It’s fair to say I’m a beginner when it comes to bead. Making it that is, I’m an expert at bread consumption. People who aren’t, can’t be trusted. I only wish it wasn’t the one thing we’re always told to cut out of our diets when trying to lose weight. This is why I could never stick to a diet for more than a handful of days (I tried a no carb detox diet once, lasted a day and a half before I felt faint and had major bread cravings, never again!).
Anyway, I digress, back to bread baking. Working on technique and understanding the ratios of yeast, flour sugar and salt is a work in progress, so this brioche sticks loyally to the recipe. Next time I’ll experiment with flavourings and try a different method to deduce what works for me and gives the best results.
The overall time to make brioche is quite long, but actual working time is less than an hour. A good weekend project.
Once you’ve made the dough it is left to rest in the fridge for a minimum of 7 hours, I left mine for almost a full day.
The dough is turned out on to a floured surface and kneaded for a minute or so to knock the air out of it.
Shape the dough in to a long sausage shape so you can cut it in to 9 equal portions.
Roll each of the segments into balls, do this by laying the dough on the bench and making a cage like shape with your hand over it, roll the ball quickly a few times and you should have a perfect circle.
This works best on a non floured surface as the dough will grip the board slightly.
Place all the balls in a cake tin and leave to rise for about 3 hours, until it has risen just above the tins rim.
Use a plastic bag to create a tent over the bread as it rises, this will protect it and keep any drafts away from it.
recipe from Paul Hollywood’s How to Bake
500g strong white flour
10g instant action yeast
50g caster sugar
140ml warm full fat milk
5 eggs, at room temperature
250g butter, softened
This recipe works best in a stand mixer, because it’s a very sticky dough, but is totally doable by hand, as long as you don’t mind some mess!
In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add the flour, then the yeast on one side and the sugar and salt to the other.
Pour in the milk and the eggs and mix on slow for 2-3 minutes, until everything is combined.
Turn the speed up to medium (about 3 or 4 if you’re using a Kitchen Aid) and mix for 6-8 minutes. The dough will have a sheen and appear elastic-y, and will still be very wet.
Add the softened butter bit by bit, scraping down the bowl if you need to, and mix on medium for about 5 minutes until all the butter is well incorporated.
Tip the dough into a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave to firm up in the fridge overnight.
Before you start with the dough, grease a 25cm cake tin and set aside.
Remove from the fridge and place the dough on a floured surface. Fold the dough over a couple of times to knock the air out of it.
Shape the dough into a rough sausage shape and divide the mixture into 9 even(ish) pieces.
Roll each of them in to a ball and place into the prepared cake tin.
Place the tin in a plastic bag, tented over the bread, and leave the brioche to rise for 3-4 hours until about doubled in size and the dough has risen about the rim of the tin.
Bake at 190 degrees C for 30 minutes. The loaf is ready when a skewer comes out clean.
Remove from the tin and allow to cool before slicing.