Giving gingerbread a roll….

I had mentioned that the idea of using the pumpkin brioche to make cinnamon rolls sounded good to me….and it still does. But after more thumbing through The Secrets of Baking I found a Gingerbread Brioche, and so you know I had to give that a try! I decided that the gingerbread brioche is what I would make into buns. I wanted to do something less traditional.
Around last Christmas, my friend M brought gingerbread with a lovely lemon sauce to Book Club as her treat. And what a treat it was. I had never had lemon sauce with gingerbread before. My mom always served it with whipped cream(nothing wrong with that!) and once you get in a rut, you get in a rut. So I thought, how can I incorporate that into a bun? I made the brioche as the recipe called for but made a lemon sugar for the filling and a lemon sauce to go over the top of them. These are soft, spicy, tangy and tasty all “rolled” into one. Be warned: This dough is not like normal brioche…it is sticky and doesn’t like to play nice, but the end result is worth it.
I am really loving this cookbook. It was purchased for me off of my wish list at Christmas time when I got more than a few cookbooks. I must have just skimmed through it and thought nothing more of it. I must say I am kind of addicted to it….like Yard is becoming me new Dorie(though she can never be replaced). Now I am excited to purchase her new cookbook(Desserts by the Yard) that just came out. Oh and speaking of cookbooks that just came out, my most influential chef Marcel Desaulniers came out with a new one just in time for Christmas, I’m Dreaming of a Chocolate Christmas. Oh course I bought it. It has so great looking things and I plan on making something from it this week!

Gingerbread Brioche Buns with Lemon Sauce

Gingerbread Brioche

For the sponge:

½ cup whole milk, room temperature
1 TBSP dry active yeast
2 TBSP sugar
½ cup bread flour

Combine milk and yeast in the mixing bowl of a standing mixer. Whisk and let sit for 5 minutes. Add flour and sugar, mix to form a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30-45 minutes, until bubbles form.

For the dough:

1/3 cup unsulfured black-strap molasses
3 TBSP packed light brown sugar
2 TBSP ground ginger(may seem like a lot but this makes a lot of dough)
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground cloves
3 ½ ¢â¬â€œ 4 cups bread flour
2 tsp salt
6 large eggs, slightly beaten
9 ounces unsalted butter, softened but still cool

3 TBSP unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup of sugar rubbed with the zest of one large lemon

Add the molasses, brown sugar, spice, flour, and salt to the sponge. Add the eggs. Beat with the paddle attachment on low speed for 2 minutes, until the eggs are absorbed. Increase the speed to medium and knead the dough for 5 minutes.(It doesn’t say to do it, but I switch to the dough hook at this point). The dough will be sticky. Hold the mixer when necessary if it starts to dance on you.
Turn the machine down to medium low speed and add the butter, 2 TBSP at a time. Knead for another 5 minutes, until the dough is shiny. Scrape out the dough and clean and lightly oil the bowl. Don’t worry if the dough is difficult to work with(it will be).
Place the dough in the bowl then turn it over so that the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 2 hours, until doubled.
When dough is has doubled in volume, punch it down by folding it two or three times. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
After the second rise, the dough is ready to be shaped. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll it into a rectangle approximately 12 by 16 inches. Use a pastry brush(or your hands if you like to get messy) to spread 3 TBSP of butter around the rolled out dough, leaving an 1-inch margin at the top edge with no butter. Sprinkle filling evenly over the surface, again leaving the 1-inch margin. Starting from the long side closest to you, roll up the dough like a jellyroll. Transfer the log to a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 10 minutes. This will make cutting the buns clean and even.
Remove from freezer, cut buns into 1 ½-inch pieces, you should get around 12. Place them back onto a greased baking pan. Spread out so they are not touching. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Bake buns for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 350F. Bake for another 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your buns. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour lemon sauce over buns and serve warm.

