This loaf is so beautiful. It certainly deserves it’s place on the Thanksgiving or Christmas table. Actually, no need for a special occasion. This bread is awesome any day. It is a little messy to make, but definitely worth it. Y’all it is so vibrant and beautiful.
I used my cranberry orange sauce , recipe listed below. I also wanted to amp up the orange flavor. To do this, I flavored the sugar with plenty of orange zest.
The dough is brushed with melted butter, spread with cranberry orange sauce and sprinkled with the orange sugar. All of this is cut and swirled to the beautiful loaf you see below. Slightly messy, but totally beautiful!
Here is the pan I used here. I have had this pan for so long and absolutely love it. It is good and thick and totally heavy duty.
Because of the sugar and jam, it will caramelize to a dark golden brown, don’t worry about this, the flavor is amazing.
2/3cupsugar or honeyIf you prefer the recipe a little more sweet, add in an extra 1/2-1 cup sugar. I like mine a little more tart, so I have less listed.
Bring cranberries, sugar, water, salt and orange juice to a boil over medium heat, making sure to stir occasionally. Cook until berries have popped and the sauce has thickened. Mine took about 10 minutes. Your's might take less or more time, depeding on what medium heat looks like on your cooktop and how thick your pan is. After it is cooked, stir in the zest. Serve immediately or place in fridge for up to 4 days. I have gone longer, but flavor was compromised. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it.
1 3/4cupswhole wheat flourI prefer a white wheat. You can use a red wheat if that is what you have.
1 3/4-2cupsall purpose flour
2 1/2teaspoonsactive dry yeast
Coating for bread
Activate yeast in warm milk. Make sure your milk is warm, not hot. You don't want to kill the yeast. This should only take about 3-5 minutes, depending on the heat of the milk and your house. Add milk mixture and remaining ingredients to mixer. Start with only 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, you don't want to add too much to begin with. Mix for a few minutes before you decide if you need more or not. It's taking some mixing time to know. You want this dough to be tacky, slightly sticky. Normally when you mix a dough, you will want the dough to pull away from the edges of the bowl, with this brioche, because of the whole wheat, you will want to have more moisture in the dough to begin with. The wheat will absorb more moisture than a regular all purpose flour would. So, if you have a little bit sticking, don't sweat it. Mix for about 4-5 minutes. Immediately place in buttered container, cover ( I used a tupperware container with lid) and place in fridge. You can let it rise and use it the day of, but I think it is so much better after a cool rise. So, let place in an airtight container and it goes in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The next day, prepare your bread pan. I brushed mine with melted butter. Set aside.Remove dough from fridge. Lightly flour your surface and set the dough out. Roll to a rectangle about 10×30 inches. The dough will be very thin. Now, in the photos on the post, I had doubled the recipe, yours will not be that big. Brush all but about an inch on the bottom of your long end with melted butter. You will need that inch to pinch closed your roll at the end. It is impossible to do with the butter on it!Once it is brushed with butter, sprinkle your brown sugar over the melted butter and spread. Then add your ground walnuts and cinnamon on top of that. Let's start rolling. You will start at the top and carefully start rolling down. The dough is thin, so be careful not to tear. I started at one and, rolled and inch or 2 down, then moved down the line doing the same, until you have rolled the roll all the way up. Now, pinch the end to close the roll. I cut the 2 ends on my roll just to clean it up and make sure it was all the same size. You can skip this next step, but I think it is so good to add a sweet crunch to the bread. Brush your roll with melted butter. Yes, this will be messy. Now spread the brown sugar over the melted butter, again this will be messy.Now, you will lay the roll in your pan in an "S" shape. It will form an "S" on the bottom, then with the extra keep snaking the dough across the top. Sorry for that descriptor, I am not sure how to explain this, you will see in the photos on the post. Cover the loaf and allow to double at room temp. Towards the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the loaf in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake another 35 minutes. If the top starts to get too dark, tent with tinfoil. I did. It is a large loaf, covered in butter and brown sugar, it will get a deep golden brown. No stress. Once it is baked, remove from the oven. I like to carefully remove from the pan right away. Once the caramel starts to harden on the edges on the loaf, it can be really hard to get it out of the pan. I would recommend waiting at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into the loaf. This bread is perfect hot, slathered with butter. It is great cool, it is so good as french toast, it is great toasted. I mean, it is good any way you eat it!!Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!
The brioche recipe and cranberry orange sauce are included on this post. Make sure and make them the day before baking.Pulse sauce in food processor. I prefer to have a smooth sauce for this bread. If you don't mind the chunks, skip this step. Combine orange zest and sugar. Roll dough into a 18×20 (ish, this doesn't have to be exact) rectangle. Brush surface with melted butter, leaving about an inch at the bottom to pinch together to close the roll. Sprinkle with the orange sugar, y'all this is going to smell so good! Carefully spread the cranberry sauce across the dough as well. Again, leaving at least an inch at the bottom. Roll the dough as you would for cinnamon rolls. The sauce will probably squish out, as it did for mine. Don't worry about this. Just do you best to keep it semi contained. Now, with a very sharp knife, cut a slit down the center of the roll running lengthwise. Reveal the cut side of roll to where it is facing up. Twist roll and pinch at each end. As shown in video, sorry this is a little tricky to explain. Spray a loaf pan, I used a 5×10 inch pan. You can butter it if you prefer. Transfer loaf carefully to this pan. Cover and allow to rise until doubled. Towards the end of the rise, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Once the loaf is doubled, place in oven. Bake until loaf is a darker golden brown. I like to pull the loaf apart just a touch in the middle ( do this very carefully) making sure the bread is just barely baked. I even like to under bake it just a touch. This is very important, remember whole wheat baked goods will dry out more quickly. Remember also they will continue to bake even after you remove them from the oven. Give it just a few minutes to cool in the pan. The invert and remove the loaf. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before trying to slice. I waited even longer, as I wanted to have pretty slices. If the bread is still warm, it tries break apart. Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it.