Truly beautiful – soft, rich, so tasty and delicious on its own, toasted, served with bacon or pate and makes a great base for many desserts and the best bread and butter pudding. Brioche is special.
I have a wide 2 lb loaf tin but this recipe can be baked in two x 1 lb loaf tins. The tin must be well buttered (or use my lining paste). Brioche is so much easier to make if you have a table top mixer fitted with a dough hook. The brioche needs a warm place to rise and prove and I find the oven with just the light on generates just the right amount of heat.
In the bowl of your mixer place the yeast, milk, sugar – give a quick stir then add the flour and salt followed by the three eggs. With the machine on a low setting mix until the ingredients are well combined. This may take 5 minutes or so. Lift the dough hook from the mix and it should be stretchy though raggy in appearance.
Turn the machine back onto minimum speed and add the soft butter little by little until well combined. The machine speed can now be increased slightly for another five minutes or so until the mix then becomes smooth, very stretchy and glossy in appearance.
Use a spatula to scrape the very sticky dough into a greased bowl then cover with a shower cap and place in the oven (with only the light on) to rise until doubled in size. This will probably take as long as two hours.
Sprinkle a little flour onto the work surface then transfer the risen dough and I find it easier to use a bench scraper rather than my hands to gently knock the dough back. Form into a rough ball and place back into the bowl. Cover again with the shower cap and place in the fridge overnight to rest.
The next day transfer the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and it will be so easy to work with. Knead gently then divide into even sized balls. I placed four into my tin – use two balls in your one pound loaf tins.
Cover again with the shower can and pop back into the oven (with just the light on) and allow to prove until doubled in size and almost reaching the top of the tin. This can take between one and a half and two hours depending on the ambient temperature. Towards the end of the proving time remove the brioche from the oven and preheat ready for baking.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees c (fan)
When ready to bake – remove the shower cap and carefully and gently apply an egg wash over the very soft risen dough.
Place into the preheated oven then immediately turn down to 200 degrees c (fan) and bake for 35-45 minutes until the loaf is risen, shiny, dark golden and smelling amazing.
Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
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