"This recipe is an ode to San Francisco, partly inspired by the ‘Morning Bun’ at the legendary Tartine Bakery, and partly by the ‘nibby sticky buns’ served at Dandelion Chocolate, two wonderful recipes from two of my favourite San Francisco sweet spots," explains baker Edd Kimber.
"Instead of a more difficult croissant dough, this uses a simpler brioche dough made with a coffee compound butter, a nod to the bay area’s seeming obsession with all things caffeinated."
Espresso cacao nib morning buns recipe from One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber
- 1 batch of brioche dough (see below – made with just 75g unsalted butter)
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 1 egg yolk, beaten, for glazing
For the coffee butter:
- 150g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1tbsp (heaped) instant espresso powder
For the coating:
- 100g caster sugar
- 1tbsp cacao nibs
- 1tsp instant espresso powder
For the brioche dough:
- 265g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 25g caster sugar
- ¾tsp fine sea salt
- 5g fast-action dried yeast
- 60ml whole milk
- 2 large eggs
- 75g unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced, plus extra for greasing
NOTE: The brioche dough needs to chill overnight, so start this recipe the day before you want to bake it.
1. Make the brioche dough. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix briefly to combine. Pour in the milk and eggs and mix together to form a shaggy dough, then on low-medium speed, knead for 10–15 minutes until smooth and elastic. With the mixer still running, add the butter, a piece or two at a time, working it into the dough, then knead for a further 10–15 minutes until smooth and elastic and pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Press into a flat disc, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
2. For the coffee butter, beat the butter in a bowl using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon until soft and creamy. Mix in the espresso powder. Draw a 20cm square on a piece of parchment paper and turn it over. Scrape the butter into the middle of the square and spread into an even layer within the lines. Fold the parchment paper over to enclose the butter and neaten with a rolling pin. Refrigerate overnight.
3. Remove the espresso butter from the refrigerator 10–15 minutes before the brioche dough to soften it slightly. Roll out the brioche dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 20 x 40cm rectangle. Place the espresso butter on one side of the dough and fold the second side up and over the butter. Pinch the seams together to enclose the butter. Gently press the dough with a rolling pin to flatten it a little before rolling out into a 20 x 50cm rectangle.
4. Fold the dough in thirds like a business letter, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Repeat this rolling, folding and chilling twice more, refrigerating for a final 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line the base of the baking tin with a piece of parchment paper.
5. Roll out the finished dough into an 18 x 28cm rectangle. Trim the edges and cut into six even squares. Place the buns into the prepared baking tin, cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place until the buns have almost doubled in size, about one hour.
6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6.
7. Brush the top of the buns with the beaten egg yolk, then bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Pulse the sugar, cacao nibs and espresso powder in a food processor until finely ground.
8. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before tossing in the cacao nib sugar. Best served warm on the same day, but these buns will keep for one to two days in a sealed container.
One Tin Bakes by Edd Kimber is published by Kyle Book. Photography by Edd Kimber. Available now.