Apple-Peach Braided Brioche Cake

apple-peach brioche cake

‘At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.’ – Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve got peaches and apples in my kitchen. Summer is gently fading, and autumn is slipping in with an occasional cool breeze, a golden leaf here and there. I don’t know how August is already over, but here is September with its crisp ciders and juicy pears. I’m ready for bread-making again, and am starting the cooler months off with this brioche cake.The juicy peaches and the apple-cinnamon flavor are a good combination; a perfect intermingling of the seasons.

Apple-Peach Brioche Cake
Inspired by this Braided Cinnamon, Apple, and Pecan Bread from Floating Kitchen.

1 pound Whole Wheat Brioche or regular Brioche

Filling
1 small apple, peeled and grated (I used a Gala apple)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup peeled and diced peaches

Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-4 tablespoons water

Remove 1 pound of dough from your dough bucket, and place it on a generously floured surface. Knead the dough a few times, and shape into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, peel the apple, and then grate it directly over a clean dish towel. Wring out the dish towel over a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, catching all the apple juice. Set the grated apple aside to use later. Pour the apple juice into a small saucepan, and add the granulated sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and let simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and starting to turn sticky. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the slightly cooled apple juice, and stir to combine. Add the grated apple pieces and stir again to combine. Set aside.

brioche cake

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Grease the ring of a 10-inch springform pan.

Once the dough is ready, roll it to a 1/4-inch thick rectangle, using flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the counter. Brush the melted butter over the dough. Use an off-set spatula to spread the apple-sugar mixture evenly over the butter, leaving a 1/2 border around the edges. Sprinkle with the chopped peaches. Starting with the long end of the dough, carefully roll the dough into a log. Gently transfer the log to the prepared sheet pan (you may need to use a bench scraper or spatula to help move it). Mine fit on the sheet pan diagonally. Chill the log in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until firm.

brioche cake

Using a scissors or sharp knife, gently cut the roll into half lengthwise so the layers of dough and filling are visible, but leave one end still attached by about 3/4-inch.

brioche cake

With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half, and continue until you have braided the entire roll. Press the ends together.

brioche cake

Starting at the cut end, gently spiral the braid into a circle, no bigger than 9-inches across, making sure not to leave any holes or gaps. If any peaches fall out, tuck them back inside the braid. It’s okay if a little filling leaks around the edges, too.

brioche cake

Place the ring of the spring form pan around the bread. Cover with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours, until puffed and touching (or almost touching) the sides of the pan.

brioche cake

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and heat the oven to 350F.

Remove the plastic wrap, but leave the spring form pan around the dough. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove the spingform ring from the bread (if it’s sticking, use a thin knife or off-set spatula to help release it).

brioche cake

For the icing
Put the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water, and mix until combined. If the icing is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm the warm bread.

brioche cake

Best eaten warm. Enjoy!

Truck Stop Cinnamon Rolls!

Fresh baked truck stop cinnamon rolls

Making cinnamon rolls is hands down one of the most popular ways that folks use our brioche dough. Not only is this an easy dough to prepare, but since it can be used for up to five days after being made, there is the potential to eat cinnamon rolls every day of the week. Of course, we stand by the phrase “all things in moderation,” but it’s still nice to know that there’s a way to make every Monday morning more enjoyable.

Truck stop cinnamon rolls are not much different than our regular buns, they are just significantly bigger (each one can serve two. Or more?). They are perfect for brunch or company; a special indulgence.

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Brötchen! GF book is released in Germany: “Glutenfreies Funf-Minuten-Brot”

In 2014, Jeff and Zoe worked on a Gluten-Free book for Bread in 5 readers, first published in the US (in English, of course), and now in Germany (in German of course), where it was published this Spring by Unimedica. “Glutenfreies Funf-Minuten-Brot” is available all over Germany, on AmazonDE, and even in the US. We decided to celebrate the release with some Brötchen (which is German for “little bread”), an egg-white enriched dough which creates an incredible crust and crumb. We are also excited because this is our first post with instructions for baking with wheat OR gluten-free flour! The egg-white especially lightens up the gluten-free version. Note: these pictures are of the wheat-based brotchen.

Brötchen (makes about 10 or 11)

2 pounds Master Wheat Recipe Egg-White Enriched (see below) or Gluten-Free Master Recipe Egg-White Enriched using the Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix

Preheat the oven to 450F, with an empty metal broiler tray on any shelf that won’t interfere with the rising brötchen.

Cut off 3-ounce (peach-size) pieces of Egg White-Enriched Dough (see below) and quickly shape into balls, then pinch to form an oval shape. Allow to rest, 2 inches apart, on a baking sheet prepared with oil, butter, parchment paper, or a silicone mat for 20 minutes.

Brush the tops with egg white and cut a single lengthwise slash into the top of each roll, using a serrated knife.

Place the baking sheet in the oven, pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray, and quickly close the oven door. Bake the rolls for about 25 minutes, or until richly browned. Serve slightly warm.

