Chestnut/Quince Brioche

Chestnut/Quince foreground – Santes Dwynwen rear

This could be the most expensive bread I ever made. I can get good organic bread flour for £0.96 per Kilo. This uses chestnut flour and spelt – £12.00 & £2.75 a Kilo; vacuum packed chestnuts – £12.00 a Kilo; quince paste – £20.50 a Kilo; buttermilk – £1.20 500ml. Plus the usual butter and eggs.

The idea came from the recipe for a “Plum Cake” posted in Italian by De Gustibus Itinera on Facebook. The only Italian I know comes from Verdi and it wasn’t a lot of help so I had to rely on a Facebook translation and a little consultation with Luisa Jane Rusconi – The Rise of the Sourdough Preacher – also to be found on Facebook.

The original recipe can be seen below. It is definitely a cake (as opposed to a bread) raised with baking powder (lievito chimico ). It is definitely not a plum cake – not a plum in sight. The main ingredients are quince paste (membrillo) and chestnut flour.

I decided to base the new bread on my basic brioche formula although the results are not very brioche-like. I substituted buttermilk for the yoghurt of the original recipe, left out the sugar, reduced the amount of egg, added chestnuts and recalculated to allow for the starter.

Additional quince needed for decorating the dough.

Melt the butter and let it cool. Break the egg into a bowl on you scales. Then, rather than mess about with bits of egg, adjust the buttermilk weight so that the two combined equal 104g. Mix in the other liquid ingredients (starter and butter).

Mix in the flours and salt to form a dough. Knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.

Dice the chestnuts and quince to your preferred size and fold them into the dough before your final knead.

Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.

Alternatively ferment overnight in the fridge.

Shape the dough and place it in a bread tin or wooden baking box seam side down. Cover and leave for 3½-4 hours checking with the finger tip test after 3 hours. However, as this is a heavy dough, be guided by your eye, judging the amount it has risen.

Preheat the oven to about 210C.

Decorate the dough by cutting slits in the surface and inserting wedges of additional quince.

Mix an egg wash (an egg + a splash of milk) and brush the dough generously.

Bake for 15 minutes the reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for a further 35 minutes brushing with egg wash again half way through.

Cool on a wire rack

The original and the Facebook translation is as follows:

L’autunno ha ormai definitivamente preso il posto di quella strana mezza stagione ancora tiepida, o meglio quasi calda. Finalmente possiamo dedicarci ai sapori e profumi autunnali e preparare un gustosissimo #plumcake con farina di #castagne e marmellata di #cotogne, due frutti di questa stagione.
Ecco la ricetta per preparare tre plumcake di dimensioni 26 x 12cm:
300 g di farina di castagne
300 g di farina semintegrale di farro
500 g di yogurt bianco non zuccherato
6 uova medie
120 g di zucchero grezzo di canna (io dulcita)
100 g di zucchero bianco
200 g di confettura di cotogne
150 g di olio evo
50 g di latte
una bustina e mezzo di lievito chimico
sale qb
pezzi di confettura da inserire dopo

Montare bene uova e zuccheri, unire yogurt e confettura mescolati insieme, poi olio, farine con lievito e sale, e infine il latte per ammorbidire l’impasto se dovesse risultare troppo duro. Deve essere piuttosto fluido, come un ciambellone. Riempire gli stampi a metà e inserire la confettura di cotogne a pezzi. Cuocere in forno a 190/180° per 40-45 minuti. Controllare la cottura con la prova stecchino.

Autumn has now definitively taken the place of that weird half season still warm, or better almost warm. Finally we can devote ourselves to autumn flavours and scents and prepare a tasty #plumcake with #chestnuts flour and #quinces jam, two fruits of this season.
Here’s the recipe to prepare three plumcake of size 26 x 12 cm:
300 G Chestnut flour
300 g of spelt flour of spelt
500 G Non-sweetened white yogurt
6 average eggs
120 G Raw Cane Sugar (I dulcita)
100 g white sugar
200 g of quinces jam
150 g evo oil
50 g milk
A sachet and a half of chemical yeast
Salt QB
Pieces of jam to insert after

Mount well eggs and sugars, combine yogurt and jam mixed together, then oil, flour with yeast and salt, and finally milk to soften the dough if it should be too hard. It must be rather fluid, like a bundt cake. Fill the molds in half and insert the quinces jam to pieces. Bake in the oven at 190/180° for 40-45 minutes. Check the cooking with the toothpick test.

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