Brioscia co’ tuppo (Sicilian brioche with chignon)

When you come here to Sicily, and you order a typical granita or ice cream, you will be asked if you also want a brioscia cu’ tuppu. This amazing brioche smells of citrus and vanilla and it is very soft, so that you can dip it in your granita or fill it with ice cream.

If you have never tried it, then you must either order it on your next trip to Sicily or make it with this recipe….or even better, do both!

p.s. the word “tuppo” in Sicilian means chignon. Indeed, the brioche shape resembles that typical women’s hairstyle 😁

  • DifficultyMedium
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Rest time3 Hours
  • Cooking time25 Minutes
  • Servingmakes 6 brioches
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineItalian
  • SeasonalityEvergreen


300 g white flour
230 g Manitoba flour
200 ml milk
100 g sugar
80 g butter
25 g fresh beer yeast
2 eggs
1 lemon zest (or orange zest)
1 spoon honey
1 vanilla bean
1 pinch table salt
q.s. icing sugar (for the topping)


– sift the 2 flour onto a large bowl;

– pour the milk onto a small pot together with the sugar, the vanilla seeds, the grated lemon zest and the butter;

– put the pot onto the stove and warm it up on a medium fire;

– whisk everything together till the butter melts;

– remove the pot from the stove and allow the mixture to reach a lukewarm temperature;

– melt the yeast in the lukewarm flavored milk, then pour it onto the sifted flours;

– mix well till you start getting a dough, then start kneading;

– add the table salt diluted in few drops of water;

– keep kneading till you get a soft and smooth ball of dough;

– transfer the dough into a bowl greased with some oil, cover it with cling film and let it rest for at least 2 hours in the oven (switched off). Temperature inside the oven should be between 25 and 29 degrees.

– when the dough has tripled its volume, cut 6 balls from it;

– from each ball, take away small balls of around 15 gr each;

–  round each main ball with your hands and place them directly onto a baking tray (previously folded with baking paper), a distance of at least 5 cm from each other;

– when you have completed all the brioches, use your thumb to apply pressure to their center to make a hollow where you will place the small balls (tuppo);

– Before baking, if you want to give the classic shiny effect on top of the brioche, beat an additional egg yolk with a teaspoon of milk and brush the surface of each brioche;

– cover the tray with a kitchen towel and keep them away from air drafts, while you wait for the static oven to reach the temperature of 200 degrees;

– bake the brioches for 10 minutes at 200 degrees, then lower the temperature and bake for another 15 minutes or till golden;

– remove the brioches from the oven, and allow them to cool down onto a  wire cooling rack;

– once they reach a lukewarm temperature, sprinkle them with some icing sugar

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