As the farm comes alive with the scent of wood burning fires and warming spices, join us in embracing the joys of the season. However, if the thought of all the preparation and shopping leaves you feeling a little daunted, don’t fret, as we’re here to help.
We have lots of recipes and festive tips covering everything from homemade gifts, keeping Christmas eco and free-from Christmases.
Chef Andy Tyrell shares his a gorgeous Christmas Orange & Chocolate Brioche Plait for you to enjoy.
See our step-by-step guide and the receipe below of how to make this indulgent aromatic bake.
If someone you know would love a trip to River Cottage, visit our CHRISTMAS PAGE for suggestions for Christmas gifts they'll remember.
Christmas Brioche Plait
This soft bread is enriched with butter, orange zest and chocolate. It's sure to be the highlight of any breakfast table, brunch or afternoon tea!
500g bread flour
12g fine sea salt
30g caster sugar
15g crumbled fresh yeast or 8g dried yeast
250g softened unsalted butter
Zest of one orange
Good quality dark chocolate
Put the flour, salt and sugar into a bowl and combine.
Crumble the yeast into a separate bowl and add the eggs. Mix the two together until the yeast has dissolved. Pour into the flour mix and bring together in the bowl.
Tip onto a dry surface and with the heel of your hand, stretch and tear the dough. This will develop the gluten and make the dough nice and elasticated. Do this for 8-10 mins before placing the dough back into the bowl and covering. Allow to rest for 30mins.
Uncover the bowl and place the dough back onto the table. Start to add the butter a little bit at a time. Use the stretch and tear motion to combine the butter. Each time the butter has cleared, add a little bit more. This will take about 10 mins.
Once it is fully combined, add the chocolate and the orange zest and once again stretch through the dough.
Cover and place in the fridge for up to 4 hours and at least 2 hours
Now you are ready to shape your dough…
Line a tray with parchment paper. Cut your dough into 3 equal pieces and gently coax them into rough balls.
Roll each piece out then roll again tapering the ends to a point. Join 3 ends together, plait and pinch ends together tucking the join under slightly.
Place onto the tray and glaze with a beaten egg before leaving to rise for 2 hours.
Once risen, place into a preheated oven 180*c/Gas 4.
Bake for 25 mins turning once.
Take out allow to cool and enjoy!