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Apricot Italian Cornetti (brioche)

The Italian cornetto is a cross over between a French croissant and brioche.  It contains less butter than its French counterpart, making it slightly more dense, and definitely less rich.

I often crave the wonderfully scented dough with a hint of apricot, or in some cases just coated with a bit of sugar.  This recipe is the best one I have found to bring Italy to wherever you may reside.

To make, it requires two overnights of refrigeration combined with very easy and fast preparation.  There is no endless kneading of dough required and the initial dough batter is simple.  You can also freeze the cornetti right before proofing, and then pull out of the freezer and proof overnight.  Bake off in the morning when you want something fresh and heart-warming for breakfast.

 

Apricot Italian Cornetti (brioche)

The Italian cornetto is a cross over between a French croissant and brioche.  It contains less butter than its French counterpart, making it slightly more dense, and definitely less rich.

I often crave the wonderfully scented dough with a hint of apricot, or in some cases just coated with a bit of sugar.  This recipe is the best one I have found to bring Italy to wherever you may reside.

To make, it requires two overnights of refrigeration combined with very easy and fast preparation.  There is no endless kneading of dough required and the initial dough batter is simple.  You can also freeze the cornetti right before proofing, and then pull out of the freezer and proof overnight.  Bake off in the morning when you want something fresh and heart-warming for breakfast.

 

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Ingredients

Recipe serves: 8-10
2 1/2 cups (350 grams) white, unbleached bread flour, plus a little more
1/4 cup (40g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
pinch of salt
1 cup plus two tablespoons (2 sticks/250g) cold salted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (125ml) cold whole milk
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons cold water
2 tablespoons apricot jam
glazing
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon apricot jam with 1/2 tablespoon hot water
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Apricot Italian Cornetti (brioche)
  • time
    2 days
  • serves
    8
  • skill level
    Hard

Ingredients

  • glazing

Directions

1
Done

Day 1

Place flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a food processor. Pulse to combine.

2
Done

Slowly add the butter pieces to the processor, pulsing as you add. When finished you want the consistency of soft sand.

3
Done

Take mixture into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

4
Done

In another bowl, whisk together the milk and egg with 3 tablespoons cold water.

5
Done

Make a well in the flour mixture, add the milk/egg/water mixture to the well.

6
Done

Using a knife, start to bring the dough together into a sticky dough. It should take 3-4 minutes.

7
Done

Shape into a ball, it will not be smooth and still look rather sand like, set back in mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap (or a lid) and refrigerate for 4 hours or better overnight.

8
Done

Day 2 or after 4 hours

Put the dough on a lightly floured counter and roll out to a long, thin rectangle (roughly 8 by 16 inches or 40 by 20cm).

9
Done

Once in a rectangle, fold the top third down, followed by the bottom third up, as if you were folding a letter to go into an envelope.

10
Done

Turn it one-quarter around, sprinkle with a little flour if need be, and roll it out again to a long rectangle.

11
Done

Repeat another two times - folding, rolling. Work quickly as you do not want dough to become warm and sticky, or be handled too much.

12
Done

Place dough on a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap and leave for 4 hours or overnight.

13
Done

Day 3 or after 4 hours

On a large baking sheet, you will most likely need two, place baking parchment paper.

14
Done

Now comes the fun part. Cut dough in half. Take one half and set aside.

15
Done

With the other half, roll out to make dough a long, thin rectangle about 1/4 inch (6.3cm) thick. Cut into 6 triangles, about 4 inches wide at base and 8 inches long on sides (14cm by 22 cm).

16
Done

Take apricot jam and place about 1/2 teaspoon centered on the base of each triangle - about one finger length away from bottom of dough.

17
Done

Fold bottom edge of triangle over the jam, trying to tuck as tightly as you can and roll.

18
Done

Tuck the tip underneath the cornetto shape if you can, and gently fold tips of the pastry into horn-shape on either side.

19
Done

Slightly shape into a crescent, and place on baking sheet as you go along. Leave space in between each cornetto because they increase in size.

20
Done

Repeat process with other half of dough.

21
Done

Preheat oven to 375F (190C).

22
Done

Once complete, cover the baking sheets of cornetti with a tea towel (clean dish towel) and leave in a warm place to proof (increase in size). You can do this for one hour or overnight.

23
Done

glazing

When cornetti have proofed, take your beaten egg and with a pastry brush paint the egg wash over each pastry. Let dry for a few minutes

24
Done

Now take your apricot jam with hot water, mix well. Using a pastry brush, paint each cornetto with the apricot glaze

25
Done

Place trays in oven for 18-20 minutes, checking after 10 minutes to ensure the tops are not turning too dark. If this happens, cover those that are browning too much with aluminum foil. I also alternate the trays position in the oven if need be.

26
Done

Warm or room temperature cornetti may be stored in an air tight container for up to 2 days.

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Dough scraper
When working with any type of pastry, I could not live without this dough scraper. It removes excess dough and flour from your work surface and is great for cutting dough. This one is from Sur La Table where I bought mine, but Amazon has options as well.