I talked over Skype this morning to my granddaughter, Jade. After our talk I reminisced about what I was like when I was her age. Just thinking about this story makes me laugh.
When I was 8 years old I was in the third grade at Mount Merici Academy in Waterville, Maine. Back in the olden days it was run by Ursuline nuns. If there were any lay teachers I never saw one – only nuns. The principal was Mother St. Arsene and she was a fearsome creature. She was nearly six feet tall and with the severe habit and the huge strap hanging from her belt, I knew it was just a matter of time before one of us was gonna get it.
I was determined that it wasn’t going to be me. When I heard from my teacher, Mother Adrian, that there was going to be an all-school competition to find the student with the best behavior, I decided winning that would be the best way to be sure that strap was never used on me. To be honest, I never heard of anyone getting the strap and it’s possible that no girl ever did.
My sister was in the 6th grade and she was fairly certain I was worrying for nothing. I was not deterred. I told my mother I was going to win the good conduct medal at school and she looked at me with real concern in her eyes.
“Maureen, there are a lot of girls in that school and you’re only 8 years old. The nuns don’t know who you are. I don’t think you can win,” she said, trying to sooth a little girl’s hurt feelings way before it was needed.
My mother didn’t convince me either. Instinctively I knew what was important to the nuns. It wasn’t being nice to each other – they were looking for respect from the students. That was what they’d notice. When I would see a nun, I would say hello. When I’d meet one in the stairs, I would move over so she could pass. If a nun dropped something, you can be sure, little Maureen was there to pick it up.
The day before the big announcement, I reminded my mother I was going to win. This time she was really angry. She told me how she’d explained this to me weeks ago that it was impossible for a little girl to win when the school went to year 12. I looked at her and said, “I hear you but I’m going to win.” That made her face turn beet red.
My sister walked in and she laughed and said, “Mom’s right, you can’t win. I won’t win either if that’s any consolation.”
I got up the next morning and put on my green uniform, pasted my black curly hair down so I looked like a goof and off I went. See that photo? That was little Maureen. See that pin on her uniform? Yes, that’s the Good Conduct Medal.
Now, anyone need lessons on brown nosing?
When I talk to my children or grandchildren I get homesick. Then I want something American to eat. I went to the kitchen and made these brioche buns in my Thermomix. I wanted pork bbq with cole slaw and bbq beans.
- 30g sugar
- 330g warm milk
- 15g yeast
- 1 tsp salt
- 80g butter
- 650g bakers flour
- 2 eggs (one for egg wash)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- sesame seeds
- Place the sugar in the TM bowl and whiz for 3 seconds on speed 9.
- Add the milk and heat on 50 degrees for 90 seconds.
- Add the yeast, butter, flour, salt and egg in the TM bowl and mix to combine for 10 seconds on speed 7.
- Set the dial to closed lid position. Knead for 3 minutes on Interval speed.
- Remove the dough and form a ball and place in a large lightly greased or oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and and place in a warm place for for 30-60 minutes until doubled in size.
- Punch dough down and shape into rolls. I made small buns and each weighed 60 grams. I got 20 buns. You can make large buns and the recipe will make 8 good sized buns for hamburgers.
- Place the rolls on a baking sheet that has a small amount of corn meal/polenta sprinkled over it.
- Allow the buns to rest in a warm place for up to 30 minutes until nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 180C degrees.
- Lightly beat the extra egg and milk and brush the tops of the buns. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and place in the oven for 20 minutres, or until cooked through and golden brown.
- These freeze well.
OMY I love these buns look absolutely amazing!
Maybe I need a thermomix in the future!
There’s a brand new Thermomix out on the market now. I can resist. I can resist.
I just made these and turned out perfectly. I made 8 large size ones and so fluffy. Will definitely be making again. Hubby and kids loved them. Thanks for sharing. Also loved the story and your determination.
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
These are the most gorgeous buns I’ve ever seen ;).
Wow, coming from you, Laura, I think I should curtsy (or genuflect?) 🙂 Thanks!
I agree Laura. Those are the most gorgeous buns I have ever see. What is on the bun looks pretty darn delicious too. Mouth watering. I want to bite into it….NOW.
