The jewelled look of this brioche, studded with diced candied fruit and shiny with a sugar glaze always catches one’s eye in an Ardéchois boulangerie. Serve with bowls of piping hot café au lait to makes a perfect Christmas breakfast.
In a wide mixing bowl, cream the fresh yeast with
Add the flour to one side of the bowl. Pour the eggs, beaten with the salt, into the centre and add half the sugar, the butter and the orange zest to the other side.
Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and leave at room temperature for 1–2 hours until the dough doubles in bulk.
Meanwhile soak the diced candied fruit, peel, angelica and cherries in the juice of the orange to soften slightly. Pour off the juice and heat in a small pan with the remainder of the sugar until dissolved. Set aside.
Turn the dough on to a floured surface and knead lightly for half a minute. Roll out to make a rectangle about
Roll up the dough from the longest side to make a sausage. Cut into seven even slices.
Bake in a moderate oven (Mark 5, 190°C, 375°F) for 25–30 minutes. The top should be golden, not brown.
Meanwhile simmer the orange juice and sugar until thick and syrupy. Remove the brioche from the oven and transfer to a wire tray. Brush the top with the orange syrup. Cool slightly before serving or freeze when completely cold and reheat in a warm oven to bring out the flavour before serving.
© 1987 Geraldene Holt. All rights reserved.