This month’s Fresh From the Oven Challenge was hosted by Chele, from Chocolate Teapot, who choose brioche for the challenge. I was hugely excited about this as I love brioche and had never made it before, but had always enjoyed it on French holidays. Muttering “Let them eat cake” to myself I set about making the dough. Chele provided us with a recipe from River Cottage Handbook No.3.
400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
5g powdered dried yeast
10g fine sea salt
90ml warm milk
2 tbsp caster sugar
100g butter, softened
4 medium free range eggs, beaten
1 medium free range egg
2 tbsp milk
to knead by hand: mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, and bring it all together to form a dough. Knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.
Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add all the dough ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, and leave to knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.
Shape the dough into a round, place in a bowl and cover tightly. Leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day, divide the dough in two and form into the shape of your choice. Lightly flour the loaves, lay them on a wooden board or linen cloth and cover with a plastic bag. Leave them somewhere nice and warm to prove until almost doubled in size; this could take 3 or 4 hours, as the dough is cold.
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. For the glaze, beat the egg and milk together. Transfer the risen loaves to a baking tray and brush all over with the glaze. Bake for about 10 mins, then lower the oven setting to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30 mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Makes 2 small loaves
I pretty much followed the recipe to the letter and kneaded by hand. However, I wanted brioche for breakfast so I made the dough after lunch, popped it in the fridge, then shaped the loaves and left them out overnight to rise. This worked well, but the dough was very sticky and was hard to transfer from the board to the baking tray. Next time I shall leave them to rise on a silicon mat, then they can go straight into the oven without needing to be transferred to a baking tray.
I slightly over cooked them, I was away from home and completely forgot to adjust temperature or cooking time for the fan oven I was using. Despite this the brioche was delicious and I will certainly make it again. Any brioche not eaten fresh was sliced and frozen, and toasted from frozen was still delicious.
See the full round up and past challenges at the Fresh From The Oven blog. Many thanks to Chele for hosting such a great challenge. I am sitting in France writing this post which I think is rather fitting!