Apricot & Pecan CraquelinesYum
I had honestly never heard of Craquelines, until I stumbled upon a recipe one afternoon trawling through google looking for inspiration. They aren’t technically craquelines, but they’re my interpretation. Brioche, with a crunchy topping and a fruity twist.
I’ve been trying to seriously cut down on sugar recently (as have so many others, thanks to Jamie Oliver and other sugar-fighters), but these broke my streak.
I had been doing so well.
Regrets? Of course not!
There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked brioche in the morning. Topped with crunchy pecans and a sugary syrup – my god that’s good breakfast.
The smell that will fill your kitchen while these are baking is intoxicating. But, same as any bread, it’s not a quick bake. There’s lots of proving time (which thankfully is sleeping time for the baker!) but does require some preparation.
But it’s worth it, just for those crunchy pecans and soft fluffy brioche.
This brioche recipe is great for just making a loaf (though I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t just make the craquelines). But still, it’s a very nice brioche.
Craquelines are better, just sayin’.
I feel the need to warn you – these are so, so moreish. This recipe makes quick a few, so it’s worth bunging a couple in the freezer. When they’re still warm from the oven, wrap them loosely in tin foil, pop into a freezer bag, and freeze for a couple of weeks. Just defrost when you need them, and warm in an oven before serving. Great for an impromptu breakfast treat. I’ll be saving this recipe until Christmas to make it again. Back to the sugar-free diet it is.
- 500g plain flour
- 75g caster sugar
- 3 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tsp table salt
- 4 large eggs (plus one more for the egg wash)
- 120mls whole milk, at room temperature
- 225g very softened butter
- Apricot Jam
- Chopped Pecans
- 50g sugar
- 1 egg
- Mix together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a bowl and mix to combine completely.
- Add the 4 eggs and the milk, and mix to a rough, shaggy dough.
- Add the softened butter and stir until the dough roughly comes together.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, shiny and elastic. This will take around 10 minutes. Try not to add too much flour into the dough, as this may make the dough tough.
- Shape the dough into a bowl and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (1-2 hours, depending on temperature). I leave mine in the oven with the oven light on (no heat).
- Once the dough is risen, knock back the dough, knead it for a minute or so, shape into a ball, and return to the bowl to rise again. This time, place it in the fridge overnight, until doubled in size.
- Leave the dough on the counter for 2 hours to come back to room temperature before shaping.
- Once the dough is ready, roll out the dough an 1 inch thickness, in a roughly rectangular shape.
- Smear apricot jam over 2/3 of the dough, leaving a long strip down the long-side jam free.
- Fold the jam-less side over to cover the jam about half way. Fold the rest of the dough the rest of the way so you're left with a long roll, folded somewhat like a letter.
- Slice up the dough into long rectangular slices (this roll should make around 12, but you can vary depending on what size of roll you'd like.
- Place the rolls on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with clingfilm, and leave to prove until they are risen and puffy (around 1 - 1 1/2 hours).
- When they are close to risen, preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
- Brush the craquelines with an egg wash (1 egg, beaten, should be enough) just before applying the topping.
- Whisk together the egg and the sugar.
- Add in a good few handfuls of chopped pecans. Stir to coat the pecans in the egg and sugar mixture.
- Using a fork, scoop some pecans from the mixture and let some of the liquid drain off before laying them on top of each of the craquelines. Do this until each one has a good helping of pecans on top.
- Sprinkle over a little more of the egg/sugar mixture if you'd like, but try not to drench them too much!
- Bake the craquelines in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until risen, dark gold, and perfect!
- Remove from the oven and let them cool on the baking tray, placed over a wire rack. There's lots of hot sugar here so fight the temptation to eat them until they're cool enough to handle!
- If freezing, pop them in the freezer as soon as they reach the 'warm' stage.