Let’s just say that the last few weeks have been a bit crazy. A few days ago, I was finally able to pull the plug and just relax – no more 10 people talking to me at once, no homework, no events to run around to, just pure 100% unadulterated relaxation. And, finally the time I often crave to concentrate on what I love doing – creating with food.
A few weeks ago I got my hands on a vegan raspberry yeast bread recipe that got my gears turning. It was missing something – it was too airy and missing some sweetness. And, as the story often goes, once I have have nagging feeling of how I could tweak a recipe to make it better, it doesn’t leave me alone until I am satisfied.
So, my husband and I rolled up our sleeves and whipped together this caramely, yeasty, soft, chewy, fluffy, delicious vegan pecan brioche. When it came out of the oven we were both grinning. We managed to let it cool for 5 minutes before slowly cutting it open and taking the first bites. However, after sitting on the counter overnight, it developed a wonderful crumb like that found in a German Hefezopf, and every day it sat, the more the flavors developed.
Today we gobbled up the last bits, and my thoughts have turned to a chocolate version of this recipe….the gears are turning.
This is a great recipe for any time of the year, just tweak the flavor of the filling. Add up to 3 teaspoons of cinnamon and it will taste cinnamon bun-y, add ground ginger and cloves to the cinnamon and it will take a turn for Christmas, add a guava paste filling and take a turn into the tropics. The possibilities are endless!
Pecan Brioche Braid, vegan
Makes 1 Loaf with 24 slices / Prep Time 35 min / Total Time 2 hours
1 cube (42g) fresh Yeast or 14g dry Yeast
50g Alsan (Coconut Margarine), melted
600g Spelt Flour
150g Brown Sugar
1 pinch Vanilla Salt (or regular Salt)
100g Alsan, room temperature
2C finely chopped Pecans
1/4C Almond Milk
1T Agave Syrup
For the dough, pour warm water, yeast,
and a pinch of sugar into an electric mixing bowl. Stir shortly,
and allow to sit and foam for 10 minutes. Stir in melted Alsan.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.
Combine all ingredients in your electric mixer fitted with a
dough hook until well combined.
Remove from mixer, cover bowl with a damp cloth, and allow to rise
for 45 minutes in a warm spot until doubled in size.
In the mean time, prepare the filling by combining all ingredients by
hand and massaging them together. Set aside.
Mix together brushing ingredients, and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180°C, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Once dough is ready, dust a large surface with flour and scrape out
dough – also dust with flour. Roll out into a large rectangle with
a rolling pin.
Using an angled cake spatula, spread filling from end to end of the
dough, leaving a 1″ lip at the top. Brush this lip with the brushing
mixture. Roll dough together tightly and seal. Roll dough onto
a baking sheet.
Using a sharp knife, cut the dough from end to end along the length of
the dough, leaving 2″ on one end attached. Separate the dough halves
and braid over each other, making the filling visible. Tuck ends in
to prevent them from burning, and push the braid together by hand to
make it “fatter”. Brush entire loaf with brushing mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool slightly
Store at room temperature, uncovered, for up to 5 days (should it last