Rhubarb is the quintessential taste of spring. The bright tanginess of the fruit marries beautifully with the rich dough in this loaf. It's best eaten the day it's made, but sliced thickly, toasted, and topped with butter and honey the next day it's pretty stellar too.
Also, heads-up this recipe takes two days to make! But the second day is mostly waiting for it to rise, so it's a good easy brunch food.
1 1/2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
2 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
8 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg, divided
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Toss rhubarb with 1 tbsp sugar and set aside.
Gently heat milk until just warm and pour into a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the yeast and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, 2 tbsp of sugar, 3 eggs, and 1 egg yolk to the bowl. Mix on low until it comes together.
Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue working dough for 6 minutes, stopping to push down the sides and hook every minute or so. The result will be strong and sticky.
Reducing the mixer speed to low, slowly add in chunks of butter, a little at a time. The butter won't fully incorporate, so when finished increase speed to medium-high for another 5-6 minutes.
Dump dough onto a floured work surface and press into a 16" x 10" rectangle. Drain any juice that has accumulated in the rhubarb and spread it along one of the short ends, then roll the whole thing towards you, starting at the fruit end. Place the log on a greased cookie sheet and refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Preheat your oven to 350 C. Flatten dough into a 12" x 6" rectangle. Sprinkle remaining sugar over top and roll tightly, starting at a short end.
Grease a 9" x 5" loaf tin and place dough inside, smooth side up. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until doubled in size (about 3 hours).
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top is deep gold. Leave to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.