Aniseed brioche

– Ilse van der Merwe

YOU Winning Recipes - - CONTENTS -

(FRESH, IN­NO­VA­TIVE ,TASTY)

Ilse’s mom, mas­ter baker Erna Uys, baked rusks for a home in­dus­try in Stel­len­bosch in the ’80s. She would drop them off early in the morn­ing and there would al­ready be a queue of peo­ple wait­ing for these baked treats. The rusks are sim­i­lar to “mos­bol­letjies” with the dis­tinc­tive aniseed taste, but are made with­out must or grape juice. It can also be en­joyed as soft brioche as Ilse has pre­pared it in this recipe.

MAKES 3 LARGE LOAVES (12 BALLS EACH) Prepa­ra­tion time: 1 hour Knead­ing time: 10 min Ris­ing time: 1-4 hours Bak­ing time: 1 hour

BRIOCHE

3 pack­ets (10 g each) in­stant yeast 500 ml (2 c) luke­warm wa­ter 750 ml (3 c) sugar 2,5 kg (10 c) cake flour 15 ml (1 T) salt 2 pack­ets (35 g each) whole aniseed ½ can (193 g) con­densed milk 250 g but­ter, melted 2 eggs, whisked 750 ml (3 c) luke­warm wa­ter ex­tra melted but­ter for greas­ing

SYRUP

125 ml (½ c) sugar 125 ml (½ c) boil­ing wa­ter but­ter to serve

1 Brioche Mix the yeast, the 500 ml luke­warm wa­ter and 10 ml (2 t) of the sugar. Set aside for 10-15 min­utes un­til frothy.

2 In a large mix­ing bowl, com­bine the rest of the sugar, the flour, salt and aniseed.

3 Add the con­densed milk, but­ter, eggs and 750 ml luke­warm wa­ter and stir lightly. Add the yeast mix­ture and stir un­til the dough be­comes dif­fi­cult to stir with a spoon.

4 Grease your hands with a lit­tle melted but­ter and knead the dough for at least 10 min­utes un­til a smooth ball forms.

5 Grease the top of the dough with but­ter and cover with a piece of plas­tic (a clean garbage bag works well) and a blan­ket. Al­low to rise in a warm area un­til it dou­bles in vol­ume, 1 to 4 hours, de­pend­ing on the weather.

6 Pre­heat the oven to 170 °C and grease 3 bak­ing tins, each 35 x 15 x 13 cm, with non­stick spray or but­ter.

7 Di­vide the dough into 3 equal parts. Di­vide each part into 12 balls. Grease your hands with a lit­tle melted but­ter and shape each ball into a “rusk shape” by slightly flat­ten­ing the top and bot­tom with your thumb and fore­fin­ger. Ar­range the balls in neat rows in the pre­pared bak­ing tins. They should fit snugly to al­low them to rise up­wards.

8 Bake for 1 hour. Re­move the bak­ing tins from the oven and turn on their sides to re­move the bread. Turn the bread up­right im­me­di­ately and place on thickly folded clean tow­els (make sure they do not smell of fab­ric soft­ener).

9 Syrup Stir the sugar into boil­ing wa­ter un­til the sugar has dis­solved and brush the syrup over the hot bread.

10 Leave to cool slightly. Cut and serve with but­ter.

ANISEED RUSKS To make rusks, slice each ball of bread ver­ti­cally into 4. Place in a 70 °C oven to dry for about 5 hours. The rusks should be dry but still ap­pear white.

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