“‘Barrel-boy!’ the Sanza brothers hollered in unison; a moment later a small almond-crusted bread-roll arced from between their seats, hit Bug right between the eyes, and plopped down onto his empty plate. Bug tore it in half and responded in kind, aiming well despite his wobbliness.”
–The Lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch
When I first read this passage with an eye towards food, I had a vision of a brioche-like roll, topped with sliced almonds. I don’t know why that roll in particular, but it’s what I thought of, and in the end, it’s what I made.
In addition to being topped with almonds, there is a dash of almond flour in these little brioches as well. The result is a melting, buttery, slightly nutty roll that will be gone before you realize you’ve eaten it. Seriously. I ate three, back to back. The almonds on top give a crunchy counterpoint to the soft dough, and compliment the flavor of the almond flour. They’re wonderful for breakfast, or any other time of day, but be sure they get their fair share of attention. They deserve it.
Recipe for Almond-Crusted Brioches
Makes 8 rolls
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 3 Tbs. sugar
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 tsp. coarse salt, plus a pinch for tops
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 large eggs, 1 additional egg for wash
- 1/4 cup milk, room temperature
Combine the flours and other dry ingredients. Rub in the butter. Beat the eggs into the milk, then gradually add the mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring to combine. Knead the dough for several minutes until it gains an elastic consistency. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, put in a warm place, and allow to rise for a couple of hours, or until it has doubled in size.
Deflate the dough, and divide into 8 equal pieces. Smooth out each ball of dough by stretching the dough down and pinching it at the bottom. Place the dough in brioche tins, or in a standard muffin tin. Allow to rise again, this time for around 45 minutes. Brush with beaten egg wash, and sprinkle some slivered almonds on top.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350F, until the tops are a beautiful golden brown.