I went to Italy for Christmas and New Years in 2013/14. My husband was on deployment based out of Naples. So over the holidays I was able to fly there and meet him. It was really great, one to be able to see him on a deployment (way out of the norm) but also to do it in Italy! I had never been to Europe and of course who doesn’t want to visit the land of pizza and pasta.
One of my favorite things about Italy was breakfast. I’m not a big English breakfast type person. Eggs and bacon is fine but I prefer something sweet. Italy is very much a pastry for breakfast type of place and it is wonderful. I had several cornettos which look very much like a croissant but they are more sweet, and often were filled with things like chocolate. They are kind of like if Brioche and a Croissant had a baby, and they are delightful.
Now, maritozzi are a Roman pastry but unfortunately I never had one while in Rome. I may have to go back just to try them there and to see the Sistine chapel ceiling (which is closed on Christmas – don’t tell me it’s small and not worth it.. I’m an art major). But I saw them recently and thought they looked fantastic. I tried a few recipes which were good but decided to make my own recipe and friends, they have become my breakfast of choice for the past week. Maritozzo is Italian for husband (maritozzi being the plural) and I probably would marry these. No offense actual husband.
These are a sweet Italian brioche style bun. They are sliced down the middle and filled with whipped cream. What more could you want? It doesn’t feel too heavy as the bread isn’t overly sweet, and the whipped cream in comparison to something like a pastry cream is also very light. They are perfect for breakfast with or without whipped cream, or for dessert. Or a snack.
- Orange zest – The zest gives that citrus flavor but also leaves lovely orange flecks in the dough
- Fiori di Sicilia – This is one of my most favorite extracts. It’s a mix of citrus and vanilla and it’s SO good in these buns but also in general.
- 265 g AP Flour 2 cups + 2 tbsp
- 250 g Bread Flour 2 cups
- 2½ tsp Instant yeast
- 50 g Granulated sugar ¼ cup
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Fiori di Sicilia
- 2 large Eggs room temperature
- 1 cup Whole or 2% milk warm ~95°F
- ¼ cup Neutral oil Vegetable/Canola
- Zest of 1 medium orange
- 1 large Egg
- 1 tbsp Whole or 2% milk
Whipped Cream Filling
- 2 cups Heavy whipping cream cold
- ½ cup Powdered sugar
- ½ tsp Vanilla
- pinch salt
- Combine all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attached. Knead dough on low until smooth. Dough will still be sticky.
- Place dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise for about 1 hour or when dough has doubled in size.
- Remove dough from bowl and use a knife or bench cutter to cut into 12 equal size pieces. When I weighed my dough each piece was about 80g. Weighing is not necessary if you don't mind the buns not being exactly uniform in size.
- Shape each piece of dough into a ball. Fold and pinch together the sides to create tension. Place the seam side down and gently cup hand over dough, and move hand in a circular motion until dough has formed a ball.
- Place all dough balls onto a lined baking sheet and cover. Let rise for about 1 hour until they have puffed up.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together egg and milk.
- When buns have risen, brush with egg wash before placing in oven.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes on center rack. Buns will be a deep golden color when ready.
- Place baked buns on a wire cooling rack to cool.
- While buns are cooling, pour cream, vanilla, powdered sugar and pinch of salt into bowl and whisk until medium-stiff peaks form. Chill whipped cream.
- After buns have come to room temperature, slice down the middle but not all the way through the bun. You want to be able to open them to fill but not split apart (sort of like a hot dog bun).
- Fill the buns with whipped cream. I find using a piping bag easiest but it is not necessary. After it is filled, run a knife or offset spatula over the top of the bun to smooth out the whipped cream, leaving it flush with the surface of the bread.
- Sprinkle the tops lightly with powdered sugar. Enjoy!
- Any type of orange is fine. I have used both naval oranges and blood oranges and both were great.
- If you do not have fiori di sicilia I would substitute 1/2 tsp of orange or lemon extract and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. However, the fiori di sicilia has a really wonderfully unique taste that I would recommend purchasing. I use it in lots of things in lieu of vanilla for a really bright citrusy vanilla test.
- I personally prefer to only fill buns I plan on eating fairly soon. Filled buns need to be stored in the refrigerator which will most likely dry out the bread slightly. Non filled buns should be stored in an airtight container.
- In addition to the whipped cream, these are also great if you add jam and/or berries with it. I have layered in lemon curd and topped with raspberries as well which was equally delicious.
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