Cheesy Brioche Cabbage Buns

The most important thing you need to do for these addictive, doughy buns is to cook the cabbage and onions down until all of their excess liquid has evaporated. With too much moisture in the filling, the bread will become soggy and heavy. You can make these ahead and keep them refrigerated until ready to bake, up to 12 hours covered. The soft, buttery brioche wrapped around a cheesy cabbage filling is about as good as it gets.

Cheesy Brioche Cabbage Buns

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
The most important thing you need to do for these addictive, doughy buns is to cook the cabbage and onions down until all of their excess liquid has evaporated. With too much moisture in the filling, the bread will become soggy and heavy. You can make these ahead and keep them refrigerated until ready to bake, up to 12 hours covered. The soft, buttery brioche wrapped around a cheesy cabbage filling is about as good as it gets.
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Servings 8

Ingredients
 

For the dough:

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast, about 2 ½ teaspoons
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • ½ cup warm milk
  • 1 large egg at room temperature, beaten
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter, plus extra for buttering the pan
  • 3 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small savoy or green cabbage, about 2 pounds, cored and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups 4 ounces grated Emmental cheese, or substitute with Comte or gruyere

Butter for serving

    Instructions
     

    • Combine the milk, warm water and sugar and stir until dissolved. The mixture should be between 105 and 110 F. If you don’t have a thermometer, it should feel slightly warm, not hot, to the touch. Stir in the yeast, then let the mixture sit for 3-5 minutes until foamy. Whisk in the egg.
    • Place the flour and salt in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and mix to distribute the salt. Pour in the yeast mixture and mix on low speed until it comes together. Knead for about 2-3 minutes, then add the softened butter and mix until combined. You can leave it in this bowl, or transfer it to a buttered bowl (for easier removal later), and let it rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.
    • While the dough is rising, make the filling. Heat the butter in a large skillet and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add the cabbage thyme and remaining teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper and cook over medium high heat until it begins to brown. Pour in the water, sugar, and cider vinegar, stir to scrape up and brown bits from the bottom, then cover and turn the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is meltingly soft. It might take up to 30 minutes. If it begins to dry out and brown, add some water and turn the heat down. Make sure to cook off any extra moisture, it should be fairly dry at the end, then let cool to room temperature.
    • Roll the dough out on a floured board to a rectangle about 16 x 9-inches. Spread the filling over the dough going all the way to the edges and sprinkle evenly with the cheese. Then, beginning with the long end, roll into a log, pinching the seam together to seal. Use a serrated knife to cut the dough into 8 rounds and place them in a buttered 9-inch round cake pan. Cover and let rise for another 45 minutes. *At this point, you could also cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours. Return to room temperature before proceeding.
    • Preheat your oven to 375 F. Bake the rolls for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and rub a little butter over the tops so that it melts into the hot buns. Serve warm.
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