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Italian Cornetti (brioche)

Start flexing your pastry muscles and prepare to embark on your journey to Italy!

The Italian cornetto is a cross over between a French croissant and brioche.  It contains less butter than its French counterpart, making it slightly more dense, and definitely less rich.

I often crave the wonderfully scented dough with a hint of apricot, or in some cases just coated with a bit of sugar.  This recipe is the best one I have found to bring Italy to wherever you may reside.

It is almost impossible to find cornetti outside of Italy and I have always wondered why?  They do not contain the same amount of butter as a croissant making them more of a guilt-free breakfast.

To make these, it requires a few steps, and then can be separated into a few days!  There is no endless kneading of dough required and the initial dough batter is simple.  You can also freeze the cornetti right before proofing, and then pull out of the freezer and proof overnight.  Bake off in the morning when you want something fresh and heart-warming for breakfast.

 

Italian Cornetti (brioche)

Start flexing your pastry muscles and prepare to embark on your journey to Italy!

The Italian cornetto is a cross over between a French croissant and brioche.  It contains less butter than its French counterpart, making it slightly more dense, and definitely less rich.

I often crave the wonderfully scented dough with a hint of apricot, or in some cases just coated with a bit of sugar.  This recipe is the best one I have found to bring Italy to wherever you may reside.

It is almost impossible to find cornetti outside of Italy and I have always wondered why?  They do not contain the same amount of butter as a croissant making them more of a guilt-free breakfast.

To make these, it requires a few steps, and then can be separated into a few days!  There is no endless kneading of dough required and the initial dough batter is simple.  You can also freeze the cornetti right before proofing, and then pull out of the freezer and proof overnight.  Bake off in the morning when you want something fresh and heart-warming for breakfast.

 

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 8-10
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) white, unbleached bread flour, plus a little more
1/4 cup (40g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (7g) instant yeast
pinch of salt
1 cup plus two tablespoons (2 sticks/250g) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tablespoons water (125ml) cold whole milk
1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk
2 large eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons cold water
filling
2 tablespoons apricot jam
option to add nutella to some
glazing
1 egg, beaten
optional final step
3 tablespoons (45g) sugar
3 tablespoons water
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Italian Cornetti (brioche)
  • time
    2 days
  • serves
    8
  • skill level
    Hard

Ingredients

  • filling

  • glazing

  • optional final step

Directions

1
Done

Step 1

Place flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a food processor. Pulse to combine.

2
Done

Slowly add the butter pieces to the processor, pulsing as you add. When finished you want the consistency of soft sand.

3
Done

Take mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

4
Done

In another bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs with 3 tablespoons cold water.

5
Done

Make a well in the flour mixture, add the egg mixture to the well.

6
Done

Using a knife, start to bring the dough together into a sticky dough. It should take 3-4 minutes.

7
Done

Shape into a ball, it will not be smooth and still look lumpy, set back in mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or a lid) and refrigerate for 4 hours or better overnight.

8
Done

Step 2

Put the dough on a lightly floured counter and roll out to a long, thin rectangle (roughly 8 by 16 inches or 40 by 20cm).

9
Done

Once in a rectangle, fold the top third down, followed by the bottom third up, as if you were folding a letter to go into an envelope.

10
Done

Turn it one-quarter around, sprinkle with a little flour if need be, and roll it out again to a long rectangle and fold.

11
Done

Repeat another two times - folding, rolling. Work quickly as you do not want dough to become warm and sticky, or be handled too much.

12
Done

Place dough on a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 4 hours or overnight.

13
Done

Step 3

On two large baking sheets, place baking parchment paper.

14
Done

Now comes the fun part. Cut dough in half. Take one half and set aside.

15
Done

With the other half, roll out to make dough a long, thin rectangle about 1/4 inch (6.3cm) thick about 24 inches in length and 8 inches wide. Cut into about 6 triangles, about 4 inches wide at base and 7-8 inches long on sides (14cm by 22 cm).

16
Done

Take apricot jam and place about 1/2 teaspoon centered on the base of each triangle - about one finger length away from bottom of dough.

17
Done

Fold bottom edge of triangle over the jam, trying to tuck as tightly as you can and roll.

18
Done

Tuck the tip underneath the cornetto shape if you can, and gently fold tips of the pastry into horn-shape on either side.

19
Done

Slightly shape into a crescent, and place on baking sheet as you go along. Leave space in between each cornetto because they increase in size.

20
Done

Repeat process with other half of dough.

21
Done

Once complete, cover the baking sheets of cornetti with a tea towel (clean dish towel) and leave in a warm place to proof (increase in size). You can do this for one hour or overnight.

22
Done

Step 4

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

23
Done

In a small bowl, beat your egg and get out pastry brush.

24
Done

When cornetti have proofed, take your beaten egg and using the pastry brush paint the egg wash over each pastry. Let dry for a few minutes.

25
Done

Place trays in oven for 18-20 minutes, checking after 10 minutes to ensure the tops are not turning too dark. If this happens, cover those that are browning too much with aluminum foil. Or you may want to alternate and flip the tray position in the oven.

26
Done

optional

Prepare the sugar and water to make a simple syrup. Combine the sugar and water together in a small saucepan.

27
Done

Bring to a low simmer over low-medium heat to dissolve sugar.

28
Done

finish

Remove cornetti from oven while still warm (not hot) brush with the simple syrup (optional).

29
Done

to serve

Serve warm or room temperature. Cornetti may be stored in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

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Dough scraper
When working with any type of pastry, I could not live without this dough scraper. It removes excess dough and flour from your work surface and is great for cutting dough. This one is from Sur La Table where I bought mine, but Amazon has options as well.