This post is dedicated to my favourite Easter sweet bread. The Pinze! The Pinze is a traditional Austrian milk bread recipe or better said a brioche dough recipe. What makes this brioche dough unique is the aniseeds flavour. I made these Easterly loafs with the tangzhong method which makes this sweet bread extra fluffy and soft. These Pinzen can’t be missed on any Easter brunch table.
The Pinze is my favourite Easter pastry in the world. Every year I’m looking forward with excitement for spring season to begin. because I know I’ll get these fluffy buttery brioche breads with their unique taste in every bakery in Austria. The only problem there is with Pinzen is that not every bakery makes them right. Most bake them to try. That’s why I developed this recipe. The Pinzen have their unique aniseeds flavour but are fluffy, soft and juicy.
The Pinze- a traditional Austrian Easter milk bread recipe
It all start with aniseeds.
The uniqueness of a Pinze is her flavour. And the flavour comes from aniseeds which get soaked in warm white wine overnight. That’s my first step which I prepare the day before starting with the original process of baking.
- I heat 120ml of white wine in the microwave for 30-40 seconds and mix the wine with 1 1/2 tsp of aniseeds.
- I let the seeds soak overnight.
- In the morning I strain the wine. I discard the seeds but I keep the flavoured wine 😉 .
The tangzhong method.
After straining the whine I mix the wine together with the milk and a small part of the flour and bring everything to a boil and begins to thicken to a slurry. Don’t forget to constantly stir everything. This is called a tangzhong. The tangzhong or water roux is a mixture of both liquid and flour that you stir and cook until the starches in the flour gelatinize and the mixture thickens.That way the starches can hold twice as much liquid than a normal yeast dough.
Not only does the starch in the flour absorb more liquid; since heating the starch with water creates structure, it’s able to hold onto that extra liquid throughout the kneading, baking, and cooling processes.
- Since there’s less free (unabsorbed) water in the dough, it’s less sticky and easier to knead
- The bread or rolls may rise higher, due to more water creating more internal steam (which makes bread rise in the oven — along with the carbon dioxide given off by the yeast)
- Having retained more water during baking, bread and rolls will be moister, and will stay soft and fresh longer
The dough itself.
- At first I pour the tangzhong into the bowl of a stand mixer with the hook attached, and let it cool slightly.
- Secondly I added the rest of the dough ingredients to the bowl and start kneading it on low for 5 minutes.
- When the dough comes together I increase the speed to medium. I let it knead for another 10 minutes until the dough is elastic and won’t stick any longer to the side of the bowl.
- At last I cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until double in size at a warm place.
The rising of the dough.
After the brioche dough has risen for the first time I knead it for a couple of minutes and let it rise again until doubled. I repeat the kneading and rising process 4 times. Every rising will take shorter than the last one. Through this process the pores of my milk bread will get finer and smaller which is another characteristic feature of a Pinze.
The shaping and cutting.
After I deflated the brioche dough for the last time i cut the dough into 10 equal heavy parts. But you can also leave half the dough whole for one big loaf and only cut the other half into 5 equal parts.
I take every dough piece and start pulling the outer sides into the middle where i pinch them together. I do that for 2-3 times until the dough got some tension and is already shaped like a ball. After that I put the dough on the counter and bend my fingers around the dough ball and start circling it inside of my hand until its perfectly round in shape. Repeat this with every dough piece. Put the dough balls on a baking tray covered with baking sheet.Leave enough space between the doughs. I wouldn’t recommend more than 5 Pinzen on a baking tray. Let it rise one final time. Give them enough time to double in size. After that brush them with the egg wash.
The Cut – which makes The Pinze inimitable
You need for the 3 parts cut a scissors. I put one tip of the scissors upright about 1/3 deep into the dough and cut 3 times from the inside to the outside into the dough.
After giving every Pinze their signature cut, bake them in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes. depending on how the size and colouring is.
Make sure to give my favourite kind of brioche recipe a try. You won’t be disappointed . Promised 😉 ! However I love to bake the milk bread for Sunday mornings. I often prepare it the day before and let the formed dough balls rise in the fridge overnight. Brushing and Cutting them in the morning.
These fluffy goodnesses are best enjoyed with my delicious recipe for a decadent Vanilla and Rosemary flavoured Orange Jam. Make sure to check out the recipe.
Sweet and fluffy hugs, yours truly Nina
The Pinze – an Austrian Easter milk bread recipe
For the Tangzhong
- 60 g all purpose flour
- 120 ml milk
- 140 ml white wine
- 1,5 tsp aniseed
For the dough
- 440 g all purpose flour
- 1 packet dry yeast about 8g or 20g fresh yeast
- 80 g sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- peel of 2 oranges
- 90 g butter slightly melted
- 3 egg yolks large at room temperature
For the egg wash
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tbsp cream
- The night before mix together the white wine and the aniseeds. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds and let them soak overnight.
For the Tangzhong
- Mix togehter the strained white wine, milk and flour in a pan with a whisk.
- Start heading the mixture under constant stiring until it start bubling and thickens. Turn off the heat and stir everything until its homogenous and came together to a slurry.
- Put the slurry into the bowl of stand mixer and let it cool slightly.
For the dough
- Add to the tangzhong (slurry) all the ingredients of the dough and start mixing wtih a hook.
- Start kneading the dough on slow for about 5 minutes.
- Then increase speed to medium and knead for another 10 minutes. The dough is ready when it doesnt stick anylonger to the side of the bowls.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at a warm place until double in size. This will take about one hour.
- When the dough is double in size knead it for about 5 minutes, cover it again and let it rise again until double in size.repeat the kneading and rising for 2 more times. Every next rising will need less time.
- After the 4th rising knead the dough one more time and cut the dough into 2 eaqual parts.Cut every half into another 4 equal part so that you will have 8 small Pinzen or leave one half for one big Pinze and cut onply the other half into 4 small parts.
- Now take every dough piece and pul the outer sides into the the middle 2-3 times. and pinch togehter. Then put the dough with the seam down on the woriking surface. cover the round dough piece with your hand. Fingers are crooked slightly to cover the dough ball and now start rolling the dough until round. Place it on a baking tray with a baking sheet on it. Repeat this process with every dough piece.
- When all the dough pieces are formed cover them and and let them rise one final time until double in size.
- When the dough balls are double in size put the egg wash on top.
- Cut them from the middle to the outer sides 3 times. It should be a deep cut.
- Put a baking tray filled with water on the bottom of your oven and preheat the oven to 210°C or 410°F.
- Bake The smaller Pinzen loafs for about 15-20 minutes ore until they are a darker golden brown.Larger Loafs bake for about 20-25 minutes. Or a darker golden brown.
- Take loafs out of the oven and let them cool completely .Enjoy<3