Makes: 1 loaf
250g bread flour
25g caster sugar
5g instant yeast
70ml warm full-fat milk
2 medium eggs
100g unsalted butter, in small pieces, at room temperature
olive oil to knead
1) Make the base dough by bringing the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and eggs together in a bowl. Tip the dough onto a oiled surface and knead for about ten minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and shiny. Gradually incorporate the butter piece by piece into the dough, kneading as you go.
2) Tip the dough into an oiled 1 litre/1¾pint plastic container with a lid – it needs plenty of room to rise. Leave the dough to rise until at least doubled in (at least an hour, or overnight in the fridge).
3) Lightly grease a baking pan. Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, without knocking the air out of it. Separate it into 3 balls, and roll them into long strips of similar width and length. Then, braid it to form the loaf.
4) Cover the dough loosely and allow rise for 2 to 3 hours until it doubles in size.
5) Preheat oven to 190C (170C with fan).
6) When the brioche is proved, bake for 20–30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
My version had a little less butter than what was called for. Quite a joke really. I was so engrossed in kneading the dough and adding oil to it – I actually got the dough all ready for the first prove WITHOUT ANY BUTTER. It took me a while to realize it. And by then, I could only incorporate the 100g of butter. The rest of the butter just refused to get blended into the dough! But, as you can see from the photograph, it came out okay. And it was delicious too!