Today is the first day of two weeks off work, which, for me, means uninterrupted cooking time. Project one was a sweet treat.
This recipe was adapted from here.
1 sachet yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
30g butter, room temperature
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg, room temperature
3 cups (375g) flour
approx. 2 cups filling of your choice (for this version, I used pears – see below)
Icing for topping
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sour cream, butter, sugar, egg and 1 cup of the flour. Mix until smooth. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes to let the yeast activate.
Mix in enough remaining flour to make the dough come together well. It will be soft.
Turn dough onto well-floured surface and knead until smooth – about 10 minutes. Place in a buttered bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour.
Preheat oven to 190°C.
Punch down dough. On floured parchment, roll into a large rectangle and place filling down centre of dough, spreading it to almost a third of the width of the dough. Cut inwards along the sides of the dough to form strips about 2cm wide and pull the strips across the top of the filling, criss-crossing them to create a braided effect.
Slide onto a lightly floured baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. While warm, drizzle with icing.
4 large, firm pears (I used bosc)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp raw (demerara) sugar
Peel, halve and core pears then slice about 1cm thick.
Melt butter in a large, deep skillet and swirl in cinnamon. Add pears, sprinkle with sugar and toss gently to coat.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring gently occasionally, until pears are soft and sauce is thick, about 20 minutes or longer depending on how firm or juicy the pears are.
Cool to room temperature before using to fill braid.