A gorgeous, traditional, rich French bread that has a tender crumb. Traditionally served with pâté, foie gras and eggs Benedict, nowadays you’ll also find it served as a burger bun. This recipe allows you to shape the bread whatever way you like, but here I am making a two-pound loaf that can be sliced and served to your guests.
MAKES 1 LOAF
250g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
3 pinches sea salt
2 tablespoons caster sugar
14g fresh yeast (use half the quantity if using
4 medium-sized free-range eggs
150g unsalted butter, cut into small cubes at
Olive oil for greasing
Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer, keeping the yeast away from the salt as it will damage its ability to ferment. Add the eggs and mix the ingredients with the dough hook attachment for 5 minutes on speed 1, until the eggs are completely incorporated. Increase to speed 2 for a further 5 minutes until the dough comes away from the edge of the bowl.
Add the cubes of butter and continue to mix for 4–5 minutes until completely incorporated. Place the dough onto a tray lined with grease proof paper and flatten to 1–2cm in thickness with a spatula so it can chill evenly and quickly. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, until it isn’t sticky. Lightly oil a 2lb loaf tin, dust with flour and shake out the excess. Once the dough has cooled so it is firm enough to handle, turn it out onto a floured work surface and shape into a cylinder that will fit into the loaf tin. Place it into the tin, lightly pat down with your hand so it is even on top, and leave at room temperature for 1 hour until it has doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/425ºF/gas mark 7. Bake for 20–25 minutes. It may take longer depending on your oven, so check with a skewer or small knife. If the skewer or knife comes out clean, then it’s cooked. Remove the tin from the oven, slide the brioche onto a cooling rack and leave to cool. Do not cool it in the tin – it will steam and become wet if you do. The brioche is now ready to serve.