- 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

- 7g salt

- 50g caster sugar

- 10g instant yeast

- 140ml warm full-fat milk

- 5 medium eggs

- 250g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing

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Makes 1 loaf
Prep 10-11 hours
Bake 20-30 minutes

Brioche is a very rich but amazingly light type of bread. Perfect for breakfast and lovely toasted, it’s also good in a bread and butter pudding. Making the dough requires a mixer because a lot of soft butter is incorporated, which turns it into a soft, elastic mess. The dough is then chilled for 7 hours to harden the butter so you can shape the brioche. Orange or lemon zest can be added to the dough along with the butter, to lend a fresh flavour.

1. Put the flour into the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and sugar to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the milk and eggs and mix on a slow speed for 2 minutes, then on a medium speed for a further 6 – 8 minutes, until you have a soft, glossy, elastic dough. Add the softened butter and continue to mix for a further 4 – 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl periodically to ensure that the butter is thoroughly incorporated. The dough will be very soft.

2. Tip the dough into a plastic bowl, cover and chill overnight or for at least 7 hours, until it is firmed up and you are able to shape it.

3. Grease a 25cm round deep cake tin.

4. Take your brioche dough from the fridge. Tip it onto a lightly floured surface and fold it on itself a few times to knock out the air. Divide it into 9 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a smooth ball by placing it into a cage formed by your hand and the table and moving your hand around in a circular motion, rotating the ball rapidly. Put the 8 balls of dough around the outside of the tin and the final one in the middle.

5. Cover with the clean plastic bag and leave to prove for 2 – 3 hours, or until the dough has risen to just above the rim of the tin.

6. Heat your oven to 190°C.

7. When your brioche is proved, bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Bear in mind that the sugar and butter in the dough will make it take on colour before it is actually fully baked. Remove the brioche from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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