Sweet Potato Brioche with Orange-Pecan Streusel

Sweet Potato Brioche - Bake from Scratch

This brioche will knock your socks off. Incorporating streusel into the body of this lightly sweetened loaf infuses the bread with a subtle orange essence. It is absolutely worth the effort.

Sweet Potato Brioche with Orange-Pecan Streusel
Makes 2 (9x5-inch) loaves
  • Bread:
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup warm water (105°F to 110°F)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons (27 grams) active dry yeast
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 1⅓ cups (167 grams) plus 4½ cups (563 grams) all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • Streusel:
  • 1⅔ cups (209 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (113 grams) finely chopped pecans
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  2. For bread: Scrub sweet potatoes, pay dry, and pierce several times with a fork. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Let cool for 10 minutes. Peel and mash pulp with a fork.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine ½ cup warm water, ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar, and yeast. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1 egg and 1⅓ cups (167 grams) flour; beat at low speed until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove paddle, and cover; let rise until doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes. (At the end of this initial fermentation process, there should be small bubbles forming around the edges of mixture.)
  4. Replace paddle attachment, and add sweet potato purée, salt, remaining 3 eggs, remaining 4½ cups (563 grams) flour, and remaining ¼ cup (50 grams) sugar; beat at low speed until combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until dough is smooth and elastic, 2 to 3 minutes. WIth mixer running at medium speed, add butter, 1 tablespoon (14 grams) at a time, letting each piece incorporate before adding the next. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  5. For streusel: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pecans, sugars, zest, and salt. Drizzle with melted butter, and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Crumble with your fingertips until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, and line pans with parchment paper.
  7. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Punch down dough, and divide in half. Cover loosely and let rest for 10 minutes. Roll half of dough into a 16x9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with one-fourth of streusel. Starting with one short side, roll dough jelly-roll style; press seam to seal. Place dough, seam side down, in prepared pan. Repeat with remaining dough and one-fourth of streusel. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F) for 30 to 45 minutes. Brush risen loaves with beaten egg, and sprinkle with remaining streusel.
  8. Bake until golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F, 45 minutes to 1 hour, covering loosely with foil halfway through baking to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks.


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