I live the strange life of innkeepers, having my Sundays all together in a single dose and enjoying rest and relaxation when the world seems to be most busy, in the winter. Working 7 or 8 months in a row with no breaks has its disadvantages. However, we also get to have longer holidays in December and escape the cold to sunny and exotic corners of the world.
Another advantage is that I don’t feel guilty for having stuffed myself with all sorts of holidays sweets. I did not, I suffered through tropical fruit shakes and green curries ;).
Back to the grayness of January I feel I am allowed some comfort food. Don’t you?
Every spring I make wild sour cherry preserves. The cherries are tart like hell but intensely aromatic with an almondy aftertaste. They complement perfectly the buttery lightness of the brioche but you could use blackberry or blueberry jam. The brioche is an adaptation of my friend Corinna’s fabulous torta di rose.
- 1 egg
- 1 cup lukewarm milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 gr. (1 teaspoon) active dry yeast
- 400 g (3 cups) gr all-purpose flour
- 100 g / 3.5 oz butter, softened at room temperature.
- 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup sour cherry preserves
Make the dough as explained for the torta di rose, transfer onto a work-top, knead briefly and roll into a 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick square.
Using a flexible spatula, spread first the butter and then a thin layer of preserves over the dough. Cut the square into 6 strips which should be at least 10 cm. (4 inches) wide. Starting at the long side of each strip, roll the dough into a log, pinching gently to keep it rolled up.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place 3 logs of dough seam side up and parallel to each other on the sheet. Beginning in the center and moving toward one of the ends, braid the logs. Turn the baking sheet around and repeat the same procedure for the opposite end of the logs. Pinch ends together and tuck the join under the braid. Make sure to use a small amount of preserves or all this will be a sticky mess!
Make a second braid with the rest of the logs on a separate baking sheet or use a large baking sheet so you have at least 5 inches between the braids.
Cover the baking sheet with a kitchen towel. Let the dough rise in warm draft-free area until almost doubled in volume, 45 to 60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180° C (375°F). Bake braids until golden, about 45 minutes. Serve at room temperature. Serves 8-10
This recipe has been submitted to YeastSpotting