I wanted to make an apple cake, but after spending so much time baking bread, I didn’t feel like switching back to using baking powder and decided to make apple brioche, using some of my sourdough starter in place of yeast from the store. I’ve done similar recipes in the past – this is what we call in France a “chinois”, although it traditionally features crème patissière in place of apples. I’ve based this recipe on this one, which itself seems to have been inspired by a TV show. I must say that the dough raised so much in the end that I’ve found that I could have put at least an extra apple. Also, the dough was not so sugary, which I like but might not be everyone’s taste. The result is really between bread and cake. This recipe might give you a good result too, although I haven’t tried it yet.
- 350g flour (I’ve used bread flour 550, but feel free to use one with a lower protein content)
- 20g sourdough starter
- 1 egg
- 4 heaped tbsp molasses
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 75g butter, in small cubes, cold
- 175ml milk, at room temperature
- 3 acidic apples (I’ve used Braeburn)
- 15g butter
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 heaped tbsp molasses
- 1 handful chopped, toasted almonds
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp sugar
- Reactivate your yeast by mixing the starter with a little bit of the flour and milk
- When bubbles appear at the surface of the mix and/or it shows an increase in volume, mix it up with the rest of the flour, the salt, the molasses and the milk.
- Once this dough feels more homogeneous and a bit dry, add the egg and knead again. Then, add the butter and incorporate it (this time, it doesn’t have to be 100% homogeneous – 80% or more is fine).
- Leave to rest at room temperature (17 to 21 C. degrees), with a wet cloth on top of the bowl. This phase took me about 12 hours.
- Once the dough has doubled in volume, you can start preparing the apples. Wash, peel and cut them in cubes.
- Warm-up a frying pan. When warm, put the butter, the apples, the sugar and the cinnamon. Let cook and caramelise for 10-15 minutes.
- Spread your dough in a 0.5 cm-thick rectangle.
- Spread the molasses, the cooled-down apples and the chopped almonds.
- Roll the dough and cut 7 equally-sized pieces. Place them in an oven-proof dish where they do not sit too tight (so that it allows a second rise). Round looks better, but I’ve used a square dish and it worked fine.
- Once the dough has again doubled in size (about 8 hours in my case), bake your brioche for 20 minutes at 180 C. degrees.