Pomme cannelles (Caribbean buns) are very close to my heart because they bring back a lot of childhood memories. The exterior of the Caribbean buns, which are shaped with little pikes, is a little bit crustier than regular brioche. But the interior, mmmmmmhhh the interior is tender and buttery and so so good. People usually bite around all the pikes before reaching the chewy center, leaving the best for last.
A BREAKFAST STAPLE
These individual French West Indian buns are traditionally eaten for breakfast, fresh from the bakery, and preferably with some hot chocolate. The Caribbean buns, as with traditional brioche dough, aren’t very sweet which is why we accompany them with sweet hot chocolate. After all, Caribbean people do have a sweet tooth, we weren’t gonna be satisfied with some bland buns. Or you could eat pomme cannelle as if it was bread with jam or cheese, as my sacrilegious husband who-has-no-time-for-traditions and who-is-a-hot-chocolate-hater does.
WHAT DOES POMME CANNELLE MEAN?
If you know a little bit of French you could wonder ‘Why the heck are these called pomme cannelle?’ as there are no pomme (apple) or cannelle (cinnamon) involved in the recipe. Well it is because pomme cannelle is what we call sugar-apples (tropical fruit) on the island where I grew up. And the shape of the Caribbean buns kind of resembles the exterior of a sugar-apple. These buns are very typical of Martinique (the island where I grew up, aka paradise, check google images if you don’t believe me) and you will never encounter them in France, unless you go to a Caribbean bakery. So I do encourage you to give them a go and I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. Need I mention the chewy center again?
HOW TO MAKE POMME CANNELLE?
Luckily for me, who tends to often get homesick, Caribbean buns are pretty easy to do and faster than most brioche buns as they don’t need to rise a second time after shaping. Contrary to most brioche recipes, the butter isn’t melted or added bit by bit during the kneading process. It is added at the beginning with the flour, and they are rubbed lightly together until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs, as if you were making pie dough. After that the recipe is pretty straightforward, you need to knead the dough, let it prove, shape the Caribbean buns, brush them with egg wash, bake them and voila.
Looking for other ideas for breakfast? Here are some of my favorite recipes:
You can also use this dough to make a celebratory Caribbean bread (pain au beurre).Print
Pomme cannelles are Caribbean buns with hard crusts and chewy centers. Made from brioche dough, they are usually eaten in the morning with a cup of hot chocolate.
For the dough:
125ml whole milk (½ cup)
1 ½ tbsp sugar
10g instant yeast (2 ½ tsp)
500g flour (3 ½ cups)
2 tsp salt, heaped
200g butter, cubed (7 ounces)
2 eggs, at room temperature
For the egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
Make the dough. Heat the milk to 30 degrees Celsius (90°F) and pour it down into a small bowl. Add in the sugar, yeast and stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 10 min. Bubbles should start to appear. Put the flour and salt in a big mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub it in lightly with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well and pour in the milk mixture and the eggs. Using your hand, bring the mixture together until a soft dough is formed.
Knead and prove. Tip it out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until you have a smooth dough that isn’t too sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for 2 hours in a warm place. The dough should have doubled in size.
Shape the buns. Line 1 baking tray with parchment paper. Tip the dough on to a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough in on itself to knock it back and remove the air. Divide into 8 equal pieces (around 115g each or 4oz). Roll each of these pieces into ropes measuring 35 cm (13 in). Wrap each rope around itself, placing one layer on top of another, like a snail shell. This will give volume to the small ‘pile’ of dough. The extremity of the bun should be pointy. Place them on the baking tray, spacing them well apart. With a pair of scissors, make small notches in the buns every 2cm (1 in), starting from the top. Don’t hesitate to check the photos.
Bake. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees Celsius (400°F) and put a roasting tin on the bottom shelf to heat up. Carefully fill the roasting tray with hot water, this will help create steam that will make the exterior of the buns crustier and the crumb fluffier. Mix the yolk and milk together to make the egg wash and lightly brush the top of the buns with it. Bake the Caribbean buns for 30 min until risen and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a cup of sweet hot chocolate while they are still a little bit warm.
Pomme cannelle is best eaten warm on the day it has been baked.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 412
Keywords: breakfast rolls recipe, caribbean breakfast