We’ve been working lately on perfecting craquelin, a rich and sweet bread that originated in Belgium. Similar to brioche, craquelin starts out as a rich dough, with plenty of eggs, milk and butter – but tucking sugar cubes inside the dough before baking gives it an identity all it’s own.
The sugar plays two roles, essentially. It creates raw food for yeast, which in turn creates magnificent sugar caves tunneling through the center of the pastry – and also tenderizes and moistens the crumb, creating the lightest and softest sweet bread I have ever tasted.
We worked on a few sizes ranging from 35 grams up to 60 grams – to create the perfect size for a sweet pastry to tuck into on the go, with morning coffee. Although we loved the larger sizes, the 45 gram size was the best for our use. We also tried the craquelin with plain white sugar cubes and ones macerated in Meyer lemon zest – both were excellent, but the sweet citrus of the Meyer lemons won over our hearts, especially now, when citrus fruits are at the peak of the season and they simply brighten up everything they come into contact with.