Well, I've called this a bread, mostly because it's a yeasted dough, but it actually tastes far more like cake to me! Which is great, I get to eat cake for my breakfast if I make this bread mmmmm, cake!
I blame the whole thing (quite happily though!) on Celia at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, who, months and months ago, posted a recipe and method for an absolutely amazing looking blackberry crown. She was fortunate enough to be given some delicious homemade blackberry jam by a kind friend and wanted a fitting way to use this gift. So her blackberry crown bread, inspired by the presentation of a recipe in Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf and using a recipe for a sweet dough by Richard Bertinet, was born. And I was in love! (Hop over to the recipe, look at the last picture of the cut bread and tell me you don't want to eat it - I won't believe you!)
Time passed, as it does and then when Helen at Fuss Free Flavours announced that this month's Breakfast Club theme was conserves, I realised that the time to make this bread had arrived. For the genius of this loaf is that you don't need to put the conserves on the loaf for they are already contained within the loaf, clever no?! Although additional butter and jam wouldn't go amiss when eating this for breakfast.This month the event is being hosted by Sonia's Kitchen.
I halved the recipe as given and am giving the amounts I used below:
Basic Sweet Dough
125g full-fat milk
1tsp instant yeast (although the original recipe specifies fresh)
250g strong white flour
30g unsalted butter, at room temperature
20g caster sugar
1 large egg
- Pour the milk into a pan and warm to body temperature.
- Mix the yeast into the flour, distributing evenly and then rub in the butter.
- Mix in the sugar and salt, then add the eggs and milk.
- Continue with your usual method of kneading (I favour Dan Lepard's method of using oil on the work surface and not kneading all that much) leaving the dough until it has doubled in size.
To make the loaf
Jam of choice and matching fruit - I chose blueberry, but I think raspberry would work well, along with Celia's choice of blackberry, or even perhaps cherry.
Pinch off pieces of dough - from memory I think I used pieces 50g in size and used nine altogether. Form into balls and then flatten out, forming a little pocket. Add a small amount of jam and pinch the ball back into shape. As you finish shaping the balls, pop them into a greased small loaf tin (I used one that is smaller than a 1lb tin, but had some dough left, with which I made some little rolls) and layer them up with light muscovado sugar and fresh blueberries. Sorry, I didn't really measure the amounts of these, but a light sprinkle of sugar and as many fresh berries as you fancy. Check out Celia's post for how much she used.
Confession time that I forgot to note how long I cooked this loaf, but as Celia points out, it is high in sugars, both added and natural from the milk in the loaf, so a lower temperature than normal is needed. Celia suggests starting at 200C/Gas 6 for 10-15 minutes and then dropping the temperature to 175C/Gas 3-4 for a further 20-30 minutes, and I am sure I followed her advice. Keep a beady eye on this loaf because it would be a shame to allow it to burn.
Remember that the jam/blueberries will be scorching hot when the loaf comes out, burning in only the way hot sugar can - ouch! It was very sticky underneath too - mmmm, sticky! I had to take quite a few shots to get one where there was more bluberry in evidence....
Oh boy am I ever glad I made this loaf. It lived up to and exceeded my wildest bread-y dreams. So soft, so light, and ever so delicious. I really must make this again soon. I haven't eaten much brioche in my life (another thing to recify!) but to my mind this was soft and cakey like a brioche, but without nearly so many eggs or as much butter or sugar. It was, however, perfectly sweet and buttery for me, and I love the idea that I'm eating cake for my breakfast. I would urge you to give this a go - it's fabulous!
I am also submitting this to Jac's Bookmarked Recipes event, hosted at Tinned Tomatoes. This was bookmarked from Celia's blog, Fig Jam and Lime Cordial, and also from its original source, Dough by Richard Bertinet.