Flavored with lightly toasted pine nuts, raisins and candied or fresh orange peel, Maritozzi (Maritozzo, singular) are very soft yeasted buns, similar to a brioche. After baking, the buns are traditionally brushed with a sugar syrup and after cooling, are split almost all the way through and filled with ample amounts of sweetened whipped cream. I chose to dust my Maritozzi with powdered sugar as they were to travel with me to Kiawah Island.
The word maritozzi means “little husbands” and is often called sweet marriage breads. Legend has it that young girls looking for husbands used to cook these little breads and bring them to the town center to sell. Girls who sold the best looking and most flavorful buns were said to have their chances of marriage recommendations greatly improved. Source.
Original recipe for the Maritozzi comes from Food52 and was chosen by Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen for We Knead to Bake #28. I used my bread machine to make the dough, but if processing by hand or in a mixer, you can find the method and complete recipe on Aparna’s blog.
Makes 6-8 buns
Helpful Video on Making Maritozzi
1-1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 cup warm milk
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 (50 grams) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch of salt
1/8 cup raisins, or currants, soaked in 2-3 tablespoons unsweetened orange juice or warm water for 10 minutes
Zest of 1 orange or 1 tablespoon candied orange peel
1 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Glaze
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons water
Powdered sugar for dusting
For the Filling-(if using)
500 ml (2 cups) fresh cream, whipped to stiff peaks with a few teaspoons of powdered sugar. 2-3 tablespoons of cream per bun.
Bread Machine Technique
Place all ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order suggested by the manufacturer of your bread machine. Process on the dough cycle.Usually, there is a beep when adding ingredients like the pine nuts and raisins, or incorporate them in the dough after the finished cycle.
When the dough cycle is complete, remove the dough to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead to remove the air pockets. Divide the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, according to your preference. Roll each into a smooth ball and then flatten into a circle with your fingers. Roll up the circle jelly/swiss roll style and seal the seam. Shape into an oval and place on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving enough space between the rolls for them to rise.
Lightly cover and let them rise for about 30 minutes. Bake at 350°F (180C) for 15-20 minutes. Don’t over bake the buns or they will lose their softness.
If you are going to brush the buns with the sugar syrup, make it while the buns are baking. To do this, boil the sugar and water together in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Brush the syrup of top of the HOT buns once you have taken them out of the oven.
Let the buns cool completely. Then slit them, using a sharp knife, making sure you don’t cut them all the way through. Open them up slightly and fill with the whipped cream, making the edges smooth with the flat side of a knife or spoon. Moisten your fingers with a little water and hold each Maritozzo carefully at its base, to avoid the sugar base sticking to your hands and pulling pieces of the brioche away.
Serve with a cup of hot coffee.
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