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Pecan and Cranberries Brioche Twist

4.3/5 - (6 votes)

Brioche can be eaten throughout the day in France and is often included as part of lunch or dinner, however it is most commonly an after school snack. Brioche is an enriched dough that is similar to  viennoiserie (pastry like breads such as croissants). It was first produced in Normandy and was a derivative of other famous breads at the time. It is most famous in Gisors and Gournay probably due to the high quality of butter made in this region. My recipe is based on the traditional brioche but filled with cranberries and pecans. It is best served on the day it was made but will keep for a few days.

For the dough

  • 225g flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 5g yeast
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 95g butter

For the filling

  • 100g chopped pecans
  • 75g cranberries
  • ½ dessert apple
  • 60g butter
  • 25g sugar
  • 3 tbsp brandy
  1. In a bowl place your flour, salt, yeast and sugar (yeast on one side, salt on the other).
  2. Warm your milk in the microwave or a small pan and whisk your eggs.
  3. Add your milk to the dry mixture and combine thoroughly.
  4. Add the eggs to your mixture and knead to combine.
  5. Gradually add the butter a little at a time kneading to combine.
  6. Now all ingredients are added knead for a further 8-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  7. Leave to prove for 1.5 to 2 hours in a warm space in a clean bowl covered with a tea towel, before transferring to the fridge and leaving to rest for another hour.
  8. Meanwhile, in a small pan toast your pecans until light brown with a nutty aroma.
  9. While your nuts are toasting peel and finely dice your dessert apple and finely chop your cranberries.
  10. Add the apple and cranberries to the pan when the nuts have toasted and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Add the butter and sugar and stir until melted.
  11. Add the brandy and stir to combine, take off the heat and leave to cool until your brioche is ready to shape.
  12. Preheat the oven and prepare a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  13. When your brioche is ready to shape, knock back (knock the air out of the dough with your hands) and then roll into a rectangle.
  14. Take your filling and spread evenly across all of your dough, then roll your dough into a log creating a spiral pattern in the middle.
  15. Slice the log lengthways revealing layers of dough and filling inside. Transfer to the baking tray lying the two halves parallel.  Take the two halves and we will create a twisted plait. To do this cross them again and again to intertwine them, creating one loaf while keeping the stripes of filling visible from the top.
  16. Egg wash and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown, the bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. However if you’re deaf or hearing impaired you can tell as the bread should be hard and crusty to the touch.
  17. Leave to cool and serve.

#Accessibility (image description: in the background we can see a brioche loaf with nuts and cranberries running through the mixture. It is shaped in a swirled twist pattern. In front of it we can see a few slices have been cut revealing the golden bread underneath.)

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