Wednesday 18 September 2013

Sunday brunch – brioche, part 2

It was SD's birthday this Sunday, so I decided to do something a bit special. Buoyed by the success of the brioche I made a few months ago, I decided to try the Brie and apple varieties.

The initial dough is really easy to make – dump the ingredients in the bowl (in order), pop in your dough hook and then wait.

Luckily, each of these recipes from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake uses half quantities (or can use half quantities), so you can easily make savoury and sweet versions for breakfast.

Apple brioche

I made the dough on Friday night (10-15 mins), prepared it (about 30 mins, including making the crème patissiere) it on Saturday night and baked it on Sunday morning, but you could do it all starting the afternoon before. I promise that it is worth the small effort.

Once you’ve got your dough ready to start preparing (so, you’ve let it prove for 7 hours), divide it in two.

For the Brie version, knock the dough back a bit. Divide it into 7 equal-sized pieces. Take 100g of Brie and cut it into 7 pieces – I used Camembert in the end. Push a piece of cheese into the centre of each piece of dough. Grease a 20cm round tin, and arrange the dough balls in it, with one in the centre and the remaining 6 pieces around it. Cover the lot with some cellophane and leave it to rest for at least two hours.

The uncut Camembert brioche
When you’re ready to bake, heat the oven to 190° and bake your bread for 20-25 minutes (mine was slightly over-baked and therefore a little dry). Serve it while it’s still slightly warm. While you’re tucking into it, you can bake the apple version.

Camembert brioche

For the apple version, grease a baking sheet. Knock your dough back a bit and divide it into two. Either roll or push each one into a round shape on the baking sheet.

You’ll need to make a crème patissiere to go on top of the dough. In a bowl, combine 100g sugar, 4 medium egg yolks and 40g of cornflour until they are smooth. Heat 500ml of whole milk and a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste in a pot until boiling. Pour about a quarter of this into the egg yolk mixture and whisk. Then add this mixture back into the milk in the pot and heat the whole lot until it starts thickening. Pass this through a sieve and mix through a 40g knob of butter. Cover this with a circle of greaseproof paper to prevent a skin from forming. Leave this to cool.

When it’s cool, spread the crème on the dough – I only needed about half of it, which was fine, as this was the best custard I’ve ever eaten. And I’ve eaten a lot of custard.

The 'creme pat' on the brioche

Peel, core and slice about 3 apples and arrange these on top of the crème patissiere. If you have some, sprinkle a few slivered almonds on top. Bake this at 200° for 20-25 minutes until it is golden brown. You could brush the top with apricot jam to glaze it. I don’t like apricots, so I didn’t.

And spread with the apples

I didn’t try this, but I think some fried lardons would work well in the cheesy ones (and I’d add a bit more cheese, so maybe 150g cheese instead of 100g), and an apple and Brie version would be delicious. Hmmm, I might have to make this a third time…

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