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 France~Pumpkin brioche (Pain à la couge)

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PostSubject: France~Pumpkin brioche (Pain à la couge)   October 8th 2011, 10:46 am


Pumpkin brioche (Pain à la couge)


This slightly sweet bread, with it's beautiful saffron-yellow crumb, is delicious for breakfast or tea. It\' was inspired by an ancient recipe from the Dauphiné region in the French Alps. Traditionally it was served in the fall to celebrate the end of the harvest.

Ingredients


1 lb• pumpkin or squash* peeled and seeded, cut into 1/2\" cubes
1/4 c• warm water
1/4 c• sugar
1 t• yeast
3.5-5 c• unbleached white flour**
2 t• salt
3 eggs
6 oz• (12 T.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces and at room temperature
1 c• walnuts, chopped
1/2 c• sultana raisins
1/4 c• dark rum
1 egg yolk beaten with one T• cream
sugar to sprinkle

Method
The day before baking, steam the pumpkin or squash until tender, allow to drain overnight.

The next day, dissolve the yeast in the warm water along with 1 t. of the sugar. Let rest until foamy. Beat the eggs lightly in a bowl, add the yeast mixture, the rest of the sugar, the salt, the squash, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat 100 strokes. Beat in the butter 2 or 3 pieces at a time. Then add flour bit by bit until the dough is just stiff enough to begin kneading with the help of a dough scraper, but still very sticky. Knead for about 10 minutes, adding sprinkles of flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic but still soft. It should still stick to your hands if you hold on to it for a few seconds. But the ball of dough left on the board should hold its shape and not spread out. Clean and butter the bowl; form the dough into a ball and let it rise, seam side down, covered tightly with plastic wrap until doubled in bulk. Put the raisins to soak in the rum.

Drain the raisins. Punch down the dough and knead in the walnuts and raisins. Divide the dough in half. You may either form it into balls to bake in buttered brioche pans or coffee cans, or simply form oval loaves and let them rise on a parchment lined baking sheet. Allow them to rise until almost double. Half an hour before they are ready, preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the loaves with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle them with the sugar. Bake until deep golden brown and cool on a rack.

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