Why is it that when I was waffling between “Cinnamon Apple Brioche” and “Cinnamon Apple Stuffed Brioche” the word stuffed made a world of difference? Maybe because it paints the picture more clearly. Visions of gooey, cinnamon apples just oozing out of a buttery, flaky bread come to mind. You can picture that it isn’t just a lightly spiced bread, or that the cinnamon apples are in the bread itself. But that the bread is literally stuffed to the brim and rolled around a delicious cinnamon apple compote. Adjectives, people. Makes all the difference.
But now that you’ve gotten your English lesson for the day, lets talk about the star of the show…
Or specifically today, cinnamon apple stuffed brioche. Brioche is a delicious type of bread that is rich and decadent, used a lot of time for french toast. In other countries they may call it an “enriched bread”. This is basically because in addition to the standard ingredients it also uses milk, eggs, and butter in the dough. This is where the richness and decadence comes from. Aka, fat.
The other great thing about brioche bread that really just gets me, is the lamination. Lamination is the process of layering the dough with pockets of butter in between to make flaky layers. When the cold butter melts in the oven, it creates steam, which puffs up the layers. This is why it is so important to keep the butter folded in the dough so cold, and why we freeze the dough in between rolling. Sally’s Baking Addiction has a great video of her making croissants, which also uses a lamination method if you need a better visual.
Cinnamon Apple Compote
The compote that we roll in the center of the dough is a mixture of cinnamon and apples, cooked down until they’re soft. You can use any type of apple you prefer, though I’ve found that more tart apples do better in baked goods. Granny Smith or Honeycrisp are both good options. The other important thing to note regarding the compote, is to make sure it is completely cooled before rolling it in the dough. If the mixture is still warm when you add it, it will melt the butter layers in the dough and the dough lamination may not create those flaky layers.
Cinnamon Apple Stuffed BriocheCourse: DessertCuisine: BreadDifficulty: Medium
- Cinnamon Apple Compote
3 large apples; peeled, cored, and chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup white sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 packet)
1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons warmed 2% or whole milk*
5 tablespoons white sugar
4 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
5 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg, beaten + 1 tablespoons milk, for brushing
2 sticks of cold unsalted butter, sliced
- Cinnamon Apple Compote
- Add the chopped apples, lemon juice, salt, sugar, and cinnamon to a saucepot and turn on high.
- Allow the apple mixture to cook on the stove, stirring occasionally, until the apples are cooked through and soft.
- Set aside to cool completely.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9″x5″ loaf pans and set aside.
- Add the warmed milk, yeast, and sugar to a kitchenaid bowl and allow the yeast to bloom for 10 minutes, until fragrant and frothy.
- Add the flour, salt, eggs, and butter to the bloomed yeast bowl. Place the bowl in your stand mixer, and with the dough hook attachment mix on medium until combined, scraping the sides as necessary. Knead with the dough hook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is soft and elastic.
- Form into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 1 hour, or doubled in size.**
- After the dough is risen, punch it down and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to approx an 8″x15″ rectangle.
- Add the sliced cold pads of butter in the center third of the rectangle. Fold the other sides of the dough over the butter center (like an envelope). Rotate the folded dough 90 degrees and roll out again to a 8″x15″ rectangle. Fold like an envelope again, wrap in plastic wrap, and put in the freezer for 20 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the freezer, roll out to a 8″x15″ rectangle again, fold like an envelope, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for another 20 minutes.
- Take the dough out of the freezer, roll out to a 8″x15″ rectangle for the last time. Lay out the cinnamon apple compote near the long edge of the rectangle and roll it up into a log shape.
- Cut the rolled dough in half to make two loaves, and place each in a greased 9″x5″ loaf pan.
- Brush the tops with a beaten egg and place in the oven.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.
- Allow to cool completely before serving.
- *The milk should be warm, but not hot. We want to activate the yeast, but not kill it with being too hot. Your yeast jar/packet should say what temperature your liquids should be at. I typically do 100-110 degrees.
- **If you feel like your dough is too sticky when taking it out of the stand mixer, knead by hand for 1-2 minutes with some additional flour on your countertop.