Hearts Entwined Loaf – Dani Valent

Hearts Entwined Loaf

The romantic loaves that say 'I love you' and that you will love right back

Fun to make, enchanting to serve and lovely to eat, this brioche-style bread is an all-round win. Making the interlocking heart shapes can be a little challenging but who said the path of true love should run smooth?

This recipe first appeared in my Entertaining cookbook in the Romantic chapter.

Makes: 2 heart-shaped loaves
Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 60 grams (2 oz) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
  • 130 grams (4.5 oz) full cream milk
  • 1 tsp dried instant yeast
  • 20 grams (2 tbsp) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt flakes
  • 220 grams (1 ½ cups) baker’s flour
  • 20 grams (2 tbsp) walnuts, cut into pieces

Method

1. Grease a large bowl with butter and set aside.

2. Place butter and milk into mixing bowl and heat 3 min/60°C (140°F)/speed  1.

Without a Thermomix, warm butter and milk gently in a small saucepan, stirring to combine.

3. Add yeast, sugar and egg and mix 10 sec/speed 3.

Without a Thermomix, transfer butter mixture to a bowl and stir with yeast, sugar and lightly whisked egg.

4. Add salt and flour and Knead/3 min.

Without a Thermomix, use a dough hook in a mixer to knead through flour and salt, or knead by hand until mixture is glossy, smooth and elastic.

5. Transfer dough into prepared bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 40°C (100°F) or lowest setting. Line a baking tray (30 x 40cm / 12-16 in) with baking paper and set aside. Divide dough into 2 portions and roll into thin logs (approx. 3cm (1.2 in) diameter). Form each log into a heart shape and interlink. Place onto prepared baking tray, sprinkle with walnuts and bake for 20 minutes.

7. Increase oven temperature to 190°C (375°F) and bake for a further 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Serve warm or allow to cool completely before serving.

Tips

  • If preparing ahead of time, you can let the dough rest for 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator before continuing with step 5.
  • Add a little saffron to the milk mixture for a richer coloured bread.
  • The bread will rise in the oven; thinner logs will result in more distinct heart shapes.
  • Scatter the loaves with rose petals for extra romantic flourish.

More about this recipe

  • For more great ideas for romantic meals, have a look at my Food is Love page.
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