Brioche can be enjoyed any day of the week. But it tastes so much better freshly baked on a Sunday morning. While the loaves were baking in the oven, their buttery scent has a way of drifting upstairs and filling the house with warmth. So nice! I wanted to bake this bread weeks ago but time wouldn’t allow me to do it. Brioche demands patience. People often ask me how do I find the time to cook/ bake ? The simply response is day and night: first thing in the morning, last thing at night. So for the Brioche and Jelly this is how I squeezed it in: I got home late Saturday evening and mixed the dough as it needs a good 7 hours or more to rest.
Then I woke up early this morning after spending a few moments connecting with my Creator; and took the dough out the fridge for an hour for it to get to room temperature. I shaped the dough and then went to the park and did an hour run (as I knew the dough would need at least 3 hours to rise).
When I came back I started on the grape jelly. Then I did some domestic tasks and returned to the kitchen to put the loaves in the oven. At the end of the day you just have to maximise the time that you have. And in the end the reward is great: crusty buttery bread with a fluffy texture served with sweet black grape jelly and spicy hot chocolate. Now to the park to catch up on some reading…
Recipe taken from How to Bake by Paul Hollywood published by Bloomsbury.
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 two loaf tins.
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 2 equal pieces. Then divide each piece into three more pieces.
Take each piece of dough and roll into 12″ tubes. With three on the tubes, start plaiting the dough starting from the centre working your way to the end, sealing the end. When you have plaited one side, flip the plait over and plait the other side to the end. Then moisten along one side of the plait with water and join the ends together.
Then place the folded plait into the loaf tin. Repeat the process again with the other piece of dough.
5. Cover the loaf tins 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 (gas mark 4-5)
7. When the brioche is proved, bake for 20–30 minutes (in the middle shelf) 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.
Copyright © Ranette Prime and Love Loretta’s Kitchen, 2014. All rights reserved.