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Brioche is one of the most widespread regional pastries in France and worldwide.
This yeast dough enriched with butter and eggs dates back to the Middle Ages, when every family from the Vendée region used to make their own 'gâche' - a compact type of brioche - for important celebrations. In the 19th century, pastry chefs started shaping their brioche like a plait. Although its etymology was for a long time a subject of controvery, it is considered 'brioche' is derived from the verb brier, an old Norman form of the verb broyer (meaning 'to pound').
Before starting this Brioche Dough recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
In a ramekin, dissolve the yeast in warm milk.
In the stand mixer recipient, place the flour. Add the salt and castor sugar.
Using the dough hook, combine the ingredients.
When the yeast is completely dissolved in the milk...
... and it to the flour mixture. The sugar and salt should not come into direct contact with the yeast, as it would lose its rising properties.
Add the whole eggs (at room temperature)...
...then knead gently...
...until all the flour is incorporated.
Increase the speed, then knead for approximately 10 minutes to give the dough the appropriate texture.
Add the softened butter (salted and unsalted) cut into cubes...
... and knead until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. At this stage, the dough should have a temperature of about 22-23°C.
Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove at room temperature, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Knock back with your hand.
Cover the surface of the dough with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
The next day: Even though it was stored in the fridge overnight, the dough should have risen again. Remove from the fridge and knock back again. The brioche dough is now ready for shaping. Let prove again, then bake... and enjoy!
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