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
- 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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (9x5-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray, and line pans with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.