the butter a little at a time, waiting until it is fully incorporated into the dough before adding the next piece. This process should take 3-4 minutes. Once the butter is fully incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium, and mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is very soft and smooth.
Transfer to an oiled bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a warm spot until doubled in size, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or in the fridge overnight (see notes)
In a small bowl, combine the freshly grated parmesan, lemon zest, and pepper. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll into a 16”x26”(40cmx66cm). Spread half of the jar of Filippo Berio Classic Pesto over the surface of the dough, and sprinkle with half of the cheese mixture, pressing down lightly to adhere. Fold into thirds like a letter, then roll out again into a 13”x28” (33cmx72cm) rectangle (see notes). Spread with the remainder of the Filippo Berio Classic Pesto, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese mixture, then sprinkle evenly with the walnuts.
Starting on the SHORT side, roll up into a log. Place the log onto a parchment lined baking sheet, lightly cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the freezer for 20 minutes. Alternatively you can chill it in the fridge for about an hour. If your dough is still quite cold if you did an overnight rest in the fridge, you can skip this step if you like, but I find it helps a lot with keeping a nice tidy spiral.
Line two baking sheet with parchment paper (see notes about putting these all together on one baking sheet). Trim the ends of the log of dough so that they are tidy. Using a very sharp knife, measure the log of dough, and cut into 10 even pieces. Arrange on the two baking sheets, leaving space between for spreading.
Lightly cover the buns with plastic wrap, and place in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, until they are puffy. While the buns are rising, preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.
Egg wash the buns if you are egg washing them, sprinkle with pretzel salt, then bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Store leftovers in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave briefly before eating.
Thank you so much to Filippo Berio for sponsoring this post! All opinions are my own.