There is nothing as satisfying as making your own bread. It’s one of the many skills that people learnt how to do and mostly perfected during the hard lockdown.
Pastry chef and founder of Crumbs & Frosting, Leanne Watkins is one of the people who found love in making her own bread. Watkins is on a mission to provide her customers with the most delicious home-made cakes and cupcakes that are custom-made to suit bespoke celebrations, events, and special occasions.
Having studied and honed her craft at Capsicum Culinary Studio’s Cape Town campus, she has been interested in food since childhood and was influenced by her grandmother and her mother.
Speaking about her restaurant, Watkins said she started Crumbs & Frosting during the Capsicum school holidays. It was meant to keep her busy and bring in some extra money but ended up taking off. She said that working on cakes while studying was tough – she was exhausted –but it was worth it in the end and she is pleased to say that the business is doing well.
Below, Watkins shares her recipe for white chocolate and marmalade brioche buns.
White chocolate and marmalade brioche buns
1tsp dried yeast
2 tbs lukewarm water
1 orange, zested
2 tbs castor sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
1tbs lukewarm milk
1 cup bread flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
75g butter, cubed and softened
100g brown sugar, for sprinkling
Marmalade, for spreading
200g good-quality white chocolate, chopped, plus extra for drizzling
Milk, for brushing
Combine the yeast and water in a bowl and set aside in a warm area for six minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the orange zest and sugar by rubbing the two together with your fingers, then add the salt and milk.
Place the flour, yeast mixture and egg in a stand-mixer bowl and mix on low speed for one minute using a dough hook.
Increase speed to high, add the milk mixture and mix for 10 minutes or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Keep the mixer running and gradually add the butter, one block at a time, until fully incorporated. Mix for about seven minutes or until smooth and elastic.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for 2–3 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Spray a 12-hole muffin pan with cooking spray and preheat the oven to 180°C.
Roll out the brioche dough until 1cm thick and use a medium cookie cutter to cut out rounds 5cm in diameter.
Toss each round of brioche dough in the brown sugar, coating each side, spoon on half a teaspoon of marmalade then sprinkle with a few shards of white chocolate. Layer five rounds on top of each other and cut the stack in half down the middle.
Place each half in its own muffin pan, cut side down.
Cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside for one hour or until doubled in size.
Once doubled in size, brush with the milk and sprinkle with the brown sugar.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
Remove from the pan while hot or they will stick.