It was sweet dough week on GBBO and the females in my family have always had a certain weakness for sweet dough. So, it was only natural then that I up camp, pack up my baking stuff and roll up at my parents house for this week's bake.
The technical bake this week just looked so delicious that I knew I had to give it a go. Everyone in the competition seemed to do well, so surely it would be easy? (How naive I was...!)
Now, the original plan was not to bake at my parent's house, but to get up at the crack of dawn, prep the dough and let it prove (going back to sleep in the meantime), then shape and bake. I would then turn up at my parents, beautiful Couronne in tow.
That didn't happen.
My first batch of dough was so wet and sticky even after the first prove I was forced to abandon it.
I have to admit that the second batch was handed over to my sister to deal with (in-between updating her own blog).
But between the two of us (and my mum's advice and opinions) we managed to produce our own Apricot Couronne. It looks a little messy (though nothing that flaked almonds can't hide) but it tastes amazing!
We used Paul Hollywood's recipe for this, below, and perhaps wisely stuck to it word for word with absolutely no deviations!
For the dough
250g strong white bread flour
50g butter, softened
10g fast action yeast
1 large egg, beaten
For the filling
120g dried apricot
150ml orange juice
70g light muscovado sugar
35g plain flour
65g choppedd walnuts
grated zest 1 orange
50g apricot jam
To start with, put the chopped apricots in a jug with the orange juice and set aside.
To make the dough put the flour, butter, milk, yeast, egg and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl and mix to form a dough. Then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 6 minutes.
Put the dough in a mixing bowl, cover with cling film and put in a warm place to rise for a least an hour (until it has doubled in size - because of the butter in the dough this will take longer than you think!)
Meanwhile mix together the filling. Cream the butter and muscovado sugar in a bowl. Then add the drained apricots, flour, raisins, walnuts and orange zest and mix well.
Turn out the risen dough and roll out to a rectangle about 25 x 30 cm. Evenly spread the filling over the dough then roll up tightly (like you would if you were making Chelsea buns or a Swiss roll).
Lay out the dough in front out you and cut it length ways. Twist the 2 lengths together, then shape into a ring on a lined baking sheet.
Loosely cover with cling film and leave to rise again for about an hour.
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C/392F for 30 minutes (or longer if necessary), until it is risen and golden.
Towards the end of the baking time warm the jam in a saucepan.
When the Couronne has been removed from the oven brush with the apricot jam and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
Then try and resist it while it cools!
I have to say, 'day old Couronne' is actually nicer than 'freshly baked Couronne'. I had a piece for my elevenses 2 day's running and it keeps beautifully. Both my Mum and Sister have said the same!
P.s. I'm considering making my own puff pastry this week.........wish me luck!