Smoked Cheese Brioche
SNACK TIME! I made a brioche pull-apart laced with smoked German cheese. Fluffy strands of bread with pops of delicious smokey flavour. Dip it in the classic olive oil and balsamic and you've got a perfect starter or a delicious snack. Easy recipe follows!
250ml warm water
1/4 cup milk
14g fast action yeast
2 Tablespoons of Golden Syrup
475g of White Bread Flour
75g unsalted Goats Butter cut into little cubes
75g German Smoked Cheese, grated
A ball of mozzarella
Mix the warm water, milk and golden syrup until well combined. Add the yeast and whisk it through. Wait for it to foam.
Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, pour in 475g of flour, then the goats butter. Massage the butter into the bread so it forms a fine crumb. Once consistent, form a well in the middle of the flour. Pour the the foamy yeast mixture to the well, and with the fork, mix it in.
Once the fork becomes redundant, get your hands in there- mix it all together until it starts to become cohesive. At this stage, add the cheese.
Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. Work the dough by dragging it out, and folding it over then repeating. It will be very sticky at this stage (perhaps frustratingly so!). But only add enough flour to keep it from sticking to the bench; a little sprinkle at a time will do. Once the dough starts to spring back when you press it, it's ready for its first proof.
I'm a bit of a cheat when it comes to proofing. I put mine in a well oiled ceramic bowl, and turn the oven to the lowest setting, a balmy 40 C, and let it rise in that. I wait until it doubles in size (which at that temp, is about half an hour).
Once doubled, turn it out onto a floured bench top, punch it back and knead it for 2-3 minutes. I then start to cut and assemble the dough for how I want it to look, before the second proof. You can arrange yours how you like, but I did mine on a pizza tray, in decreasing size balls. It can be any shape/size of dough, on any shaped tray with sides, but not too small or you'll end up with a mushroom shaped bread thing. Use a greased bit of baking paper to stop it sticking.
You need to arrange the pieces close enough that they rise together and join. Where they meet, nestle a little lump of mozzarella cheese.
I covered mine, then returned it to the 40 C oven for 25 minutes while the rose a second time (a little under double should be enough). Longer if you're doing it at room tempeIt's important not to overdo it- you don't want them collapsing!
Once the second proof is done and they've nestled together all nice and snug. beat the egg into a bowl and brush over top of the bread. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Increase the temperature in the oven to 190 C. Put the bread in for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
The mozzarella pull and the hint of smoked cheese flavour goes excellently with balsamic vinegar in olive oil and some punchy sea salt flakes!