HomeRecipesThe Baker’s Canadian Nun By Romain Dufour

The Baker’s Canadian Nun By Romain Dufour

(This recipe appeared in the Winter 2020 issue of Pastry Arts Magazine)

This brioche is a great fusion of France and North America – you have the rich, buttery and light texture of a French brioche partnered with the sweeter tasting flavors of maple and bourbon that we find in North America. This brioche is a celebration of where I’m from and where I live currently.

Yield: 24 servings

Simple Syrup

  • 100 g water
  • 70 g granulated sugar
  1. Combine water and sugar in pot and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.

Toasted Pecan Insert

  • 250 g toasted pecans               
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 80 g simple syrup
  1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients and mix for 3 to 5 minutes, until ingredients bind together.
  1. Using a tablespoon, scoop 15-30 g rounds of the mixture onto a sheet pan. Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes.


  • 200 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 200 g all-purpose flour
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all the ingredients and mix for 3 to 5 minutes.
  1. Shape dough into a disc and roll out with sheeter to a thickness of ¼” (6 mm). Cut out 2 ¾” (70 mm) round discs and freeze until ready to use.

Bourbon Icing

  • 150 g confectioners’ sugar
  • 45 g bourbon
  1. Whisk ingredients together until smooth.

Brioche Dough

  • 430 g bread flour
  • 8.5 g salt
  • 65 g maple sugar
  • 21.5 g maple syrup
  • 235 g whole eggs
  • 21.5 g fresh yeast
  • 21.5 g bourbon
  • 150 g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 65 g crème fraiche
  • 65 g toasted pecans
  • 22 g dried black cherries
  1. In an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flour, salt, maple sugar, maple syrup, eggs, yeast and bourbon, and mix for 5 minutes at low speed. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 9 minutes. The dough needs to be fully developed before adding the butter, which means you need to be able to form a ‘window’ when you stretch the dough (window pane test). Add the butter and crème fraiche and mix at low speed for 5 minutes, then mix at medium speed for 7 minutes. Increase the speed to high and mix for 1 minute. At this stage, the butter should be fully incorporated and the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl.
  1. Add the toasted pecans and the dried black cherries and mix at low speed for 1 minute, until fully incorporated.
  1. Give the dough one fold, then let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  1. Give the dough another fold, then place in the refrigerator for 12 to 15 hours.
  1. Divide the dough into 30 g pieces for the body and 12 g pieces for the head of each brioche. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes in the refrigerator (it’s important to keep it chilled).
  1. To shape the body, flatten down the dough on a work surface and place a Toasted Pecan Insert on top and close the dough around it, giving it a round shape. Shape the head into a round shape.
  1. Proof at 79˚F (26˚C) with 80% relative humidity for 1 ½ hours.
  1. Place the Craquelin on the body before baking. Bake the body at 338˚F (170˚C) for 12 minutes.
  1. Bake the head at 338˚F (170˚C) for 8 minutes.
  1. Dip the head in Bourbon Icing while warm, then cool. Once cool, place the head on top of the body using a little bit of the icing as ‘glue’.

About Romain Dufour

Romain Dufour is the Master Baker of Eurogerm USA in Chicago. IL. He is doing Masterclasses and is associated with the biggest names of the pastry and bakery world.


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