There's nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread filling up our homes and now that ‘The Great British Bake Off’ is back on our screens, it's a safe bet that Paul Hollywood's kneading and stretching of dough will again inspire us to bake our own bread. If you're big on baking cakes and cookies but don't really have a clue about bread, then Paul’s book How to Bake (Bloomsbury) is just the ticket. It has every conceivable loaf, bun and pastry that you could ever want to make as well as the odd cake recipe. So far I’ve made a white cob loaf, basic sourdough and some rye bread, but this brioche recipe is definitely on my list for the weekend. Who doesn’t want to wake up to freshly baked brioche for breakfast?
Makes 1 large loaf
Prep 10–11 hours
Bake 20–30 minutes
500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting 7g salt
50g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
140ml warm full-fatmilk
5 medium eggs
250g unsalted butter,softened, plus extra for greasing
1. Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the milk and eggs and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes, then on a medium speed for a further 6–8 minutes, until you have a soft, glossy, elastic dough. Add the softened butter and continue to mix for a further 4–5 minutes, scraping down the bowl periodically to ensure that the butter is thoroughly incorporated. The dough should be very soft.
2. Tip the dough into a plastic bowl, cover and chill overnight or for at least 7 hours, until it is firm and you are able to shape it.
3. Grease a 25cm round deep cake tin.
4. Take your brioche dough from the fridge and tip it onto a lightly floured surface and fold it in on itself a few times to knock out the air. Divide it into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball by placing it into a cage formed by your hand and the table and moving your hand around in a circular motion, rotating the ball rapidly. Put 8 balls of dough around the outside of the tin and the final one in the middle.
5. Cover with a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for 2–3 hours, or until the dough has risen to just above the rim of the tin.
6. Heat your oven to 190 c
7. When the brioche is proved, bake for 20–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Bear in mind that the sugar and butter in the dough will make it take on colour before it is actually fully baked. Remove the brioche from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipes taken from How to Bake by Paul Hollywood published by Bloomsbury.
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Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor
View all posts by Emma Morton Turner, Guest Editor