Chocolate and Apricot Brioche

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The lovely soft texture of brioche comes from the egg and milk in the dough. In this version some of the traditional ‘strong’ gluten-rich bread flour is substituted with some gluten-free quinoa flour to give fibre, iron and calcium. Rich and substantial, the brioche shouldn’t need butter or jam, and is delicious accompanied by frothy hot chocolate.

Ingredients

  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup strong white bread flour
  • 115 g/4 oz/1 cup quinoa flour
  • 50 g/2 oz/½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 10 ml/2 tsp easy blend (rapid-rise) yeast 60 ml/4 tbsp soft light brown sugar
  • 5 ml/1 tsp salt
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp milk
  • 45 ml/3 tbsp warm water
  • 5 ml/1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50 g/2 oz plain (semisweet) chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 50 g/2 oz/¼ cup dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp milk and 15 ml/1 tbsp soft light brown sugar, to glaze

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients, except the chocolate and apricots, in a large bowl or in a food mixer if using a dough hook, and mix together to create a soft dough.
  2. Transfer to a floured board and knead for about 10 minutes by hand, or using a dough hook in a mixer for about
  3. minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Set aside in a bowl covered with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1½ hours. It may not quite double in size, but will be soft and springy to touch.
  5. Knock back (punch down) the dough and stretch it out to form a rough rectangle. Sprinkle the chocolate chunks and apricots on top and fold in the sides to envelop them. Fold and knead again until the chocolate and apricots are evenly distributed through the dough.
  6. Re-mould the dough into two manageable balls and then shape as desired; you can divide it into 12 smaller brioche rolls, plait (braid) it or form it into a more traditional round shape. Leave it to prove for 30 minutes until risen again. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
  7. When ready, place the shaped dough on to a greased baking tray, brush with the milk and sprinkle with soft light brown sugar.
  8. Bake in the centre of the oven until the brioche has a crispy top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. This will take about 30 minutes for a larger loaf, but only 10-15 minutes for smaller brioche rolls.

Nutritional Information: Energy 335kcal/1410kJ; Protein 9g; Carbohydrate 46g, of which sugars 18g; Fat 14g, of which saturates 8g; Cholesterol 82mg; Calcium 105mg; Fibre 2g; Sodium 471mg.