Hot Cross Bun Brioche
HOT CROSS BUN BRIOCHE
This is an alternative to the traditional hot cross bun and is particularly delicious if you make your own candied peel. Because it has no preservatives like shop-bought baked goods, it is best eaten on the day it is made, but could be toasted after that. You can make this loaf in advance and freeze it, without the topping and just add the glaze and decoration once it has defrosted.
Candied Citrus Peel
125g strong plain bread flour
125g soft plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
40g caster sugar
20g fresh yeast (or 2 x 7g sachets dried yeast)
2 free range egg yolks (+ 1 extra yolk to glaze the loaf)
30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons candied peel, finely chopped
100g raisins or sultanas
100g icing sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
- For the candied peel: Remove the rind from the citrus fruits with a peeler, avoiding the pith. Heat the sugar and water and then boil for 2 minutes. Add the citrus rinds and simmer gently for a further 20 minutes, then remove and drain on baking parchment. Toss in a little sugar and leave to dry completely. (Any remaining peel can be stored in an air-tight container for future use).
- For the brioche: Place both of the flours, sugar, salt and spices in a bowl. Warm the milk and add the yeast (make sure it is not too hot, or it will kill the yeast). Stir well to dissolve the yeast. (If using dried yeast just sprinkle it into the flours and then add the warm liquid).
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes, adding the egg yolks one at a time, kneading well after each addition.
- Once the eggs have been incorporated, cut the butter into small pieces and add gradually, kneading all the time. Mix until all the butter is incorporated, then knead the mixture for a further 5 -10 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place until it doubles in size. (You can fold a towel on top of the Everhot lid and sit the bowl on this). Proving time will vary and can take up 40-60 minutes.
- Grease a 16cm x 9cm x 7cm (1 lb or 500g) loaf tin with melted butter and lightly dust with flour. Set aside until the brioche dough is ready.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead in the dried fruit and peel, until it is evenly distributed. Shape the dough into a sausage shape which fits into the prepared loaf tin - placing the fold at the bottom of the loaf tin.
- Cover the brioche lightly with a clean dry tea towel and let the brioche prove for the second time to double in size once more; this could take up to a half an hour.
- Once the brioche has doubled in size again, gently brush the top with the egg yolk and place on the middle shelf of the oven, allowing enough space for it to rise! Bake for 20-25 minutes, until well-risen and golden brown. Test for readiness by tapping the bottom of the loaf and it will sound “hollow” when it is ready. Turn the brioche out on to a cooling wire and cool completely.
- For the glaze: Mix the icing sugar and lemon juice to produce a thick glaze which will coat the loaf. Drizzle it over and then top with several thin strips of candied peel to form a cross. Serve thickly sliced, with butter or jam.