Sun-dried tomato and herb brioche

We have friends from the UK coming to stay! This is exciting not only because I get to spend two weeks with their lovely faces but also because it provides me with a fresh batch of guinea pigs to try recipes out on.

One of the best things about being on holiday is having the time in the morning to enjoy a leisurely and indulgent breakfast. Last time they visited my savoury Chelsea buns proved very popular. Working on the theme of savoury breakfast breads I have come up with this recipe, which I think will go very nicely with some continental meats and cheeses.
They’re no more complicated to make than any other bread recipe and if you don’t have brioche moulds (I was lucky enough to find some at my local thrift store for a few dollars) then a deep cupcake tin will be just as good.

Sun-dried tomato and rosemary  brioche

Ingredients
makes 12 mini brioche or 8 larger ones

225g strong white bread flour
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp dried yeast
3 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
40g sun dried tomatoes in oil (you’ll need some of the oil too)
50g butter
30ml milk
2 eggs

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, rosemary and yeast. Chop the tomatoes into smallish pieces and incorporate these into the flour mixture too.
Melt the butter and then add the milk to it. This should leave you with a lukewarm mixture. Beat the eggs into this and then slowly add the liquid to the dry mixture. Bring it together to form a soft dough before turning it out onto a lightly floured surface and gently kneading for five minutes until you have a lovely soft, smooth ball of dough. Wash and dry the mixing bowl to warm it up and then use a little of the oil from the tomatoes to grease it. Place the dough into the bowl, cover it with some oiled clingfilm and leave it somewhere warm to double in size.
Once the dough has proved give it a quick, gentle knead and divide it into 8 or 12 equal sized pieces. Pinch about 1/4 off each piece and roll the remaining 3/4 into balls.
Sun-dried tomato brioche Brush the brioche tins really well with a little more oil from the sun dried tomatoes and drop the balls of dough into each of them. Roll the small pieces of dough into tiny egg shapes. Push your thumb into the middle of each of the larger balls of dough and put the smaller piece of dough, narrow end down, into the hole.
Re-cover the broiche with cling film and leave to rise for a second time.
Pre-heat the oven to 220°c.

Once the brioche have fully risen brush the surface of them with a little more of the tomato oil and bake them for 15 minutes.

Sun-dried tomato brioche

Remove them from the tins as soon as you can handle them and leave them to cool on a wire rack before serving.