Congratulations on winning the Good Conduct Medal. What did you mom and your sister say when you won?
My sister said, “That’s just nuts. How did you know????” My mother was all congratulatory like she’d never said a thing.
LOL Typical mother!!!
Fran @ G'day Souffle says
Dang, now I know I’ve gotta get a Thermomix! Your buns (excuse the expression) look great and that ‘pulled pork’ looks even better! I’m so glad no students got the strap…
I don’t think anyone did. Maybe we were just all perfect. 🙂
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Yes, gorgeous buns and a lovely story and some how I am not surprised:)
Obviously, even at 8 yrs of age, you were a good judge of what authority figures were looking for. 🙂 Congratulations and I too am curious about your sister and mom’s reactions to your winning the good conduct medal.
I think those buns are the most gorgeous things I’ve seen in ages. It’s hard to believe how golden yellow the bun dough looks with only using one egg for the dough. I’d love that pulled pork sandwich. 🙂
PS: Just spotted that date loaf cake and am curious what an “op shop”. I was going to make the sticky date pudding cake was but the loaf cake is tempting me now.
An op shop in Australia is a second hand shop. The Salvation Army has them as well as other charitable organizations.
Thank you. I saw the term when I read/commented on the post originally but for some reason hadn’t asked.
That makes me sad to read about the discouraging words you received from your family. Oh, well. You seemed to have overcome fairly well. Nothing more American than BBQ sandwiches with cole slaw!
My mother and I had a very rocky relationship all my life. I just knew I’d win. 🙂
Hi Maureen, Oh I love your story, you sound like you were a little girl who went after what she really wanted, and got it, how sweet. Your brioche buns look wonderful.
Hotly Spiced says
Firstly, love the hair-do! Good on you, Maureen; it’s amazing what we can achieve with a little bit of belief. I hope you had your mother polish that medal for you – daily! I love your buns! And what a great filling. I bet these rolls filled your kitchen with a wonderful aroma while they were baking. I’d better get out of bed – the sun’s shining and we haven’t seen sunshine in Sydney too often lately xx
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Awwww what a great story, and I just love that photo… and now onto the buns… yummy!
Your buns look amazing, Miss Good Conduct (love the story)! I actually have brioche dough rising on the counter and may have to make rolls instead of a loaf! Looks like perfection to me!
Chris @ The Café Sucré Farine says
I think I could eat the whole pan. I know you must have been driving the neighbors crazy with the aroma! They are drop dead gorgeous!
I must say, I was a bit worried when I started reading your story about the nuns. I thought somehow it might lead into the story about the priest and then you’d have me laughing so hard I would cry – again.
Now I’m just thinking that your middle name might be goody-two-shoes … except I know that other story 🙂
May I remind you, Chris, that I did NOT fart in front of the priest. All those rumors are lies, I tell you!
Dedy@Dentist Chef says
Perfect brioche buns!!!!
my mom used to spray some thin milk or water before pop the brean into the oven to made the skin soft….
Joanne T Ferguso says
G’day! I hope it is okay to say your buns look AMAZING Maureen! 🙂
They do! And yes, can relate to being nostalgic and wanted to make something American comforting too!
GREAT recipe that’s now on the list for Thermalina and me!
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
You funny little thing. I’m glad your story turned out this way. Thesea are gloreous looking buns. I am sure idf you had have had a thermomix you would have made these buns for the nuns too
movita beaucoup says
Who would ever click Skip to the Recipe?!
As the winner of the Citizenship Award (Caring, Courtesy and Cooperation), I commend your efforts to better yourself and win a badass pin.
Gourmet Getaways says
Mmmm…nice looking buns! And you showed just how versatile the are. Great job!!
Gourmet Getaways says
Very nice looking buns! You also just showed how versatile they can be. Great job!!!
Eva Taylor says
What a cute story, it’s too bad you family didn’t have faith in you. My parents were amazing at encouraging even if they knew the outcome, they’re great life lessons. I’m really glad you won that award.
I’m rather intrigued by the thermomix but sadly they are the price of an oven! The brioche buns look amazing Maureen, glad you were able to eat like home even though you’re so far away.
