Brioche with Autumn Fruit and Lavender Glaze
– by Rebecca Bishop AKA The Next Loaf
This dough is a real stalwart of my baking repertoire and definitely worth trying. Wonderfully versatile, its perfect whenever you need a bread that’s both salty and sweet with a delicate, pillow-like soft crumb. Use it for French toast, burger buns or simply toasting as a weekend treat. It also features in the doughnut recipe in my book “Two Magpies Bakery’.
Ingredients: Makes 1 loaf – enough for 4 servings with some leftovers for breakfast!
• 250g Strong white flour
• 25g Caster sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon Unwaxed lemon zest
• Whole egg
• 35g Cold Water
• 7g Active dried yeast
• 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped)
• 60g Unsalted cold butter
• 100g Honey (lavender if possible)
• 50g Water
• 1 teaspoon Dired/fresh edible lavender
• 50g Unsalted butter
Weigh your flour, sugar, salt and lemon zest into a large bowl and combine. Weigh your lightly beaten eggs and water into a jug and add your yeast – stir to dissolve. Chop the butter into small 1 cm cubes and divide into 4.
Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients and use a scraper or the dough hook on your stand mixer to bring the dough together into a shaggy mass with no dry bits. Cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes.
After the rest knead firmly by hand or use your mixer on medium speed for 5-7 minutes until you’ve achieved moderate gluten development – your dough should be strong and elastic and pass the windowpane test (*see this month’s baking tip)
Take the first of your four portions of butter and dot onto the slightly flattened dough then fold the dough over to enclose the butter before continuing to knead – use the heel of your hand and continue until the first portion of butter is no longer visible. Repeat with the remaining butter, waiting for each portion to be absorbed before adding the next. Once all the butter is added your dough should be glossy and smooth with strong gluten development.
Form your dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl to rest for at least 6 hours to firm up and develop flavour. The dough can remain in your fridge without shaping for up to 48 hours.
When you’re ready to shape, prove and bake your loaf prepare a 450g loaf tin by greasing it well with a neutral oil.
Remove the dough from the fridge and shape into a loaf. Place in your tin then cover with oiled heavy plastic (or another bowl) and prove in a warm place for 1-2 hours until puffy and expanded. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (fan) and then egg wash the surface of your loaf before baking for 20 – 25 minutes. Turn the loaf after 15 minutes to ensure even browning. Your loaf is fully baked when the centre has reached 97 degrees C. Turn out of the tin to fully cool.
To assemble your dessert: Slice the loaf into 2cm slices. Generously grease a griddle pan with some of the butter and toast the slices until crisp and golden on both sides. Keep warm while you prepare the fruit.
Slice your chosen fruit in half across the centre and place in the buttery pan until softened – allow the cut side to caramelise slightly to increase the flavour. Keep the fruit warm.
Add the honey, water and lavender to the pan juices with the remaining butter and simmer until thickened – 2-3 minutes. Arrange the fruit on the toasted brioche before drizzling on the glaze. Decorate with edible flowers and serve with ice cream or crème fraiche.