Recently I became – I have no real idea why – addicted to baking. Each week I’ve been baking something different, whether that takes the form of bread, cake, or whatever, I just have to get my fix. The problem is that with so many good things to try, I rarely get to make the same thing twice!
To make things worse, I’m generally pretty poor at food blogging. The reason I blog about food is because I love eating food; this generally doesn’t lend itself well to hanging around taking photographs when I could be eating instead. Luckily on this occasion the recipe spawned two brioche, one for eating and one for, well, eating later!
Let’s be honest, there’s not much else to do when the temperature outside is as low as -7 degrees c and there’s snow and ice everywhere. Couple this with the fact that the start of winter is still almost a month away (it doesn’t officially start until the 22nd of December in the UK) and the fact my boiler is playing up (making the house unexpectedly cold at random times, usually first thing in the morning), and it truly is a time for staying inside making the most of the heat from the oven!
The recipe I’ve used for this isn’t my own, rather, I’ve used the one from the fantastic River Cottage: Bread handbook. To be quite honest, said book has been the source of pretty much anything I’ve baked with yeast in it this year, and that’s no bad thing. Everything is just so simple, even for a beginner such as myself!
A brioche is a cross between a bread and a cake; while quite bread-like in texture, it includes eggs and sugar in the recipe. This creates something absolutely perfect for breakfast slavered with (my favourites) Nutella or Apricot jam. Delicious!
Note I’m entering this to the A Slice of Cherry Pie “Snow Day Bake-Off” event.
Recipe: Really Easy Brioche
Brioche is a cross between bread and cake – delicious coated with chocolate spread for breakfast!
- 400g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 5g powdered dried yeast
- 10g fine sea salt
- 90ml warm milk
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 100g butter, softened
- 4 medium free range eggs, beaten
- 1 medium free range egg (to glaze)
- 2 tbsp milk (to glaze)
- To knead by hand: mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, and bring it all together to form a dough. Knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.
- Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add all the dough ingredients to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, and leave to knead for about 10 mins, until smooth and shiny.
- Shape the dough into a round, place in a bowl and cover tightly. Leave in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, divide the dough in two and form into the shape of your choice. Lightly flour the loaves, lay them on a wooden board or linen cloth and cover with a plastic bag. Leave them somewhere nice and warm to prove until almost doubled in size; this could take 3 or 4 hours, as the dough is cold.
- Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. For the glaze, beat the egg and milk together. Transfer the risen loaves to a baking tray and brush all over with the glaze. Bake for about 10 mins, then lower the oven setting to 180C/gas mark 4 and bake for a further 30 mins or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
Preparation time: 4 hour(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 2