I had never tried Brioche, knowingly at least, so thought I would have a go and making some. It is an enriched dough, and is supposed to be very light indeed. It is also very heavy on eggs and butter, and sweetened somewhat by a little sugar.
For my bake I decided upon a Paul Hollywood recipe, Of course, not having the most well equipped kitchen I immediately foresaw a problem. The recipe calls for a deep 25 cm round cake tin. That is something I don’t have, so I had to improvise. I do have a 25cm pastry ring, which is 2 inches deep. Placing that on a baking tray would probably be good enough, surely?
I don’t know if it is as deep as required, but the pastry ring worked just fine, as you will see from the photos below.
It the first photo you can just see that the dough ‘peeped’ through the base of the pastry ring. But it was not a significant leakage and was easily cut away, leaving a nicely risen loaf, as shown in the second photo. The third photo shows just how nice and light the loaf was, when torn open.
- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- – 7g salt
- – 50g caster sugar
- – 10g instant yeast
- – 140ml warm full-fat milk
- – 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 will be very soft.
2. Tip the dough into a plastic bowl, cover and chill overnight or for at least 7 hours, until it is firmed up and you are able to shape it.
3. Grease a 25cm round deep cake tin.
4. Take your brioche dough from the fridge. Tip it onto a lightly floured surface and fold it 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 the 8 balls of dough around the outside of the tin and the final one in the middle.
5. Cover with the 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 your 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.