Apple Brioche Braid

A popular recipe on our site is the Raspberry Brioche Braid, a pastry Zoe came up with to mimic a Danish braid without quite as much work. Since berries are now behind on us and we look forward to cold days and even colder nights, I decided to try my hand at an Apple version of Zoe’s creation. Since my children devoured the braid in moments I can assure you that is it in fact, quite delicious, and a perfect way to start a day, or end one.

Apple Brioche Braid

(For step-by-step instructions, check out our Instagram highlights!)

1 pound brioche dough made with Red Star Platinum Yeast (I’ve used the brioche dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the Amish Milk Dough from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but you could also use Challah dough or one of the enriched doughs from our The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book or even Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

Quick Apple Filling

2 cups grated Gala apple

1/4 cup apple cider

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Pinch salt

Cream Cheese Filling

4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) for topping braid

Icing

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon brandy (optional)

Pinch salt

To make the jam: Place the grated apple, apple cider, sugar and salt into a pan and stir together. Simmer over a medium/low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until most the juice has cooked into the apples. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. (The mixture will still look very ‘grated’, but the apples will continue cooking as the bread bakes.)

To make the cream cheese filling: mix the cream cheese, zest and sugar in a bowl until smooth.

Take a one pound piece of dough from the dough bucket (weighing on a scale is the easiest way, but if you don’t have one, a grapefruit-sized piece will do) and roll the dough into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. Make sure to use enough flour that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface or the rolling pin. TRANSFER THE ROLLED OUT DOUGH TO A SHEET OF PARCHMENT. Spread the cream cheese filling down the center of the dough, about 1 inch wide.

Top the cream cheese with about 1/2 cup of the apple filling. You can add more, but some may leak out of the braid as it is baking. There may be a little jam left over to serve with the baked braid.

Cut 1/2-inch thick strips of dough with a pastry or pizza cutter. (Try to get an even amount on both sides, but it’s okay if it doesn’t happen.)

Lightly twist the top two strips of dough, then cross them over the top of the filling. Do not pull the dough too thin or it may break as it rises and bakes. Continue that same routine of twisting the pieces and crossing them over each other on top of the filling, until you are at the bottom. If you find an odd piece of the dough, that doesn’t have a mate, just twist it and place it over the filling. When you get to the end, tuck the loose pieces under the loaf, so they are secure and won’t pop out when baking.

Place the braid and parchment onto a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic and allow to rest for about 1 1/2 hours.

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

Just before baking, brush the loaf gently with the egg wash.

Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes or until golden brown (I like to bake this braid on two layers of baking sheets, to keep the bottom from browning too quickly). Allow to cool before topping with the icing.

To make the icing: place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Combine the melted butter, water, brandy, and salt together, and pour it over the powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. It should come off a spoon in a thin drizzle.

Red Star Yeast sponsored this post, and provided yeast samples for recipe testing.

Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake

Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

GIVEAWAY IS DONE!!! RECIPE FOR THIS WONDERFUL COFFEE CAKE BELOW!

For the holidays, we wanted to thank all of you for the inspiration and joy you have given us, so we’ve partnered with some of our favorite folks to do a GIVEAWAY! This Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day is a perfect holiday morning treat and we’re going to make baking it even more fun, by giving away a copy of our book, a J.K. Adams Patisserie Maple Wood Rolling Pin and a beautiful Emile Henry Loaf Dish to FIVE lucky winners.

Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, rolling pin and bakeware

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below about what else you might bake with these items (we’re hoping for more inspiration from you all). Read our rules and such for giveaways here. You can also enter on our instagram page for even greater chance at winning.

Now for the Apple-Cranberry Coffee Cake recipe: (more…)

Brioche Apple Fritters with Red Star Yeast

Brioche Apple Fritters | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Apple Fritters represent everything wonderful about the change of season. Every fall we wait with bated breath for the apple varieties to show up in the markets, or better yet, we head off to the orchard to pick them ourselves. There are very few activities that are more romantic or satisfying than picking fruit and then creating something delicious with them. These fritters are the perfect way to show off your favorite apples. If you have a bucket of brioche dough on the ready, you can have these in just minutes.

