This Baked Brie Bread Ring makes for a great appetizer but is also delicious eaten on its own. Brie cheese melts in the oven as soft seeded yeast rolls bake around it.
Soft, melty cheese paired with puffy yeast rolls – what could be better? This is an appetizer that I could make a meal out of!
I’ve had lots of different versions of baked brie, but most are dessert-like, wrapped up in puff pastry or phyllo dough with jam and brown sugar. Or just a big melty wheel served in a baking dish with crostini or baguette slices on the side. Weeks ago I’d spotted a baked brie bread ‘flower’ in one of those fancy mail order food catalogues. It looked delicious, and the rolls had a variety of seasonings. It was like a bread sampler with cheese! I had to see if I could recreate something similar at home. Besides, the big wheel of brie I had in my refrigerator was getting close to its expiration date.
Yeast dough in an instant (almost).
Start with my easy yeast dough recipe. It’s made with flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt, water, and olive oil. If you don’t have instant yeast in your cupboard, then I recommend getting some! It’s so easy to use and has wonderful rising power. You don’t have to bloom it before using – just stir it right into the dry ingredients. I have always used Saf instant yeast and it’s never let me down.
However. If you only have active dry yeast on hand, I’ll include blooming and mixing instructions in the recipe notes. It will work also, it just needs to be activated with a little sugar and warm water.
Shape the rolls.
After the dough doubles, punch it down and roll it into about a 9 inch long sausage shape and cut into 9 equal portions. I just eyeballed this, and my rolls were similar in shape but not exact. You could weigh each dough ball for a precise presentation.
Form each dough piece into a ball. To do this, gather the edges of a dough piece and pinch them together, then roll the ball under a cupped hand. Move your hand in a circular motion; the tacky part of the pinched dough should catch on the work surface, and the dough will roll itself into a tightened ball. You can see this technique in action in this Hot Cross Buns post. There are two animated GIFs that may help you better understand the method.
Room to grow.
Use a large baking sheet or a pizza pan to on which to bake the brie bread ring. At this point, I realized I didn’t yet have my brie wheel prepared. I needed to trim the off the top rind and my rolls were already ready to rise! So – I just used the brie packaging as a stand-in. Place each roll around the ‘brie’ wheel, close together but not touching.
Egg wash the tops of the rolls and sprinkle on your choice of seasonings. I used black sesame seeds, Aleppo pepper flakes, (so good, and not hot!) and chia seeds. The chia seeds were a stand-in for poppy seeds. I am almost out. Now I think I prefer chia seeds to poppy seeds for a bread topping!
I swapped in the wedge of brie easily, and let the buns rise for about 20-ish minutes. They should rise enough to just touch each other.
Golden and delicious.
Bake the brie and rolls together. The bread will puff and bake together forming a cohesive ring that corrals all that melty brie. Garnish the brie with lots of coarse black pepper (I used a medley of black, white, and pink peppercorns) and toss on some scallions. If scallions aren’t your thing swap in some chopped rosemary or fresh thyme leaves.
The yeast rolls are neutral enough to tip to the sweet side, if you’d like to give this dish a dessert makeover. I could see the brie topped with cooked apples, maple syrup, fig jam, a drizzle of honey, cranberry sauce – the sky’s the limit! It could also be a magnificent addition to a big cheese board served with cold cheeses, grapes, apple slices, pears, pecans – practically anything that inhabits your charcuterie stash.
The best part is dunking the puffy yeast rolls in the melted cheese center. Warm melted brie is so luxurious. This would make a wonderful dinner party treat – either as an appetizer or alongside a main dish. And, it’s holiday-worthy! Serve it at Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving. It’s such a wonderful spin on a baked brie recipe. The flavors are endlessly variable!
Baked Brie Bread Ring
- 1 large baking sheet or pizza pan
- 1 Pastry brush
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast (7g)
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour unbleached (500 grams)
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups warm water 105-110°F (300 ml)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Flour for dusting
- 16 oz. wheel of brie President brand recommended
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon cool water
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup scallions
- Coarsely ground black pepper or pepper medley
- Place the yeast, flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Stir together briefly with a whisk. Turn the mixer on low and add in the warm water and olive oil. Allow the dough hook to stir the ingredients together until a cohesive dough is formed, about 3-5 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 8 minutes with a timer set. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and not sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl spritzed with cooking spray; turn over once and cover with plastic wrap. Set in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile cut the top rind off of the brie; keep refrigerated until ready to use.
- Once the dough is doubled, gently deflate it with a closed fist. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into an even baton about 9 inches long and cut into 9 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball by pinching the edges together and rolling them on a work surface under a cupped hand.
- Line a large baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. Place the brie in the center of the pan. Arrange each dough ball around the brie so that they are close together but not touching.
- Beat the egg and cool water together in a small bowl. Use a pastry brush to coat each dough ball with the egg wash. Sprinkle 3 rolls with the black sesame seeds, 3 rolls with the Aleppo pepper, and 3 rolls with the chia seeds. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise, 20-30 minutes, or until the rolls are puffed and just touching each other.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the assembled rolls and brie for 20-25 minutes, or until the rolls are well puffed and just starting to brown. Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and bake 5-7 minutes more, or until a little more golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Scatter scallions and grind pepper over the runny brie. Serve warm on the pan. Use the bread rolls to dip into the melted brie.