Tuesday, 4 September 2012

British Brioche

I've called this recipe 'British' Brioche as, although I have a general awareness of the ingredients required for this beautifully rich and buttery bread, the method was a bit of an exercise in improvisation. The bread itself is delicious, with a deep caramel coloured crust yielding to a soft and sumptuous centre. You can enjoy this sliced or even used in other puddings, but personally I don't think it's any better than when toasted and smeared with peanut butter or chocolate spread!

Prep time: 20 Minutes (Plus time to prove, etc)
Baking time: 30 Minutes
300g Strong White Bread Flour
10g Fresh Yeast
2tbsp Milk
3 Large Eggs
35g Caster Sugar
1/2tsp Salt
125g Unsalted Butter (Cubed and softened)
1 Egg (Beaten)

This one needs you to get going the night before! Tip the flour into a large bowl and crumble in the yeast. Work it around a bit with a wooden spoon, then add the milk, eggs, sugar and salt. Mix it all together and tip onto a clean dry surface. Blob the butter on top and start to squash it all in with your hands. This is an incredibly messy business so be prepared to get your hands dirty. It will also help massively if you have a dough scraper or flat bladed utensil, as you can scrape the sticky dough together as you work it. Knead the dough, stretching and folding until it comes together. This may take some time, even over 10 minutes, but keep at it using the scraper to help. When it becomes smooth and elastic return to the bowl, cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight.

The next day remove the firm dough from the fridge. Mould the dough into a cylinder and place in a buttered 30cm loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 2 hours, until doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and brush the top of the dough with beaten egg. Place the tin in the centre of the oven for around 30 minutes, until a deep golden on top, then turn out whilst hot onto a wire rack. Leave to cool, then slice and serve. Great fun and definitely worth the mess!

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