Brioche has taken something of a beating over recent years with the rise of burgers and so called brioche buns, which are the savoury version of brioche dough but too often have the colouring but none of the richness. This is a winter cake – rich, indulgent and very rewarding

100g citrus candied peel

100g raisins

50g pine nuts

75ml Oloroso sherry

500g plain flour

3 teaspoons yeast

150ml milk

1 teaspoon salt

100g butter, at room temperature

100g light brown sugar

2 lemons, grated zest

2 oranges, grated zest

4 eggs, beaten

Apricot jam, to glaze


1 Combine the dried fruit, pine nuts and sherry and leave overnight. Combine 150g of the flour with the yeast in a bowl. Heat the milk until just warm enough so you can hold your finger in it. Whisk into the flour and yeast and set aside, covered lightly with a tea towel. This will activate the yeast and, in 20 minutes or so, it will start to froth.

2 Beat the butter, sugar and citrus zests until creamy, add the eggs, a few tablespoons at a time and beat in. Stir this mix into the frothed flour and whisk in the remaining flour so you have a dough. Add the salt. Turn onto a board and knead for five minutes, adding in the soaked fruit as you go. You will need to flour your hands as you go.

3 Leave the dough in a clean bowl covered with a damp tea towel in a warm place for a couple of hours until doubled in size. Knock back and roll into a sausage shape. Place on a backing sheet, cover with the tea towel and leave to double in size again.

4 Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas mark 5. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour until golden brown and cooked through. Remove, brush with the jam and set aside on a wire rack to cool.

This recipe originally appeared in FOOD&WINE Magazine, October 2016

Recipe credit: Hugo Arnold

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke 

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