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Delectable, rich and slightly sweet, brioche is delicious served warm for breakfast with butter and jam or dunked into fresh coffee or hot chocolate. It is also served with smooth pâté or, more traditionally, foie gras.
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 250g unsalted butter
- 5 large eggs
- 10g salt
- 10g dried yeast (we recommend Doves Farm Quick Yeast)
- 25g caster sugar
- 50ml water
Preparation Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
- Cut the butter into pieces and make sure the pieces are very soft, this makes it much easier to work into the dough. Make sure your eggs are warm too (ideally, everything should be at room temperature).
- In the shiny bowl of your electric mixer, place the flour, sugar, salt and dried yeast. (If your yeast needs activating in water, follow the instructions on the packet use the 50ml water listed above. Then add it with the eggs in stage 2.). Mix them with a whisk so everything is evenly distributed in the flour.
- Pour the eggs and water into the bowl with the other ingredients and, using the dough hook attachment for your mixer, start mixing on speed 1 for 3-4 minutes until a dough has formed.
- With the mixer on the same speed, add the butter to the bowl, one piece at a time, so the dough has a chance to work it in. Then, when you have added all the butter, turn the speed of the mixer up to 2nd speed (or 3 on a Kitchen Aid mixer which we used) and mix the dough for 7 minutes until it is shiny and very elastic. It will appear to be quite a wet dough but this is fine.
- Tip/pour/scrape the dough into a large bowl and cover it with cling-film/plastic-wrap and leave it to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size (depending on the temperature of your room, probably about 1 hour). This develops the gluten in the flour.
- Tip the dough out onto a LIGHTLY floured work surface, gently deflate the dough and fold it on itself a couple of times. Then place the dough, folded side down, into the bowl again.
- Cover it with the cling-film/plastic-wrap again and leave to rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size once more.
- Heat the oven to 200°c.
- To make brioche buns (as we did), divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. (To make a single loaf, see the Notes at the bottom).
- Next (and optionally), cut 10g off each small ball of dough to form the “head”.
- Shape the smaller piece of dough into a rain drop shape, then place the larger ball of dough into your bun moulds and stick your finger through the middle to the bottom of the mould, then plug the hole with the smaller, rain-drop shaped piece of dough. When you've done this for all the pieces, brush the tops of the buns with an egg wash (which is an egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water mixed together).
- Set the bun moulds onto a sturdy baking tray and leave them to rise until they have grown by about 50%.
- Put the buns into the oven and bake them on the middle shelf for 20-25 minutes. Check them as they do have a tendency to burn due to the amount of rich ingredients in the dough.
- After the time and when they are golden brown, remove them from the oven and leave them to cool to room temperature on a wire rack.
- Place the brioche buns into an attractive straw bread basket, tear one open and serve (this is optional).
- To make a loaf of brioche, after the dough has risen for the second time, divide the ball of dough in two, and put each one into a 500g loaf tin. Then brush the top with egg wash and leave it to rise by about 50%. Then put it into the oven as with the buns. To make a more attractive loaf, you can divide the dough into six and put 3 balls into each loaf tin.