People often ask me if, just for once I could try following a recipe without buggering around with it or ignoring it all together. I’ve given the matter a great deal of thought and, no I can’t.
I set out to make stollen this morning, I used all of the right ingredients but I didn’t necessarily put them in the right order. What I got instead was a light brioche.
Here are my Winterval Season Tear and Share Brioche Bites
Sane people might like to reduce the quantities and yet again I’ve ‘measured’ by eye. This does two large cake tins.
White bread flour. 1080g
Soft brown sugar 200g
Zest and juices of two lemons and one orange
Walnuts, almonds 150g chopped
Dried fruit 290g
Spice – mace, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, cinnamon freshly ground
Honey for glazing
We’re going to be using an enriched dough so allow extra time for rising – yeast doesn’t do well in these conditions but it gets there in the end. Ignoring the overnight bit this took 6 hours about 45 mins of that was hands on.
The night( or a few hours) before, warm the milk, mix a bit of the flour in and some of the sugar. Add yeast and leave it somewhere cosy.
When it’s good and bubbly mix the egg with the milk/yeast/flour, don’t add the juice or you’ll make a mess.
Add the juice to the dry flour and work it in a bit, then add the rest of the liquid. Knead well – this takes some doing but it should come out glossy and smooth.
Rise until it’s doubled – which takes a few hours. Flatten out and put half the fruit/nuts mix in the middle, fold, flatten again and add the rest, fold and knead. Don’t use a rolling pin for this – stretch it out by hand.
Rest for 30mins ( you and the dough), divide into balls and arrange in a tin, rise again ( about an hour ) and set the oven to 160C bake for around the 45min mark – times will vary massively on tin size, shape and your oven.
Glaze with honey, remove from tin to cool a bit, tear and share.