Sunday, January 6, 2013

Raspberry & Rose Petal Befana Bread

If you follow my blog with even a modicum of regularity, you'll know that I don't really leave well enough alone. Ever. So, for our Befana breakfast this year, I wanted to do a twist on last year's Couronne De L'Épiphanie (Spanish Epiphany Bread) - with raspberries and roses. I started with a brioche dough...

Homemade Brioche
adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
1/2 C warm water
1 T active dry yeast
3 T organic granulated sugar
6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
4-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 t sea salt
10 T butter, at room temperature
splash of olive oil
1 egg mixed with 1 T water, for egg wash

Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let bloom for 5 minutes. Add the eggs and beat on medium speed until well mixed. With the mixer on low speed, add 2 C of the flour and the salt and mix for 5 minutes. With the mixer still on low, add the remainder of the flour and mix for 5 more minutes. Scrape the dough into a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

This is what the dough looked like in the morning.

Typically you would let the dough come to room temperature, but I slept through my alarm and Jake - who had no idea why anyone in their right mind would want to get up at 3:30am - let me sleep. I skipped that first step and blazed forward. It worked out fine.

The next morning, add the softened butter in chunks, and mix for 2 minutes. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead in 1 C of whole dried raspberries. I would normally have used fresh, but they aren't in season. Form into a crown shape, or ring, on a baking stone. Set aside to rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. When the crown has risen, brush the top of each with the egg wash, sprinkle with some granulated honey, and bake for 45 minutes, or until the tops spring back. Let cool slightly. Make a powdered sugar glaze with a dash of rosewater. Drizzle over crown and sprinkle with crushed rose petals...and you have a crown fit for a princess...or at least a baking witch. Buona Befana!

*5/10/2013: Added to Katherine Martinelli's Mothers' Day Linky Party*


  1. Camilla,

    This bread is so beautiful! I do love a good brioche. Oh, I just can't resist! I do have a question since I have never used rose petals. Can you use any kind of rose petals for food or only specific kinds?

    Very nicely done!


  2. @Dionne, apparently all rose petals are edible; they just need to be labeled as organic and food grade. These were dried in the bulk tea section at the grocery store.


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