Article taken from Issue #33 || Winter 2015
Print || Digital

Cranberry Pull Apart Brioche is a delicious rich bread that can be used in a variety of ways, both sweet and savory, but filling it with cranberries transforms it into a festive holiday dessert. Cut it open to reveal deep red swirls, and scatter fresh berries or even the sugared ones from page 62 for extra color and sweetness.

Cranberry Pull Apart Brioche
(for a 9-inch loaf pan)

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour ¼ cup sugar
1 package active dry yeast pinch of salt
⅓ cup milk
¼ cup water
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup butter, softened

1 ½ cups cranberries
⅓ cup brown sugar
1 orange, zested and juiced
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tbsp. butter

1. In a bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough attachment, mix together 2 ½ cups flour, sugar, yeast, and salt. Pour milk and water in a small saucepan and heat on low until they’re lukewarm. Add them to the flour mixture and mix on low speed.

2. Lightly beat the eggs with vanilla extract and add them to the bowl. Mix one minute, then add the softened butter. Increase the speed and stir inthe remaining flour one batch at a time until the dough gets smooth and without any lumps. Mix for another 8-10 minutes until it comes togetherin a nice and clean ball.

3. Transfer it to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise for about 1 ½ hour, or until doubled in size.

4. Meanwhile, prepare the filling: combine cranberries, brown sugar, orange zest and juice, and corn starch in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Punch down the dough and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 12 by 20 inch rectangle. Melt 1 tbsp. butter and spread it on the dough, followed by the cranberry sauce, leaving out about ½ inch each edge. With a sharp knife cut the dough into 6 strips approximately 3 ¼ inch wide. Carefully pile them up one on top of the other and cut the stack into 6 small rectangles. Place them vertically inside a greased and floured loaf pan, one stack next to the other. Cover with a towel and let rise for another 40 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the brioche for 40 minutes or until the surface is golden brown. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove and place on a wire rack to cool off completely.7. Dust with powdered sugar and dress with fresh cranberries.

Recipe and Photo by Sara Ghedina
(aka One Girl in the Kitchen)

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Sara Ghedina
When she’s not at farmers markets, or stirring yet another jam, or photographing an artichoke, Sara Ghedina, a.k.a. One Girl in the Kitchen, might be running in Golden Gate Park or in warrior pose. Find out more at