Maureen, your buns do look lovely but that photo and that hair do! Hooly dooly! You do look pretty chuffed.
You made me go all awwww…what a super clever little girl you were. But to know what adults really want…that’s a priceless trick. Congrats, little Maureen was so cute.
Rachel @ Bakerita says
I don’t have a thermomix but these brioche buns look amazing!! And your sandwiches look on point 🙂 yum!
Thanks, Rachel. It’s definitely possible to make these rolls in a mixer, bread machine or by hand. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this recipe.
I have a question before I make 100s of them.
For mini burger bun I use cookie cutter to get exactly 5cm buns.
Is the bread dough firm enough to be cut with a cookie cutter or is a soft-ish brioche and has to be shaped by hand.
Thanks in advance
It should work just fine.
The Ninja Baker says
Think that was just the story I needed to read, Maureen. You had a clear vision and you attained your goal. Bravo!
Speaking of visions, love the gorgeous brioche buns…Bet the little wonders with a bit of pulled pork would cure any homesickness =)
Sandra Shaffer says
Perfect brioche buns and delicious sandwich!! Your bangs are perfect too! Love that photo 🙂
Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl says
Thanks for sharing that story, it made me smile. What else made me smile? These buns! Goodness gracious I just want to eat them all!
Krissie - Pearls of Style says
Love that you got the medal Maureen!
When you posted those images on Instagram I was drooling – please come to London and cook for me!
Krissie x – http://pearlsofstyle.blogspot.com
These look perfect!! I’m a sucker for a good bun 😉
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
LOL I love that story! And the photo too-you were adorable 😀 Take that naysayers! 😉
I think determination is the moral of this. Congratulations on perseverance and winning.
These buns look perfect. This is a comfort meal at its best. Blessings dear. Catherine
Mary Frances says
That is the cutest story, though I can see why you were nervous, a nun with a strap is a frighting sight! And don’t worry about looking like a goof, that photo of you is just precious, much like these little brioche buns. They’re so delicate and perfectly golden brown, I love them!
InTolerant Chef says
You clever thing you Maureen, you had it all figured out! Maybe I should initiate one of those medals here at home? I’d definitely like to my girls fighting over who could show me the most respect. Marks definitely deducted for eye-rolls or teenage grunting instead of using words 🙂
Beautiful looking rolls, they look so soft and fluffy- yummo xox
Choc Chip Uru says
That was the sweetest story my friend! That medal was deserved!
And such golden and delicious buns, they look so fluffy and inviting! 😀
Choc Chip Uru
Miss Kim @ behgopa says
Ohh these must be those yummy thingys that I saw on IG the other day and wanted for breakfast. And good for you! I guess you showed them. A little bit of good manners go a long way.
Kari @ bite-sized thoughts says
I love that story – and find it amusing that set against your clearly excellent behaviour, there must have been a bit of you that went “I told you so” to your mother and sister when you came home 😀
These brioche buns look fantastic too. I had no idea you could make them in the thermomix!
What a funny and fabulous story! And I love the photo of you!! And still always the best behavior, I am sure 😉
These buns are amazing!! I have to make them… I’ve been on a home-baked bread and roll binge lately and these are perfect!
I’ve been known to be naughty but I’ve always been smart enough not to get caught. 🙂
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Hahaha -Maureen, you and my daughter would get along so well – she seems to have mastered the art of brown nosing – so well that she managed to talk her teacher into giving her group extra time to turn in a project when the teacher said no to every other group!
Btw – these brioche buns are so light and fluffy – remind me of the ones at a bakery I used to work at during my college years!
I really love bread recipes.. and these buns are absolutely lovely. I will try them as soon as I will get the chance.
Vicki Bensinger says
Wow these buns are perfect, but honestly you got me instantly salivating at that bbq beef. Now I need that recipe as well to complete the buns!
Having attended Catholic elementary school myself, I HAD to read this entire post. Go Maureen! I was never a brown-noser. Quite the opposite. LOL! And, the name of your blog knowing what I now know = hilarious!!
