Brioche Pumpkins

You look gourdgeous, dahling! # 234: Brioche Pumpkins

With Halloween on a Sunday this year, you gotta bring your brunch game up a spooky notch or two. May I present: a pumpkin-shaped brioche!

It’s too gourd to be true.

Hot tip: these make a really yummy baked pumpkin French toast. I tested the theory out by pulling them apart along the pumpkin creases, dousing them in a mixture of egg, milk, pumpkin, vanilla and spices and baking til golden brown and the custard was set. Ok, ok so it’s more of a bread pudding . . . but it falls neatly into the luscious brunch category, if you ask me.

I got the idea to use bakers twine to pumpkinify some buns from Thida Bevington. They just look so cute!

Wave your magic wand and transform your cubes of butter into chunks the brioche dough can actually absorb. Did you know that the shape of butter on the East Coast and West Coast is completely different? I grew up with short, squat sticks of butter, but apparently it’s more common to find long skinny sticks of butter in East Coast grocery stores.

I hope this comes up next time you’re at bar trivia: by the time West Coast dairies were producing butter commercially in the mid-1900s, the machines that cut butter into four skinny sticks made in Elgin, IL were no longer available. The new machines they began using west of the Rockies churned out shorter fatter cubes. Yes, the use of the word churned was unnecessary but I couldn’t resist.

While my buns didn’t have any pumpkin in them, they did have a tablespoon of cinnamon. Tis the season for me to add pinches of cinnamon to everything I bake.

Shaping time! While a little bit of flour is super helpful, you want a clean section of pastry board for when you’re rolling brioche buns. The friction helps to convince the dough to reshape.

SO. CUTE. Chubby lil pumpkins.

In retrospect, I tied the strings a little too tightly. Never forget the second proof! The extra poof that they get the second time they rest will cause the strings to get embedded in the baked bun and you’ll have to coax them out later.

As you can see, coaxing the strings out got a little messy on some of them. Most pumpkins have beauty marks anyway, right?

If you have a cinnamon stick, cut it in half and it makes the perfect pumpkin stem! If you didn’t think ahead (like me), a cashew is a great stand-in.

Happy munching!

Recipe mostly from:

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