Brioche is one of those French bread which epitomises all that is good about French cooking and baking with its soft pillowy texture and rich buttery flavor.
This simple brioche loaf may not be as complicated as the classic versions, but rest assured it will taste just as good. The simplicity of the preparation is deceptive, though; the delicate texture and heavenly aroma rival any traditional brioche found in Paris. Try it and you will see. The only difference will possibly be in the texture, but if you knead the dough well, yu will find little difference.
Cook's note: Dress up your brioche loaf with the addition of a teaspoon of citrus zest or a pinch of aromatic spice just to make it extra special (even though this is not traditional in France).
- 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup milk, warm
- 2 ¾ oz unsalted butter, softened
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg, divided and lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Gradually add the warm milk, butter, and 2 eggs into the flour mixture; knead until the dough comes together.
Once it is formed tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough is ready to rise when it is completely smooth and no longer sticky; try to avoid adding too much flour as it can make the finished loaf heavy.
Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a tea cloth. Place the covered bowl in a warm, but not hot draught free place allow the dough to rise for 2 hours, or until it is doubled in size.
Transfer the dough from the bowl onto a floured work surface and punch it down a few times. The either:
Divide the dough into 3 equal-sized balls. Roll each ball into a 10-inch long rope, and then braid the ropes together. Tuck the ends under and place the braid in a greased 9-inch by 5-inch baking pan, cover and allow the dough to rise for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it is doubled in size.
You can punch the dough down and form it into a simple oval. Cover the pan and allow the dough to rise for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it is doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the dough covering, gently brush the loaf with the beaten egg, sprinkle with a small amount of sugar, and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until the brioche is golden brown.
Allow it to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack.Serve slightly warm with lots of jam.
Makes 10 servings.