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Apple cinnamon brioche bread braid - the perfect Autumn breakfast.

Apple Cinnamon Brioche

Servings 8 people

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 275 g (2 + 1/4 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 7 g (2 tsp) fast action (instant) yeast
  • 25 g (2 Tbsp) caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 70 ml (1/4 cup + 1 scant Tbsp) full fat milk lukewarm
  • 100 g (1 stick) softened unsalted butter cubed

Filling:

  • 600 g eating apples (about 4 medium apples)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 30 g (2 Tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 75 g (1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp) light brown soft sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1 egg, beaten with a splash of milk to glaze
  • demarera sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. To make the dough: place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, eggs and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix on a low speed until it all comes together then turn up to medium speed and mix for a couple of minutes until the dough is smooth and slightly elastic. The dough is quite sticky so if you are kneading by hand be prepared to get messy!

  2. With the mixer running, add the butter in lumps one at a time then continue to knead the dough at a high speed until the butter is all evenly incorporated and the dough is smooth, soft and elastic. It will still be quite sticky but should start to pull away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.

  3. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight (the dough will keep for a couple of days in the fridge).
  4. The following day start by making the filling. Peel, core and slice the apples and place in a bowl with the lemon juice, toss gently to combine. Melt the butter in a wide frying pan and add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt and vanilla extract. Stir to combine then sauté gently until the fruit has softened slightly and the juices have reduced to a thick syrup, set aside to cool. Once the apples have cooled, sprinkle over the tablespoon of flour and stir in gently.
  5. On a piece of lightly floured baking parchment, roll the brioche dough out into a roughly 10 x 15-inch rectangle, move the paper and dough onto a baking sheet. Spread the apple mixture down the centre of the dough, cut the dough surrounding the filling into diagonal strips about 1 1/2 inches wide making sure to leave a border of uncut dough around the filling.
  6. Fold over the ends, then fold the cut strips of dough over the filling, alternating sides so that it looks like it has been braided.

  7. Loosely cover the dough with oiled cling film and leave it to rise until it is puffy  and springs back slowly when you press it gently with a finger – about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

  8. Gently brush the dough with the beaten egg and sprinkle with demarera sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and cooked through. Because of the large amounts of butter and sugar in the dough, brioche can colour very quickly on the outside before being cooked on the inside, so if it starts to darken too quickly, cover it with a piece of tin foil.

  9. Leave the brioche to cool on the tray for 10 minutes then carefully transfer it to a wire rack. Best eaten the day it is made but will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container.