Brioche is best served slightly warm with butter. It is also good toasted, and the leftovers make brilliant french toast!
Makes: 1 loaf.
1 tablespoon yeast
1/4 cup milk, warmed
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons icing sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons milk
3 eggs (2 for the bread, 1 for the egg wash)
1/3 cup butter, softened
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup icing sugar
1. In a small bowl, warm the milk in the microwave until it is just warmer than body temperature. (105°–115°F.) Stir in yeast and flour to make a smooth paste. Let sit for 10 minutes till foamy.
2. In a large bowl add, flour, icing sugar, salt, and lemon. Stir gently.
3. Using fingers, or 2 knives, cut in butter till evenly distributed.
4. Add milk, eggs, and yeast mixture. Stir mixture until the dough just comes together.
5. Put the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, kneed 3-4 minutes till the dough fully incorporated and is smooth.
6. Lightly grease a large bowl and put the dough in to rest. Cover with Saran Wrap and a damp tea towel. Let rise for 30 minutes. Then refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. (This helps create the distinct flavour of brioche.)
7. Now it's time to form the loaf, we love the look of doing a braid. To do this, divide the dough into 3 equal portions, roll them into 24" logs. Lie the logs side by side and pinch one end together well. Braid the strands together loosely, (don't pull or twist, but "flop" each strand on top of the center strand without leaving gaps). At the finish, pinch the second end together tightly. (You may have to adjust to make sure the loaf is even.)
8. Put the loaf onto a lightly greased cookie sheet. Let proof covered with Saran Wrap and a damp tea towel. Let rise for 90 minutes.
9. Make an egg wash with the remaining egg and a tablespoon of water. Brush the wash onto the dough.
10. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 35 minutes, until the loaf is golden brown. Let sit 5 minutes, then lift off the baking sheet and cool on a rack.
11. To make the glaze: mix lemon juice and icing sugar until smooth. Spoon onto the brioche and spread evenly when still slightly warm.