Something a bit different to make for a special meal; a whole small wheel of Brie topped with spicy-hot chutney then wrapped in a buttery, rich dough. Served at room temperature it can be made up to 12 hours ahead; the brioche dough needs three rises but one can be overnight in the fridge, so the actual work time is staggered and there is no last-minute cooking. The finished brioche slices easily and goes well with a piquant salad for a first course or as part of a buffet spread.
A large free-standing food mixer fixed with a dough hook makes short work of mixing and kneading the dough.
To make the dough put the flour, dried yeast and salt into bowl of a large food mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix thoroughly then add the eggs and milk to the bowl. Using the lowest possible speed, work the ingredients together to make a soft but not sticky dough. If the dough is dry and a bit stiff, or if there are dry crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, work in a little extra milk. Knead the dough for 8 minutes, again on the lowest speed, until the dough is silky smooth and very elastic.
Put the soft butter and sugar into a small bowl and beat with a wooden spoon until very creamy. Gradually mix into the bread dough, making sure it is completely amalgamated each time before adding more. After the last addition of butter, knead the dough for a minute more just to make sure the dough is completely smooth as well as glossy and quite soft. Cover the bowl with a snap-on lid or cling film and leave to rise in a warm (but not over warm) spot until doubled in size – about 2 hours.
Punch down the dough to deflate then cover the bowl again and chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Turn out the chilled dough on to a lightly floured work surface, cut off a quarter and set aside until needed. Roll out the larger portion of dough to a circle about 7cm larger than your cheese. Thickly spread the top of the cheese with the chutney then set it upside down in the middle of the dough. Using a floured knife trim the edge of the dough to remove the thick rim. Roll out the smaller dough portion to a circle about 14cm across.
Brush the exposed surface of the cheese with the beaten egg glaze, then lift up the dough, in small sections, and wrap over the cheese leaving the centre exposed. Brush the dough on top of the cheese and the cheese with a little more beaten egg, then set the dough circle on top and pat down gently to seal. Flour your hands and carefully invert the cheese onto your prepared baking tray. Gently mould the sides to neaten any bulges. Score the top with the tip of a sharp knife then leave to rise uncovered for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 190?C/375?F/Gas Mark 5. Brush the dough lightly with beaten egg - taking care not to ‘glue’ the dough to the baking tray. Bake for 30 minutes. Brush the dough once again with the beaten egg and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature - allow at least 4 hours - before serving. Best eaten the same day or within 24 hours.
Preparation: 40 minutes (plus rising time of 6 hours/ overnight)
Cooking: 40 minutes
Cut into 12 portions as a starter or part of a buffet
For the dough:
375g Marriage’s 100% Canadian Very Strong White Flour
1 x 7g sachet easy-blend dried yeast
½ teaspoon salt
4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons lukewarm milk
175g unsalted butter, very soft
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 x 350g Petit Brie (about 13cm)
About 5 tablespoons spiced or ‘hot’ chutney
Beaten egg to glaze
A baking tray, well-greased