Caramelized Apple Brioche
Caramelised Apple and Calvados Brioche by master of dough @richardbertinet. A festive sweet treat to share (or eat by yourself...we don’t judge).
250g/ 9 Oz full fat milk
2 medium eggs
500g / 18 Oz strong white bread flour
30g/ 1 Oz fresh yeast
80g/ 3 Oz caster sugar
10g / 0. 35 Oz fine sea salt
80g/ 3 Oz cold unsalted butter, plus a little extra for greasing the tin
For the caramelised apples:
4 eating apples, peeled and cored
40g/ 1.5 Oz unsalted butter
100g/ 3.5 Oz caster sugar
1 small glass (approx 70ml) Calvados
50g / 1.7 Oz crème fraîche
For the glaze:
pinch fine sea salt
1 eating apples, peeled, cored and very thinly sliced
About 1 tablespoon pearl sugar nibs
Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
To make the dough, put the milk and eggs into the bowl of a food mixer then add the flour. Break up the fresh yeast and add to one side of the bowl. Add the sugar and salt on the other side of the bowl to the yeast. Break up the butter on top. Mix on slow speed for 4 minutes, then turn up the speed for 10-12 minutes until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the dough from the mixer and bring it together. Lightly dust the surface with flour as well as a bowl and leave it to rest for 2 hours.
To prepare the caramelised apples, dice the prepared apples into rough 1cm pieces.
Heat a cast iron pan in Dome at 400°C/752°F until very hot. Remove and add butter until it begins to turn brown, then add the apple and toss well to coat. Add the sugar and cook, moving the pieces of apple around, until they take on a little colour. Add back into Dome for a few minutes.
Remove from the heat or oven and pour in the calvados. Place it back in the Dome for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool on a cold surface / tray.
Lightly flour the work surface and a clean bowl. Use your scraper to turn out the dough onto the work surface. Form the dough into a ball and leave to rest in the bowl, covered, for about 1 hour until just under double in size.
Grease a 21-22cm diameter cake tin with butter. Lightly flour your work surface again and turn out the dough. Press and prod it into a rectangle about the size of an A3 sheet of paper.
Spread the caramelised apple evenly over the dough and roll up lengthways – not too tightly – to form a long log.
Coil this into the cake tin and cover with a baking cloth or large freezer bag and allow to prove for at least an hour, until the dough comes to just above the rim of the tin.
While the brioche is proving, beat the eggs with the salt in a small bowl for the glaze and finally slice apples with a mandolin for layering on top of the brioche.
Bake in Dome at around 200°C/392°F, with no flame and the door on for around 45 minutes. Make sure to check how the cook is coming along after around 5-10 minutes and decrease the heat if needed. It will be done when the brioche pulls away slightly from the edges of the tin and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out hot and clean. To colour the top a little more, turn down the heat to 150°C/302°F for a few more minutes.
Leave to stand for about 10-15 minutes then turn out of the tin and cool on a wire rack. If you wish, dust with some icing sugar before serving.
Born in France, Richard Bertinet is a renowned baker and bread expert who bakes and teaches in the English town of Bath.