This is a stunning new spin on brioche shaping. The technique was introduced to me via The Fresh Loaf, a web forum for amateur bread bakers. The original recipe was for a bread from the Caucasus with a savory filling, but as you can see, the technique works for shaping any kind of bread. Cinnamon sugar makes a beautiful design inside the brioche and is perfect for breakfast or a holiday brunch.
Plan Ahead Make the brioche dough 1 day ahead.
|Classic Brioche Dough||a double recipe|
|fine sea salt||.||.|
|ground cinnamon (see Note)|
One 10 by 2½ to 3 inch high springform pan, well coated with nonstick cooking spray | A slightly larger silicone pan or 2 cake strips | A baking sheet
In a small bowl, whisk the egg and salt and strain the mixture into another small bowl. Push it through with the back of a spoon or let it sit for several minutes to flow through the strainer. There will be about
Using a fine-mesh strainer, sift the sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl and whisk to combine them evenly.
Turn the dough onto a well-floured counter and flour the top. With your fingertips, press down the dough to flatten it evenly. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 20 to 22 inch circle, moving the dough and flouring it as necessary to keep it from sticking. Brush off any excess flour.
Brush the entire surface of the dough with the beaten egg, using as little as possible to create an even coating. (Too much egg wash will dissolve the sugar, making the dough more difficult to shape.) Sift and smooth the cinnamon sugar as evenly as possible over the dough.
Starting from the top, use your fingers and a long plastic ruler to roll up the dough and to help support the dough as you roll it. (Slip the edge of the ruler slightly under the dough and use it to lift up and roll the dough.) With each roll, dust any flour from the surface of the dough, and press firmly all along the dough roll to keep it from separating. Work carefully without rushing. When you reach the bottom edge of the dough, pinch it firmly against the outside of the dough to make a tight seam. Pinch the ends of the dough firmly together, and arrange the roll so that most of the seam is facing up.
Use a long sharp chef’s knife to cut the dough roll cleanly lengthwise into equal halves, cutting along the seam as much as possible. Use sharp shears to finish cutting through the bottom parts of the slash where the dough tends to stick together.
Keeping the cut sides up, starting in the middle, cross the 2 long pieces of dough over each other to form an X. Always keeping the cut sides facing up, lift up the bottom two ends of the dough and cross the upper one under the lower one. Continue twisting the strands in this way until you reach the ends of the dough and then pinch them together. Repeat with the other two ends of the dough to form a spiral.
Unlock the springform pan and slide the pan bottom under the dough, starting with one end at the center. Without lifting the dough spiral from the surface, coil it tightly around itself, always being sure to keep the cut sides facing up. The center will protrude upward to form a whorl resembling a rose. Tuck the remaining end underneath the coil.
Reattach the sides of the pan. The dough will not fill the pan until after rising, when it will have spread to touch the sides. Set the pan in the silicone pan or encircle the pan with 2 cake strips. Cover it loosely with plastic wrap that has been lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray. Let the dough rise in a warm place (ideally at 75° to 85°F/24° to 29°C) for 40 minutes to 1½ hours, or until doubled. The dough will touch the sides of the pan and the center will rise about
Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the lowest level of the oven and
Set the pan on the baking sheet.
Run a small metal spatula between the sides of the pan and the bread, pressing firmly against the pan. Release the sides of the pan. Use two large pancake turners, slipped between the bottom of the bread and the pan, to lift the bread onto a wire rack. Let it cool just until warm or room temperature.
Room temperature, 2 days; frozen, 2 months. If you want to freeze slices, freeze them first before stacking them and placing them in reclosable freezer bags so that they do not stick together.
Copyright © 2014 by Cordon Rose, LLC. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.