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So why have I never made Brioche before? It’s extremely straightforward! I was tempted to say “easy” but I shall bite my tongue until the results emerge from the oven.

I used the recipe from the River Cottage Handbook #3 and the locally available white bread flour. The recipe was recently reproduced at The Guardian, so I have few qualms about fair usage if I reveal it here.

Brioche

Daniel Stevens (River Cottage)

 2 tsp dried yeast 
90ml warm milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
400g strong white bread flour
10g fine salt
100g softened butter
4 medium eggs, lightly beaten

To glaze
1 medium egg
2 tbsp milk

Put the yeast, warm milk and sugar in a jug, whisk, then leave for about 15 minutes, until frothy.

Combine the flour and salt in a bowl, pour in the yeasty mixture, butter and eggs, and mix to a rough dough. This is a soft, sticky dough that’s easiest to knead in a mixer with a dough hook, but you can do it by hand. Either way, knead until smooth and shiny. Shape into a round, place in a bowl and cover tightly. Leave in the fridge overnight.

The next day, shape the dough into a rough loaf shape and put in a loaf tin. Cover with a plastic bag and leave somewhere warm until almost doubled in size – this can take up to four hours because the dough is cold.

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas mark 6. Beat together the egg and milk for the glaze, and brush over the loaf. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 180C/350F/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

I mixed up the dough yesterday afternoon in the Kenwood, finishing it by hand in the Bertinet style of kneading. When the dough came out of the fridge this morning it was well-risen but very firm and stiff.

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The dough turned out beautifully and hit the table with a thud, leaving a clean bowl behind it.

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I flattened it into a rectangle and then gave it a couple of envelope folds before putting it into a tin.

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The dough is currently residing in the server cupboard.

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I briefly toyed with the idea of pimping my loaf up a little by adding orange essence and candied peel. Good sense took a hold though and suggested that pure and simple is the best way to go with first attempts.

There will likely be a bread and butter pudding later on this week. I can’t wait!

The Bucket List

Here  is yesterday’s brick Seeded Loaf

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