Going with the flow: an English Brioche

Even though my passport should suggest otherwise, based on history aswell as childish rivalries (if you ask me), I'm quite found of the brits. My favorit band is scottish, my favorit food book of 2011 was written by a welsh chef and who can resist to english slapstick or sense of humor, just watch an episod of Ab Fab to see what I mean.

It just happens that the last weeks have been very british, first book wise. After finishing Jane Austen, I'm reading Virginia Woolf at the moment, and next one waiting on my nightstand is Charles Dickens. Not to mentionned that a very nice bristish Santa has offered me "Feast" from Nigella, and as it was with the other Nigella book in my possesion, it's a delight to read.

My tv show addiction is mostly american, I must admit, but I have been watching the BBC serie "Sherlock" that has been adviced to me. Now when I heard the pitch, Sherlock Holmes in today's world, I was rather sceptical. Liking the books a lot, I was afraid it just wouldn't work. I'm so glad I was wrong, because it's really brilliant so far.

So when I stumbled upon the "english brioche" recipe in one of my grandma's book, it sounded only fair that I should give it a try. I don't know what's really english about it, it must but the jam/raisins/almond filling, because otherwise it's a regular brioche, with a dense but delicious dough, that would go perfectly with a cup of tea.

English Brioche (from "Betty Bossi Back Buch")

For one Brioche

350gr of Flour
20gr of Fresh Yeast
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
50gr of Butter, at room temperature
125ml of Milk
2 Eggs
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
5-6 Tablespoons of Jam (raspberries in this case, but you  canchange)
2 Tablespoons of Raisins
3 Tablespoons of Almonds (slivered)

Put the flour in a bowl (I've put it directly in the bowl of the kitchenaid) and make a well in it. Add the salt, the fresh yeast broke into small pieces and bit of the sugar. Pour the tepid milk in the well and combine it with the yeast, leave it like that for about 15 minutes.

With the dough hook, start mixing slowly, add the butter, 1 egg that you have beaten lightly and the rest of the sugar. Increase the speed as you go, it should form a soft and homogenous dough. Bring it back into a ball, dust it with a bit of flour and cover it with a clean cloth. Place it close to a heat source, like a radiator, and leave it to double in size. This should take about an hour.

On baking paper, roll out the dough to about half a centimeter in a rectangle shape that will fit, lenghtwise, the tin you will bake it in.
Now separate it, still lenghtwise, in 3 equal parts. In the middle one, spread out the jam, the raisins and and the almonds. With a sharp knife, cut on both sides stripes of about 2 cm pointing downwards so you can overlapse them. See the picture below to make it clearer.

When the brioche is formed, lift the baking paper carefully to place it into the baking tin. Once again place it near a heat source and leave it rise again.

Preheat your oven to 200°C.

Before you put the brioche into the oven, make an egg wash with the egg that is left (you can add a bit of milk in it if you wish), and brush the brioche with it.
Place it in the oven for 30 minutes, it should be a nice golden color. Leave to cool a few minutes in the tin, then on a rack.

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