Egg-White Enriched Wheat Dough: Put 3 egg whites into the bottom of a measuring cup, then add water to bring the total volume to 3 cups of liquid in the Master Recipe (or on page 53 in New Artisan). All other ingredients and measurements are the same. Refrigerate for up to 5 days before freezing in 1-pound portions. This dough is great for brotchen, but you can use it for other rolls or bread as well. The egg-white variation for the gluten-free dough is at the
Gluten-Free Master Recipe.

Need help with your Gluten-Free Dough? We have a video here to show you what it should look like!

You can also bake the Brötchen as a boule, if you want!

Chocolate Bread… Yes, chocolate!

chocolate bread

As you all know by now, at BreadIn5 we take our sweets very seriously and chocolate is an essential food group. So we wanted to share one of the great pleasures of The New Artisan Bread in Five: Chocolate Bread. It has an intense chocolate flavor without being too sweet. This bread is equally as good with a sweet cherry jam as it is with a sharp cheddar; it all just depends on your mood. There will rarely be leftovers (but just in case there are we’ve also got a recipe for Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, page 362 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, that is out of this world!)

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Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls with Red Star Yeast—with Video!

Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Yes, we took on the Pinterest Easter bunnies. Have you seen them, pinned on everyone’s holiday boards? Turns out that picture is actually of a bunny cookie, and these sad rolls are more an accurate visual of how things would turn out. But, I’m happy to tell you that after making dozens upon dozens of rolls, we have some tips to help you make some cute little bunnies.

However, I won’t lie to you (it is Easter, after all) that these Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls are a little tricky. And you may have some rolls that end up a little wonky. But, as my children oohed and ahhed over even the misshapen ones, I could see we had a winner idea.

Easter Bunny Brioche Rolls | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Braided Chocolate and Cocoa Nib Bread… and announcing a winner of the giveaway!

braided chocolate and cacao nib bread | bread in 5

I’ve been slightly enamored with braided bread this Holiday season – it’s been popping up all over our Pinterest boards, in loaf, wreath, cake, and roll form. I was especially interested in a krantz cake Tara from Seven Spoons made recently; her loaf was braided and twisted so beautifully, and I was sure there was a way to turn it into a Bread in 5 version. Some brioche dough and chocolate-cacao nib filling later, and I had a winner. This bread is a looker, the chocolate leaving swirls throughout and the sugar glaze giving the finished bread a sparkly sheen. It’s sweet but not overly so, and the cacao nibs give just the right amount of crunch. It’s a great edition to your Holiday baking line up.

And, as promised, we have a giveaway winner….congratulations Janna, we’re sending you the Emile Henry Bread Cloche, some flour, Platinum Yeast from Red Star and a Signed Copy of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Enjoy!

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English Muffins On The Stove Top

english mufins | bread in 5

Breakfast has been said to be the most important meal of the day, but so often it is made up of coffee and not much else. I make a point to purchase store-bought bagels and English muffins to have on hand, but they lack flavor and I find myself skipping that first meal more often than not. I remembered back to Zoe’s post on baked English Muffins, and decided to try the same technique on the stove top to save some time. Sure enough, they were amazing! Soaked in butter and a little jam, or filled with eggs and cheese, these biscuits were worth making every time. They also re-toasted well; I made a large batch Sunday morning and had a delicious breakfast the rest of the week.

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Bruschetta with Fig Compote

Bruschetta with Fig Compote | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

As you can imagine, I tend to make a lot of bread. And while most of it gets eaten gladly, there are times when the bread box is filled with loaves that have gone stale. I never find it too hard to be creative when it comes to ‘old’ bread; french toast always works, and bread pudding, and bruschetta. While I love a traditional take on bruschetta, I decided to change things up a bit by making something with fall flavors; so I took off the tomatoes and added figs.

Figs are in season just a little longer, and my fridge has been filled with them for weeks now. I tend to snatch them up and then cook them down, making a compote that can be used in a variety of ways. The sweetness of this compote combined with the prosciutto and blue cheese makes for such a flavorful bite. And, if the compote is made ahead of time, this can be put together in mere minutes, making this a simple and delicious afternoon lunch.

Extra credit: Zoë is on Andrew Zimmern’s latest podcast, talking about the upcoming book (which is available for pre-order)! Go ahead and take a listen here.

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Grilled Pizza On A Charcoal Grill

Grilled Pizza on a Charcoal Grill | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We’ve made a lot of grilled pizzas here at Bread in Five, but almost all of them have been on a gas grill. If you’ve ever attempted a pizza on a charcoal grill you know why this is: the pizza is much easier to manage, and there is less change of burning when it’s not over flaming hot coals. However, many people do not own a gas grill, and so we set out to figure out some helpful tips and tricks in making a charcoal grilled pizza a little bit easier. Twenty pizzas later, and we finally have something for you.

There were quite a few things we learned along the way: bread flour makes a nice, sturdy dough, olive oil in the dough keeps the pizza from sticking to the grill, building a hot and cool side in the grill is a must, and keeping the pizzas on the small side makes them easier to manage.

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