Mother’s Day baking all the family can help with

Home-made brioche for French toast with cinnamon and honey - just remember it needs to prove overnight in the fridge - and jammy dodgers that the kids can make

Something festive for the weekend? Jammy Dodger biscuits and brioche bread for luxurious French toast. Photographs: Shane Smith

Something festive for the weekend? Jammy Dodger biscuits and brioche bread for luxurious French toast. Photographs: Shane Smith

 

Celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday with a luxurious home-made brioche French toast brunch, or a retro jammy dodger biscuit with a nice cup of tea. The brioche bread is straightforward to make, but you’ll need to mix the dough 24 hours before you bake it. The jammy dodgers are a great way to involve the family in the preparations, and even small children will enjoy helping to make them.

JAMMY DODGER BISCUITS

Makes 14

Ingredients
100g butter
170g caster sugar
1 medium egg
Splash vanilla extract
Pinch salt
200g plain flour
350g strawberry jam

Method

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  1. In a mixing bowl, cream the room temperature butter and caster sugar together until pale in colour. Add the egg and vanilla and combine.
  2. To this add the sieved flour and salt and mix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. Wrap it in clingfilm and chill it for 25 minutes.
  4. Once it has rested, roll out on a floured work surface about 5mm in thickness and cut out 28 discs using a 7cm round cutter. Taking a small heart cutter, cut this shape into the centre of half your biscuits. If you don’t have cutters, use an inverted teacup for the bases, and freestyle the heart; it will add to the charm.
  5. Place them on two lined baking sheets and return to the fridge to rest for a further 20 minutes. This ensures they keep their shape while baking.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius/160 degrees Fan/Gas 4
  7. Egg wash each cookie with beaten egg and sprinkle with some caster sugar and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool.
  8. Once cooled, spread some strawberry jam on the base cookie and top with the heart cookie and sandwich them together. These will keep for two days in an airtight container – if they last that long.

CINNAMON AND HONEY BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST

Makes two 1lb loaves

Brioche ingredients
370g strong white flour
50g caster sugar
7g sachet dried yeast
Pinch of salt
100ml milk
3 medium eggs
175g soft butter

Method

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
  2. To this add the warm (not hot) milk and eggs and continue to mix until a soft dough is achieved.
  3. Add the softened butter and mix for a few more minutes until combined.
  4. Place this soft dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and place in the fridge overnight. The dough will firm up and be a lot easier to work with.
  5. The following day, grease 2 x 500g loaf tins. Divide the dough in half and knead until smooth and fits into the base of each tin.
  6. Cover the brioche with a cloth for about 2½ to three hours, until doubled in size.
  7. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius/180 degrees Fan/Gas 6. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

French toast soaking liquid
1 large egg
300ml milk
1 tbsp Irish honey
Quarter tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence

To serve
Fresh berries
Honey
Pecans
Crème fraiche

Method

  1. Whisk all of the soaking ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cut four thick slices of brioche and place to at a time in the soaking liquid, turning after one minute.
  3. Place a non-stick pan over a medium head and drizzle in some oil and add a knob of butter.
  4. Carefully place two slices on the hot pan and cook for four to five minutes, then turn them and cook for another four to five minutes. You can keep these warm in the oven while you cook the other two slices.
  5. Serve topped with fresh berries, a drizzle of Irish honey, some pecans for texture and a spoon of crème fraiche.
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