Adapted From: The Secrets of Baking by Sherry Yard, Houghton Mifflin 2003

Lemon Sauce

1 TBSP cornstarch
½ cup sugar
dash of salt
1 cup boiling water
juice of one large lemon
zest of on large lemon

Combine cornstarch, sugar and salt in a sauce pan. Add boiling water to it and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in juice and zest.

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  1. Oh my goodness! Something else that makes me want to lick the computer screen. ;-)


  2. Don’t those look wonderful! :)

  3. I have made Sherry’s gingerbread brioche in the past and loved it, but this….this is something I had never dreamt of doing with it. Now I am drooling all over the place. BEAUTIFUL!
    I HIGHLY reccomend Desserts by the yard. I picked it up 2 weeks ago and have already baked my way through 7 recipes. She’s so awesome.

  4. I love Sherry Yard. Her Secrets of Baking book has been instrumental in understanding the different pillars of baking. And and Desserts by the Yard is a must have book this year.

  5. i’ve never had brioche before, to be honest…so i have no idea what it would taste like! this looks wonderful though, the sauce looks scrumptious :)

  6. Those gingerbread brioche buns look great! They sound good as well. I like the idea of the lemon sauce on them.

  7. Well, I suppose I will have to this too! But not tonight exactly! It does look lovely.
    My book hasn’t arrived yet. I suppose I will be wanting her other book too. You are a very bad influence for me!

  8. Wow – amazing!!

  9. you definitely made the right decision to wait on making “Pumpkin-Brioche-Type-Cinnamon-Rolls” – these Gingerbread Brioche Buns with Lemon Sauce look positively marvelous!

  10. Beautiful, beautiful!!!

  11. Ooooh, you’re doing so many fun things with brioche these days!!

  12. Oh my, I think I just drooled on my keyboard!

  13. Now this is a recipe to remember…This is the epitome of comfort food.

  14. I have never seen a gingerbread roll like that. Just drool worthy. I am a big fan of Marcel too, so I just added that new Christmas book of his you mentioned to my wish list too.

  15. I love that combo of gingerbread and lemon sauce. I could become seriously addicted …

  16. I don’t think it humanly possible to have only one of these. Honestly.

  17. Gingerbread and lemon, YES! I’m all for it.

  18. That is a wonderful flavor combo! Yum…I’ve never been big on gingerbread, but I think I’d love it with lemon. Must check out Sherry Yard’s books. I’m anxious to see what you bake from Marcel’s.

  19. It’s awful torment to look at your blog before breakfast. I want those rolls NOW! Gingerbread brioche with lemon sauce – I’m knee deep in a puddle of drool.

  20. Looks wonderful! And Marcel has a new cookbook? Must get it now!!! The rolls are a brilliant concoctions, yet again!

  21. That is indeed creative! Love how sticky and gooey and absolutely delcious those rolls look!

  22. The combo sounds interesting since I’ve never had anything but cream with them either. My tastebuds are actually doing that watery reaction thing. Hilarious!

  23. Gingerbread and lemon sauce is one of my favorite winter desserts, but have not made it in a while. The brioche rolled with lemon sugar sounds divine. Great photos, too.

  24. I’ve been trying for days to make a gingerbread that I love, but I can’t seem to get the taste right. I really like the idea of making them into rolls, so I’ll have to try these this weekend.

  25. That looks so deliciously decadent, I may have to dig out that cookbook from my shelves.

  26. The color of that dough is absolutely beautiful.

  27. mmmmmmmmmmm se ve delicioso!!!, magnícas fotografías y receta, felicitaciones!!!

  28. Oh boy! I couldn’t look away after the first photo :)

  29. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous Grace and thanks for the info on the new Marcel Desaulniers book I’m off to The Book Depository…

  30. Its beginning to look alot like Christmas!
    Can I get mine to go?

  31. WOW! This looks amazing! I would love to eat this.

  32. WOW! This looks amazing! I would love to eat this.

  33. Those pretty buns look extremely scrumptious! Yummy!



  34. Mmm, those look delicious!

  35. You never cease to amaze me. This…THIS looks fantastic!

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