Reviews, recipes, ramblings and other gourmet bites. A food blog of indulgence...
Sunday, 24 October 2010
All grown up ...
Yesterday was a bread baking sort of a day. Matt was out climbing, and I knew that on his way back he would most likely nip to the shops to grab some food for dinner, and that that food would most likely include a large block of cheese.
So, I decided to bake something to complement said cheese (I assumed we'd be talking stilton here...I was right). A fougasse maybe...perhaps a rosemary and sea salt focaccia...
But then it happened, as I was flipping through Richard Bertinet's book of contemporary bread, Dough. Now, granted, this isn't one of my most well-worn cookbooks (for one thing, it doesn't yet have splodges and greasy butter stains on any of its pages), but I thought I'd read it pretty thoroughly. Apparently not. Yesterday I discovered a WHOLE NEW CHAPTER at the back, about sweet dough, and all the beautiful things you can do with it.
Sad to say my cheese accompaniment went out of the window with this discovery, and I set about making chocolate brioche buns. Not so good with stilton, but pretty darn tasty with a cup of tea!
The dough is rolled with a chocolate creme patissiere and then sliced into swirly buns, glazed and baked. The finished product should look something like a pain au raisin, only - and this is crucial - without the raisins. Mine were a tad on the clumsy side, it must be said. In fact, they looked more like sophisticated zippy rolls than elegant French pastries.
'Erm....zippy what?' I hear you cry.
The zippy roll - a breakfast treat of my childhood, invented by my Dad. Cut the crusts off white bread and roll it out very thinly with a rolling pin. Spread liberally with nutella or other chocolate spread of choice and roll up. Slice into bite-sized chunks and hand to small daughter. Watch as small daughter inserts all of said bite-sized chunks into her mouth at once, until her face resembles that of a much-loved children's TV character:
Adapted from Richard Bertinet's 'Chocolate bun' recipe.
Makes 12-14 smallish buns
For the dough:
The original recipe makes 24 large buns, and calls for chocolate dough as well as chocolate filling. I've gone for an original brioche dough here, to get more of a contrast in the swirl.
125ml whole milk
250g strong white bread flour
30g unsalted butter (softened)
20g caster sugar
For the chocolate filling:
The original recipe includes chocolate chips in this. I have no reason for omitting them other than the fact I forgot, so, if you want yours extra chocolatey, then add 50-100g of chocolate chips after you've spread the filling on to the dough.
3 egg yolks
70g caster sugar
25g sifted flour
250ml whole milk
2tsps cocoa powder
First, make the dough.
1. Put the milk into a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat gently until just warmed through, but not really hot.
2. Meanwhile, mix the yeast into the flour with your fingertips, then rub in the butter until your mixture has the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.
3. Add the sugar and the salt and mix well, then add the egg and the warmish milk.
4. Mix all together by hand until it's cohesive enough to lift out of the bowl.
5. Lift the dough on to a very lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic, but not too sticky.
6. Put the ball of dough back into the bowl, cover it with a clean tea towel and put it somewhere warm to rest for 45 mins.
Now, make the gooey chocolate filling
1. In a large-ish mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks together with half the sugar and the flour.
2. Put the other half of the sugar in a saucepan with the milk and the cocoa. Stir until the cocoa is all or at least mostly mixed into the milk.
3. Heat until it starts to bubble, then remove from the heat and pour into the egg mixture in 3 batches, whisking constantly.
4. Put the whole lot back into the pan, and bring to the boil, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon to stop it from sticking to the bottom.
5. As soon as it hits boiling point, turn down the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes, then put into a dish to cool down.
Now to put it all together.
1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. Once the dough has rested for 45 mins, and has nearly doubled in size, flour a work surface, and roll it out into a large rectangle.
3. Spread the chocolate filling out over it. (Yes, I know, mine looks gross. This is why you have to stir it all the time when heating it. It still tastes good though, despite its slight lumpiness.)
4. Starting at the long edge that furthest away from you, roll it tightly towards you until you've got one long sausage of dough, with the filling inside.
5. With a sharp knife, slice the dough into bits, about 2 cm thick, and place them on a greaseproof paper lined baking tray.
6. Beat an egg and brush each bun with it.
7. Leave the buns somewhere warm to prove for about an hour and a half.
8. Glaze them again with the beaten egg and pop them in the oven.
9. Turn the oven down to 180C and leave them to bake for around 15 minutes, or until dark golden and firm.