Before starting this Plaited Brioche Loaf recipe, organise the necessary ingredients for the brioche dough.
For the brioche dough: Place the flour in the stand mixer recipient.
Add the salt...
... castor sugar...
... and combine with a rubber spatula.
Crumble the fresh baker's yeast over the flour. I recommend using fresh baker's yeast instead of dehydrated yeast.
Add the whole eggs, beaten beforehand.
Place the recipient in the food mixer and attach the dough hook.
Combine the ingredients with the mixer for about 1 or 2 minutes at low speed. We simply want to start binding the ingredients together at this stage.
After beating for 2 minutes, the dough should be homogeneous. Scrape the sides of the bowl if needed.
Knead at medium speed for about 8 minutes. This operation aims to develop the glutinous network of the dough. The dough should be elastic and come away from the sides of the bowl.
Add the softened butter cut into cubes.
Add all the butter in one go.
Continue kneading with the dough hook until the butter is incorporated. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl.
Continue kneading at medium speed for about 10 minutes...
... until the dough is smooth and shiny and comes away from the bowl. The dough temperature should not exceed 26°C (make sure you monitor the temperature regularly during kneading). The use of a laser thermometer is recommended for this operation.
The brioche dough is ready.
Drizzle flour over a food prep tray...
... then shape the dough into a ball and place it into the tray.
This is what the result should look like at this stage.
Cover the brioche dough ball with cling film.
Pierce the cling film with a knife.
Leave to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
30 minutes later, remove the cling film...
... and knock the dough back with your fist to get rid of carbon dioxide gas that formed inside the dough.
Shape the dough into a ball...
... and cover with cling film again.
Cover the surface of the brioche dough ball with cling film. Refrigerate between 1 and 1.5 hours until the dough is firm and easier to work.
Take the brioche dough out of the fridge. The dough should have slightly risen and the texture should be firm. Remove the cling film.
Using a kitchen scale, weigh the brioche dough ball...
... and divide into three dough balls with an equal weight.
Take one dough ball with your palm to get rid of the carbon dioxide gas trapped inside. Fold the top part towards the centre, starting on the left side...
... until the brioche dough is shaped into a roll.
Roll the dough with your hands until it forms a sausage shape with a length of about 35cm.
Repeat the whole operation with the second brioche dough ball, then start rolling...
... until it forms a long sausage shape.
Repeat the whole operation with the third brioche dough ball. We now have three long strands of brioche dough.
Place the three rolls of brioche dough in front of you and assemble them together at one end.
Start plaiting by folding the strands on the outside over the central one, with the strand on the right first, then with the left one...
... until the braid is finished and regular. Seal the three ends together and fold the end underneath.
Place the plaited brioche on an aluminium baking sheet (suitable to the dimensions of the proofing chamber) lined with a sheet of greaseproof paper...
... making sure it is well centred.
Place a small recipient filled with water at the bottom of the proofing chamber, then place the rack on top.
Preheat the proofing chamber to 25/28°C maximum.
Place the baking sheet with the brioche on top of the proofing chamber rack...
... then install the removable walls...
... and cover with the lid.
Leave to rise in the proofing chamber for 1.5 hours (keep away from air drafts).
At the end of proofing time, the dough should have doubled in volume.
Using a pastry brush, glaze the surface of the brioche with eggwash (egg yolk mixed with a little water).
The plaited brioche is now glazed and ready for baking.
Place the brioche in a fan-assisted oven, preheated to 180°C...
... and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Baking time might vary according to the type of oven. Watch the brioche closely.
When cooked, take the brioche out of the oven...
... and place it on your kitchen worktop.
In a saucepan, prepare a syrup with 60 grams of water and 75 grams of sugar. When the syrup boils and the sugar is completely melted, take away from the heat and leave aside to cool at room temperature. Glaze the surface of the brioche with the cold syrup...
... using a pastry brush. This operation is optional. This syrup is a common finish to viennoiseries. You can also sprinkle pearl sugar over the surface of the brioche.
Leave aside to cool before serving. Enjoy this delicious brioche!