Apricot Couronne – World Bread Day
Just like my baking partner in crime, Peabody (who is packing and moving right now), I am not posting as much as I would like to and let alone comment on other people’s blogs but the past few months have been rich with life and full of good times and family moments that have kept me away and scrambling for time to come here and post. Not, that I haven’t been baking! First there was my goddaughter Sophie during August, then a brief escapade to the beach and then my parents arrived. This Thursday I will be flying to my favorite home away from home and walking the markets and baking up a storm with another favorite lady of mine. That’s right folks, Lisa and I are at it again, but this time we have Mary to add fuel to the fire! I "need" a little weekend away! When I come back next week, we have another friend staying with us for a week….so you can imagine than my posts will be sparse…but I promise a filled November…how’s that?
I could not leave for my little escapade without celebrating World Bread Day, hosted again by the wonderful and talented Zorra from Kochtopf. Last WBD was a huge success and the After Party was a blast also. I know this is last minute, but this will give you the general mood of things around here at Casa Tartelette for the past few months and the coming weeks….rush…rush…rush… Except that for this bread, ain’t nothing but waiting, and being rewarded with the sweetest scent of yeasted apricot dough on a chilly morning (allright everything was there but the chilly part this morning). I know it’s last minute to post about World Bread Day, but trust me we have been celebrating by nibbling on this all day long!
The recipe is from one of my favorite break baker, the super talented Paul Hollywood. I first caught a glimpse of his talent during an interview on the French food network years ago and I fell in love with his simple and down to earth demeanour. I started collecting some of his recipes and was delighted to find a library of his tv show on the UK food network. Some recipes also have videos to go along and it becomes quite entertaining to listen to him while you bake. I bookmarked his recipe for Apricot Couronne at least a couple of years ago and it took me all this time to finally make it. Boy! Did I miss on something good for a long time! This bread is easy to make, the dough is soft and stretchable at will and the scent as you cut into it and serve it with a hot cup of tea is just …perfect. Makes me want to have a never ending supply of apricots and yeast to make this everyday! I made a a few change to it by substituting dried cherries for the raisins, adding orange marmelade inside with the filling instead of using it for a glaze. Don’t be scared by the cutting through of the roll and twisting of the dough, there is really nothing to it if you just dive in (Look at the video and you will see what I am talking about).
For the dough
250g strong white flour
50g butter, softened
120ml warm milk
12g fresh yeast or 7g dried (one packet)
1 egg, beaten
For the filling
120g dried apricots
150ml orange juice
70g light brown sugar
35g plain flour
60g dried cherries
65g chopped walnuts
50g apricot jam
1. Prepare the filling. Place the apricots and orange juice in a bowl and set aside to marinate for a couple of hours.
2. To make the dough, place the strong white flour, salt, butter, warm milk, yeast and egg in a mixing bowl. If using dried yeast, dissolve in the warm milk first, let stand 10 minutes, then add the rest of the ingredients.
3. Mix well together to form a dough.
4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6 minutes.
5. Return the dough to a clean mixing bowl and set aside to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
6. While the dough is rising, drain the marinated apricots.
7. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the drained apricots, flour, dried cherries, and walnuts.
8. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out the dough into a rectangle, approximately 25 x 33cm.
9. Spread the apricot mixture evenly over the dough rectangle. Spread the orange marmelade over it.
10. Roll up the rectangle tightly until it resembles a Swiss roll. Roll it slightly then cut lengthways along the dough and plait the 2 dough lengths together.
11. Place the dough plait on a lined baking sheet and set aside to rise for 1 hour.
12. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400F
13. Bake for 25 minutes until risen and golden. Set it aside to cool.