Knowing that I am soon going to be working as a baker got me all excited - so I whipped open my favorite bread book and found a recipe that I hadn't tried before.
Brioche, pronounced bree -osh, is a sweet bread made with eggs and butter. And it's heavenly.
Traditionally it is baked in fluted pans, but as I didn't have any I went with a fancy way of forming bread that I thought would turn out well - braids. And it was a success!
Makes 2 loaves - you can easily halve or double this recipe.
3/4 cups warm water
3/4 Tbsp yeast (1 packet)
3/4 Tbsp salt
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
3 3/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
Egg wash (1 beaten egg + 1 Tbsp water)
Mix together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter in a bowl. Then mix in the flour without kneading (or use a stand mixer with a dough hook). Cover and leave to rise for 2 hours in a warm place. Then chill the dough in the refrigerator for anywhere between 3 hour to 5 days. (Beyond 5 days you can freeze the dough to use later).
When you are ready to bake dust a surface generously with flour, and then divide this dough into six even apple-sized pieces.
Flour your hands and roll the dough into long cylinders.
If they don't cooperate set the dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes, and try again.
Once you have three strands of dough, you can braid!
Here's a trick I learned - start in the middle and braid toward the ends.
Then flip the dough over - and continue braiding to the other end.
Then you have a beautifully braided dough loaf waiting to become bread. Repeat.
Place them on a cookie sheet or pizza peel sprinkled with cornmeal and leave to rest for an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Right before baking brush the dough with an egg wash or - if you are like me and ran out of eggs - a little rice milk will do.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, and soon your kitchen will be filled with glory.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Eat as soon as its cool enough - alone, with coffee or tea, with honey drizzled on top - it's incredible!