Home Made Brioche

Brioche is kind of like if a loaf of bread and a cake got together and made a baby, although its not sweet the texture is more cake then bread... If that makes sense! It chef terms, it's a leavened dough using yeast as the raising agent, and it is enriched with butter and eggs.

I made a free-form one, but I think next time I'll bake it in a mould, or even a ring or loaf tin because it took a while to cook like this and ended up splitting, it still tasted delicious though!

You will need..
400gr plain flour (strong flour if you have it
5gr dried yeast
10gr fine salt
90ml warm milk
2 Tbsp of caster sugar
100gr butter, softened and cut into small chunks
4 medium, free range eggs, beaten

For brushing, 1 beaten egg and a splash of milk

Chilling time: Overnight
Proving time: 3-4 hours
Make a day ahead

1. Add yeast to milk with the caster sugar and set aside to activate (let it become a bit frothy)
2. Sift the flour and mix in the salt and sugar.
3. Add the eggs to the yeast mixture and mix, then make a well in the centre of the flour and add the yeast and egg mixture. Add the butter and start to combine.
4. Once dough starts coming together, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. The dough needs to be slightly sticky so don't add too much flour. Dough is well kneaded when it is smooth and elastic.

5. Place the dough in a bowl, tightly cover with glad wrap and rest in the fridge overnight.
6. Once the dough has rested overnight, remove it from the fridge and divide into two (or smaller portions if you wish. Place in greased moulds if you are using or place on a lined baking tray if you are making a free-formed brioche. Leave the dough to prove in a warm area for at least 3-4 hours or until almost doubled in size.
7. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius, brush the dough with 1 beaten egg and a splash of milk mixed together as the glaze. Place in the hot oven for 10 minutes, then drop the temperature down to 180 and bake for a further 30-35 minutes (this is if the dough is split into two loaves- if you have split it into 4, halve the cooking time)

8. The brioche is ready when it is golden brown and if an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly before slicing with a sharp knife.
9. You can serve the brioche with any kind of filling you wish, it goes well with sweetened cream cheese and toasted fruit, or even as a savoury dish with sautéed creamed mushrooms.
It has character!


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