Sunday, 14 September 2014

Marzipan and Dark Chocolate Share & Tear Loaf

Today I am borrowing a recipe from the awesome Luis Troyano, one of my favourite contestants on the current series of Great British Bake Off.

Luis has consistently impressed the judges (and me, though he probably cares more about Mary and Paul's approval) with his precision, combinations of flavours and by bringing style and flair to every baking challenge.

I've been wanting to make a share and tear loaf using this technique ever since bread week, when I first saw it used. I used marzipan because I happened to get 100g marzipan free for answering a baking survey and 100g isn't really enough to decorate a cake or anything exciting like that.

My loaf isn't quite as pretty as Luis's, because I am not quite as precise as him and was in a hurry as I needed to get down to the shops before they closed. But I still think it's rather lovely. It's a different pattern to his as I turned all my slices the same way rather than turning one left and then the next right all the way around.

If you turn your slices like Luis did it will create a kind of double star pattern. You can see his recipe here.

I also topped my loaf with a rather lovely egg white and almond glaze, the recipe for which I got from Paul Hollywood's Sicilian Lemon and Orange Sweet Bread recipe. You can find that in his book, "Bread". The glaze adds a lovely crispiness to the crust and was a little nod to the marzipan filling.

If you want to make this loaf like a pro, then you're probably better following Luis's recipe. But if you want to make my variation on his recipe, here is the recipe:

You will need:

For the bread dough:
500g strong white bread flour
14g easy bake yeast
2 beaten eggs
100g soft butter
135ml milk
135ml hot water (not boiling)
10g salt

For the filling:
100g dark chocolate, grated
100g marzipan, rolled out into a large circle, slightly smaller than a large plate

For the glaze:
2 egg whites
25g ground almonds
25g caster sugar (plus extra to sprinkle over)

1. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl, putting the yeast and the salt on opposite sides of the bowl.

2. Mix the milk and water together and make a well in the middle of the flour. Add the eggs, butter and a little of the milk and water to the well and beat into the flour, adding more of the liquid a little at a time until a soft, sticky dough forms. You probably won't need to use all of the liquid. Knead for 10 minutes and put in an oiled bowl to rise for at least an hour.

3. When the dough has risen, knock it back and cut in half. Roll one half out into a circle and lay on a lined baking tray. Lay the marzipan on top, then sprinkle over the chocolate. 

4. Roll out the other half and lay on top, then lay a large plate on top of the dough and trim around the edges, then press the edges together to seal. 

5. Put a small upturned bowl or glass in the middle of the dough and cut the bread into 16 equal slices.

6. Turn each slice twice towards the right, wrap the baking tray in clingfilm or a large plastic bag, leaving enough room for the dough to rise and leave to prove for an hour.

7. Towards the end of the proving preheat the oven to 200C and make up the glaze by beating together the egg whites, almond and caster sugar.

8. When the bread has proved and looks like the picture below, brush with the glaze and sprinkle with the remaining caster sugar, then bake for 20 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 

You can then tear off slices and eat - although I think I'll cut with a knife so I get some of the middle. Next time I want to make a savoury version, using a recipe for a pastry filling I charmed out of the nice lady who owns my favourite local café.

Can't wait to grab a slice of this in the office tomorrow to have for breakfast with my Waitrose cappuccino.

Next time on my blog - my bake for GBBO pastry week!

Happy baking,


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