Cinnamon Apple Braided Brioche Bread

I totally love baking apples into pies, breads, tarts and cakes. There is nothing I love more than the smell of baked apples and cinnamon, except for the smell of yeasty bread so why not combine the two huh? Let me tell you how fantastic that idea is!
A soft, rich, decadent brioche that lovingly wraps around a filling of apples, cinnamon and caramelized brown sugar. And while this may look like I spent 10 hours slaving over, its really quite easily done. I used the pre-made and refrigerated, no-knead brioche recipe from Artisan Bread in 5. Seriously Zoe and Jeff, like hundreds of others, I love you guys. As you may have realized, I have much love for genius chefs and foodies who come up with easy ways to make delicious goodies, with simple tools like a mixing bowl and a spoon. 



Cinnamon Apple Braided Brioche Bread
Recipe source: slightly adapted from Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day from their website here
Brioche dough (makes about 4 loaves- I used only half the recipe) 
You could also use the slightly less decadent Challah dough (see here
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 8 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup honey 
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Method:
Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container. I used a largeglass  mixing bowl ( one from set of  Pyrex stackable, lidded ones I love and use for prepping, storing or reheating daily) 
Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all of the flour is incorporated.
Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.
The dough can be used as soon as it is chilled. This dough is way too sticky to use after the initial rise, but once it is chilled it is very easy to handle. 
Zoe also uses this same dough to create other goodies like this Tatincaramel sticky bunsgrilled fruit tartFresh Fruit Muffins,Brioche à têteapricot pastries and even doughnuts! The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that you can freeze the dough.


For the Apple filling:
1/4 to 1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon pwd
1 apple ( I used a sweet gala apple but you could use any) slice thin with a knife or mandoline )


Eggwash
1 egg (lightly beaten) mixed with 1 tbsp water


Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon powder for the filling
Take the brioche or challah bread from the fridge and working quickly, roll it out on a baking sheet or silpat.
Roll the dough into a rough rectangular shape
Spread out the filling in the center portion of the rectangle and lay out the apple slices over it.
With kitchen shears or a pizza cutter cut evenly spaced strips on both sides of the filling and lightly egg wash them ( The egg wash acts like a glue)
Fold the strips over the filling, crossing one strip from one side over the other, and pinch them together. Zoe suggested something I missed- Make sure that there is quite a bit of excess dough beyond the point where you pinch them together. If you pinch right at the ends it will bust open when baking. Hence you may notice that some of my filling has come out :( 
For a far more easier to understand pictoral how-to see the Danish Braided Bread from Artisanbreadin5 here or their fabulous book.


Let the braid sit loosely covered with plastic wrap ( I didn't cover mine) for about 40 mins
Slide the braid on the baking mat to a cookie sheet/baking tray
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Lightly coat the bread with egg wash and sprinkle with regular or pearl sugar, a sprinkling of slivered almonds if you like, and bake in the middle rack of your oven for 20 mins or until a tooth pick insirted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
If you can wait that long, allow to sit for about 15 mins before cutting slices off and serving. 
And yes, yes of course you'd like to try other fillings- savoury like feta cheese and spinach, or as Zoe suggests in her Danish Braid:
1/2 cup softened cream cheese, 
3 tablespoons sugar, 
1 teaspoon vanilla, 
raspberry preserves and fresh blackberries or other fruit like peaches, pears... many many beautiful possibilities.


Am sending my gorgeous braided brioche to this month's Monthly Mingle hosted by the passionate about baking Deeba with the theme 'baking with fruit'.

7 comments:

  1. That's a great brioche, and I love how vesatile the dough is. AB in 5 is one of my fave books, and Zoe knows how to do it right! Thank you for bringing this beautiful braided loaf to the Mingle! I love the flavours you chose - so fall, so warm!

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  2. I'm totally with you on the combinations of fruit and baking and the heavenly scent. Brioche can be a challenge and this sounds uncomplicated. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I'm so glad you all stopped by :) Thanks!

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  4. Wow, your picture make me feel hungry!! It looks delicious and i am sure it's gone in a second, right? :) yummy!

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  5. wow, lovely Broiche rolls, with all those flavours, first time in your blog, lovely recipes, and a lovely blog

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