Apricot & White Chocolate Couronne – GBBO technical bake 6
It seems that ‘technical bakes’ are all I have time for at the moment. I hope you don’t mind. The running theme is that my bakes are usually rushed versions of the ones on the show. I could possibly make them look as perfect as the Bake-Off-ers if i took more care…oh who am I kidding? I could merely make them slightly less slapdash. I feel I’m presenting the real-life face of the Bake-Off: less flowery chintz, more floury floors.
Couronne is a big twisty bread with sweet filling. It is good on its own, toasted, made into a bread pudding, eaten on the run or picking the filling out and dunked in coffee :)
I owe a huge debt to a blog called Raspberry Brulee which gave excellent instructions. I really recommend you look at her version as it has a different filling which is probably better for a clear strand running through the dough.
My couronne wisdom:
I needed a lot more flour than the origional recipe said and even then the dough was really to sticky to twist.
You definitely want a dough that springs back when you press your finger into it – that should make it strong enough to shape.
It’s a really versatile bread – you could throw any thing in – chocolate, fruits, marzipan, toffee. Maybe you could make the dough coffee flavoured and put white chocolate in.
The recipe tells you to soak the fruits in orange juice overnight but you can speed this up by heating the fruit up with the juice, covering and leaving to cool while the dough rises. It should plump up just as much.
Finally, it smelled so good that we couldn’t wait to take photos in the daytime so they’re not great photos. Sorry. I also forgot to do the drizzle. Er…oops?
For the bread
285g strong white bread flour (recipe says 250)
1 sachet of fast action instant yeast (7g)
50g unsalted butter at room temperature
135ml milk (I used skimmed but recipe says full fat)
1 medium egg
For the filling
90g unsalted butter
70g light brown muscarvardo sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
35g plain flour
20g ground almonds
90g chopped dried apricots
100g chopped white chocolate
orange juice (to soak the raisins and apricots)
Apricot jam or marmalade to glaze and a drizzle of your choice
Either soak the fruit in orange juice overnight or heat them in the juice, cover and leave to cool until they are plump.
Put flour, yeast, salt (on opposite side to the yeast), butter, milk and egg into a bowl and mix together until they form a dough.
Knead the dough until it is smooth and silky and springs back when you poke your finger into it. You may need more flour if it is too sticky. It’ll be a nicer dough if it’s sticky but it’s really hard to shape it, so do whatever you are brave enough to handle!
Oil a bowl and put the dough in it to rise until doubled in size (cover with a bag / damp teatowel/ clingfilm)
Start to make the filling:
Cream the butter and sugar and salt together until really pale and fluffy. Drain the fruit.
Stir through the flour, ground almonds, cinnamon, chocolate and fruit.
Flour a work surface and tip the dough onto it.
Roll the dough out to a rectangle 4cm bigger all the way around than an A4 piece of paper.
Spread the filling evenly over the dough and roll it tightly like a swill roll from long side to long side. A this point I suggest you put it on whatever you plan to bake it on or some greaseproof paper so that it is easier to move.
Cut the roll lengthways almost all the way along (revealing the inside). Twist the strands around each other and then join the ends together to form a ring.
Cover again and leave to prove for around an hour until doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 200C or 180C for a fan oven.
Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and rise. Cool on a wire rack.
Glaze with apricot jam or marmalade and drizzle with water icing or melted white chocolate and sprinkle with nuts or whatever you like.