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Apple-Peach Braided Brioche Cake

apple-peach brioche cake

‘At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.’ – Rainer Maria Rilke

I’ve got peaches and apples in my kitchen. Summer is gently fading, and autumn is slipping in with an occasional cool breeze, a golden leaf here and there. I don’t know how August is already over, but here is September with its crisp ciders and juicy pears. I’m ready for bread-making again, and am starting the cooler months off with this brioche cake.The juicy peaches and the apple-cinnamon flavor are a good combination; a perfect intermingling of the seasons.

Apple-Peach Brioche Cake
Inspired by this Braided Cinnamon, Apple, and Pecan Bread from Floating Kitchen.

1 pound Whole Wheat Brioche or regular Brioche

Filling
1 small apple, peeled and grated (I used a Gala apple)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup peeled and diced peaches

Glaze
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2-4 tablespoons water

Remove 1 pound of dough from your dough bucket, and place it on a generously floured surface. Knead the dough a few times, and shape into a ball. Cover with a tea towel and let rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

While the dough is resting, peel the apple, and then grate it directly over a clean dish towel. Wring out the dish towel over a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, catching all the apple juice. Set the grated apple aside to use later. Pour the apple juice into a small saucepan, and add the granulated sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and let simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and starting to turn sticky. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the slightly cooled apple juice, and stir to combine. Add the grated apple pieces and stir again to combine. Set aside.

brioche cake

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Grease the ring of a 10-inch springform pan.

Once the dough is ready, roll it to a 1/4-inch thick rectangle, using flour as needed to keep it from sticking to the counter. Brush the melted butter over the dough. Use an off-set spatula to spread the apple-sugar mixture evenly over the butter, leaving a 1/2 border around the edges. Sprinkle with the chopped peaches. Starting with the long end of the dough, carefully roll the dough into a log. Gently transfer the log to the prepared sheet pan (you may need to use a bench scraper or spatula to help move it). Mine fit on the sheet pan diagonally. Chill the log in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, or until firm.

brioche cake

Using a scissors or sharp knife, gently cut the roll into half lengthwise so the layers of dough and filling are visible, but leave one end still attached by about 3/4-inch.

brioche cake

With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, and then lift the right half over the left half, and continue until you have braided the entire roll. Press the ends together.

brioche cake

Starting at the cut end, gently spiral the braid into a circle, no bigger than 9-inches across, making sure not to leave any holes or gaps. If any peaches fall out, tuck them back inside the braid. It’s okay if a little filling leaks around the edges, too.

brioche cake

Place the ring of the spring form pan around the bread. Cover with plastic wrap or a dishtowel and let the dough rise in a warm place for 1-1/2 hours, until puffed and touching (or almost touching) the sides of the pan.

brioche cake

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and heat the oven to 350F.

Remove the plastic wrap, but leave the spring form pan around the dough. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Gently remove the spingform ring from the bread (if it’s sticking, use a thin knife or off-set spatula to help release it).

brioche cake

For the icing
Put the powdered sugar into a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons water, and mix until combined. If the icing is too thick, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. Drizzle over warm the warm bread.

brioche cake

Best eaten warm. Enjoy!

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6 thoughts on “Apple-Peach Braided Brioche Cake

  1. Hi! Purchased your wonderful book and made a half batch of brioche dough as my first recipe and turned 1/2 of that into walnut sticky buns. Dough was in fridge for 2 days before I actually made the rolls. Dough was very sticky and soft; it was difficult for me to work with and I feel like I added too much flour. Sticky buns were good, not great and A little dry, esp as the rolls aged. (I always try to leave a piece of baked good wrapped on counter to see how it ages) I have a pan of plain rolls rising now with the remaining dough….I fear their also going to be a bit dry and their sure aren’t pretty! Do you have any hints cause I don’t know how to handle the dough without all the flour on my hands and the rolling surface. Help! I’m ready to make another batch of dough!

    • Which of the books are you using? How are you measuring the flour? Be sure to use scoop-and-sweep, not spoon-and-swee, as described in the book. You may just need a little more flour.

      But our stuff wasn’t meant to “age.” It just goes stale; no preservatives or dough conditioners.

      Lots of flour on rolling surface and hands is just fine, by the way.

      • Thanks for quick reply! I have Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a Day ( The discovery that revolutionizes home baking)
        You were right, I did use the spoon and sweep method

        Of course, on the next batch I will use the correct SCOOP and sweep method and pray for a better outcome. I’m so excited about this book because yeast baking has always made a bit scared!

  2. Last week we were delivered at my husband’s office TWO giant fruit baskets. Some of which are apples and nectarines. I think I will use them to make a recipe of this.

    Looks wonderful!

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