I started these apple fritters with our Brioche Dough from our brand new book, Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, which will come out in November (you can preorder now).

Brioche dough | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

I made the dough with Platinum Yeast from Red Star. Making the dough with Platinum yeast, which has dough enhancers, give extra insurance the fritters will be light even when you pack the dough densely with chopped fruit. You can watch me make the dough and fritters in our @breadin5 instagram video. (more…)

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.

(more…)

Caramel Apple Brioche Cake–for Thanksgiving Breakfast

Caramel Apple Brioche Cake for Thanksgiving Breakfast | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

There are so many good things about Thanksgiving dinner. There’s the table piled with comfort food, the house full of family and friends, the first evening of holiday music playing, and a day to consider all the good things the year has brought.

But there’s something to be said about Thanksgiving breakfast. It’s always overlooked, and often skipped while one focuses on cleaning house, peeling potatoes, and setting the table. But what better way to start a day of feasting, really. This cake is one big roll, stuffed with apples and topped with caramel sauce and toasted pecans. It’s perfect to have on hand for overnight guests and bribing kids to pitch in Thursday morning. It also just may remind one to pause with gratitude; this treat is still bread underneath. Breaking it with a loved one first thing in the morning is a sweet sort of communion, a unique way to stop and give thanks.

(more…)

Apple Cider Gluten-Free Brioche and Doughnuts

Gluten-Free Apple Cider Doughnuts | Breadin5

(photo by Stephen Scott Gross, styled by Sarah Kieffer)

“…Of apple-picking: I am overtired
Of the great harvest I myself desired.
There were ten thousand thousand fruit to touch,
Cherish in hand, lift down, and not let fall.
For all
That struck the earth,
No matter if not bruised or spiked with stubble,
Went surely to the cider-apple heap
As of no worth…”
Robert Frost After Apple-Picking
This time of year nearly everything worth eating has apples in it. This gluten-free brioche from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with the rich, slightly cloudy apple cider, which has a wonderful tang to it and isn’t overly sweet. You can use the clear apple juice, but it doesn’t have the same depth of flavor. This gluten-free brioche dough is wonderful baked in a loaf pan, made into a coffee cake or fried and dusted with cinnamon sugar like these doughnuts.

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Apple and Honey Challah

Apple and Honey Challah Recipe | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Tomorrow I will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, with family and friends. It is traditional to eat lots of honey and apples during this high holy day to usher in the new year with sweetness. The challah dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day is made with honey, then I fold chopped apples into the dough and braid it into a circle. You can do any shape you like, but the circle is meant to symbolize the full cycle of the coming year. This bread may be ubiquitous at the high holy days, but it is wonderful anytime, especially during apple picking season here in the Midwest. 

Fresh Apples | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (more…)

Apple Strudel Bread

It is apple season again, one of the best times of the year. In MN we are blessed with a bevy of apple choices, which makes baking so exciting. When I make a recipe with apples I like to combine them for flavor, texture and color. In HBin5 we feature apples in our Strudel Bread, which combines all the flavors of the traditional Viennese pastry, with the easy and speed of our dough. Roll the filling into almost any dough and you have a bread that shouts “autumn is here!” Anyone who loves apples will fall head over heels for this loaf.

My eldest son is going through a NO nuts or raisins phase, which I hope to break him of soon, but in the mean time, I bake without them for his sake. Usually this loaf would be made with both of those delicious additions and I highly recommend you try that version. In order to make the loaf more interesting without the nuts and raisins, I replaced them with a sharp cheddar cheese. The loaf was gone within minutes of the school day ending, so I know he appreciated the effort.  (more…)

Apple, Ham, and Blue Cheese Tart, plus: the secret to getting really thin crust (and a visit to White Pine Orchard for apple-picking)

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Apples in a savory tart/pizza?  Absolutely!  One typical combo in a savory fruit tart is blue cheese and pear, but this is the Upper Midwest in October, and our friend Keith Kozub runs the world’s finest organic apple orchard:  White Pine Orchard, near River Falls, Wisconsin.  We went apple-picking with friends and ended up with what seemed like bushels of apples.  This will be the first of many new apple recipes, and it was a chance to play with a better way to get a really thin crust for this kind of tart or pizza… (more…)