Pan Dulce (Sweet Brioche Buns)

Let the challenges begin! Shelby and I have decided that we should focus more on quality, not quantity, of our baked goods this break. So rather than making four or five different things in a few hours, we’re switching to one challenging recipe per baking session. Today we decided to make these beautiful Pan Dulce, from Chef Dennis. These looked so pretty, and they’re not very difficult to make, they just take time. And a dough hook. The one problem with these is that the recipe requires a dough hook, which I don’t have, but luckily Shelby’s stand mixer is equipped with one! I think if you just combined the dough with a wooden spoon in a bowl, then gave it a few good kneads with your hand, it would turn out just fine. However, I wanted to make these the recommended way, since I’m not familiar enough with yeast breads to make up my own recipes.

We decided to just use the vanilla topping, instead of half vanilla and half chocolate. I think these look more elegant with just the white topping, and the vanilla flavor goes better with these slightly sweet buns. We also made 14 buns instead of 12, and they were still very large. If I were to repeat this recipe, I would probably make something like 20 – 24 smaller buns (reducing the baking time to around 10-15 minutes), rather than 12 – 14 massive ones.

Logistics aside, these were amazing! The brioche buns were light and airy, with a little sweetness from the honey accented by the sweet, crisp vanilla topping. They also look so pretty, and would be great for entertaining! Here is the recipe we used.

Pan Dulce

from Chef Dennis

Makes 14 large rolls



1 1/2 cups warm water

1 1/2 tbsp yeast (2 packets)

1 1/2 tbsp salt

8 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup honey

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup powdered sugar

2/3 cup all-purpose flour


Mix together the warm water, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Beat in the eggs, honey, and melted butter. Using a dough hook, knead in the flour until the flour is just combined. The dough will be sticky, wet, and lumpy, and that’s how it should be.

Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with a clean towel and allow to sit and rise for 2 hours. After the dough has risen, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 14 equal parts, form rolls and place on baking sheets. Give each roll some room, as they will expand. Cover with the towel and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.

While the dough is rising, make the topping. Cream the butter in a bowl by hand or with a mixer. Add the powdered sugar and flour and cream until combined. Beat in the vanilla. Divide the mixture (which should now be about the consistency of cookie dough) into 14 equal pieces. Squish or roll each piece into a circle and place one on top of each bun. Using the blunt edge of a knife or spatula, score the topping in your desired pattern. Cover the buns and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F. Once the buns have risen for the last 20 minutes, bake them for about 19-20 minutes, until the buns are golden brown. Remove from the oven. Serve warm or room temperature. Enjoy!





So pretty! And delicious!

One thought on “Pan Dulce (Sweet Brioche Buns)

  1. chefdennis says:

    Glad to hear that the Pan Dulce was a success! Thanks so much for the shout out!

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