The aroma of freshly baked bread is very hard to beat. It does remind me of home, the congregation of family and happy days around the kitchen table; chatting away about everything and anything. This brioche is rich in flavour, almost cake like. I use half strong flour and half plain flour as my purpose for baking this loaf is to make Cinnamon Toast for breakfast. I’d also highly recommend using fresh yeast as the flavour is better, but then that is a personal preference and there is nothing wrong with using dried yeast.
As this recipe contains butter, egg yolks and milk it would be best to enjoy the bread the same day that it was baked,but it is also suitable for freezing. If you find after a day that the loaf has become slightly stale, I suggest you turn it into a delicious Marmalade Bread to be used in a Butter Pudding studded with drunken golden sultanas. This is only one suggestion and I bet you can come up with hundreds of mouthwatering ideas…
- 250g strong bread flour
- 250g plain flour
- 2tsp salt
- 80g unrefined caster sugar
- 30g fresh yeast or 2 x 7g dried yeast
- 200ml full fat milk
- 4 free range egg yolks + 1 extra yolk to brush the loaf for baking
- 60g good quality unsalted butter
Weigh the strong and plain flour, sugar, salt and if you have used dried yeast add this to the flour in the bowl of a mixer. Heat the milk to 37°C (blood temperature) if you choose to use fresh yeast; add the yeast to the warm milk and dissolve. Turn the mixer on with the dough hook, mix on low speed, and add the warm milk. Mix the dough for 5 minutes, add the egg yolks one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Once all the eggs are incorporated, cut the butter in small pieces and add the butter to the dough while mixing. Mix until all the butter is incorporated. Knee mixture, with the dough hook, for a further 2 minutes.
Grease a metal bowl. Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Kneed until the dough become smooth, silky and in a round ball shape. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with with a clean dry tea towel. Let the dough prove in a warm place until it doubles in size. This will depend on room temperature and this can take up to about 40 minutes.
While the bread is proving prepare the baking tins. Grease two 18cm x 9cm x 5cm loaf tins and lightly dust with flour, set aside until the brioche dough is ready.
Once the dough has doubled in size gently turn the dough on to a floured surface. Do not treat the dough too harshly, remember that you have waited approximately 40 minutes for it to double in size.Apply gentle actions. Cut the dough in half, gently shape the dough in a sausage shape to fit into the prepared loaf tins with the smooth edge to the top and the fold at the bottom of the loaf tin. Cover the brioche lightly with a clean dry tea towel and let the brioche prove for the second time to double in size; this could take up to a half a hour.
While you are waiting for the brioche to prove for the second time, preheat the oven to 170°C. Use a fork to loosen the egg yolk. Once the brioche is double in size, gently brush the top with the egg yolk and place the loaf tins on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake the brioche for 30 minutes, test for readiness by tapping the bottom of the tin and it will have a hollow sound when ready. Turn the brioche out on to a cooling rack and cool completely before cutting.
Makes about 2 x 420g brioche loaves
Food Fanatics Tips
To ensure that you always have delicious brioche to hand, slice the brioche once its cold and place the brioche slices in freezer bags. Freeze the same day as baking. When needed remove the slices of brioche from the freezer and toast from frozen or let the brioche defrost at room temperature, this way you will enjoy fresh brioche at all times.