These rolls will be at the top of my list for Winter baking. Yum.
ps. I tried signing up for your blog but couldn’t get it to ‘take.’ 🙁
Hi Beth, thanks for the visit and the comment. So you know all about schoolin’ with the nuns. I haven’t been a Roman Catholic for years as you might imagine. It’s a bit too ‘men are better than women’ for me. Thanks for the heads up about the blog sign up. We had a crash over the weekend and there were glitchy things. My techo best friend and top recipe tester has already fixed it.
Helene D'Souza says
You smart little lady. ^.^ What did your mother say when you showed her the pin?
Super cute picture of you Maureen. =)
Gorgeous buns Maureen and I have never eaten brioche in such a way. Need to try that some time!
Olivia @ mademoiselleinsydney says
Awww, I get homesick too from talking over the phone to my mother… this has never prompted me to cook brioche buns though (or anything that my mother would have cooked)… I wish I had this kind of homesickness inspiration! I just grab some Tim Tams (nothing French nor Asian here) and dunk them into a glass of milk… Next time I’m home sick, I’ll try and bake something as nice and good looking as these buns… They look delicious!
I’ve eaten American things for a homesick cure since I moved here. Sometimes simply an Oreo works. Other times it requires bacon, egg and cheese biscuits for breakfast. (scones)
ThermomixBlogger Helene says
Hey Maureen, great job on these — the EDC Brioche is one of my go-to recipes for TMX baking, but mine never looked quite this good! They are lovely and can be used in so many ways, thanks for the reminder 🙂
Helene, your recipes always look so fantastic. I think back to the first video of yours I saw about rough puff pastry. I swooned and I still swoon just thinking about it. (I just followed the easy recipe and then weighed the dough so they’d all be the same size.)
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
I can never go past a good brioche recipe! Thanks for posting this easy thermomix version.. definitely one that i will be recreating.
That is such a fantastic post. I so enjoyed reading it!! Ha, you showed ’em all!! Those buns are perfection, we are huge brioche fans here!!
They look great!!
Just wondering how long these keep for and if they can be frozen?
There are no preservatives so the rolls are only excellent on day one and okay on day 2. They freeze beautifully. I have frozen them before baking and after baking.
Do you use fresh or dried yeast for the 15g quantity please?
Dried yeast, Hayley. In my small town it is impossible to get fresh yeast.
Absolutely yummy. I’ve made them a few times now and my 7 yr. old daughter loves them. So quick to whizz up. I actually make them without sugar and they’re just as yummy and keep really well. Touching story & fab photos too. Many thanks from Spain
mike dewis says
They are wonderful, but please please please add the salt to the method list! I’ve just made them (for the third time) and forgot that you had forgotten to add it!
Ack! I had it in the ingredients but forgot it in the instructions! Fixed!!
amanda gargula says
Thankyou so very much for a heart warming story. You were in survival mode not brown nose mode. XxxX
Lovely story and they look delish! How long to they last for? If I want to make them for a party in the afternoon, can I make them in the morning? If so how would you recommend storing them?
Sure, morning is fine.
Woa! they are really good! I love these brioche buns. Thanks for your sharing
barbara edward says
Inspiring story. Power of positive thinking. Belief in oneself. Gonna try making buns using your recipe. Thanks heaps Maureen.
Just made them for the first time and love it! So easy and quick to prepare! Used as hot-dog buns and it was a family success!
Thanks for sharing!
Allan Muir says
Thanks for the recipe, these buns turned out great. If I may ask are these suitable to make into a loaf of bread and if so what timing would you give for baking?
I’ve never tried it as a loaf, sorry!
I never post on how good recipes are because I cannot be bothered. HOWEVER these buns are next level amazing and so easy. Worth every minute making. Thank you it was the best burger bun ever.
Nana Patricia says
Looks nice! Thanks for sharing! I’m going to try it this weekend! Btw, do visit my thermomix recipe for molten egg yolk bun (custard bun) in my blog – http://www.nanapatricia.com
Dear Maureen, just wanted to thank you for a beautiful recipe that has allowed me to make fresh hot dog rolls for my family tonight. I’ve made 6 rolls and we are having grass fed beef sausages. Beautiful texture to the dough. Followed recipe exactly here in Brisbane Australia. xxx
Glad you enjoyed them!