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Before starting this Plaited Brioche Loaf recipe, make sure you have organised all the necessary ingredients.
In a bowl, mix the yeast with warm milk until dissolved.
In the stand mixer recipient, place the flour. Add the sugar and salt.
Combine the ingredients with the dough hook.
When the yeast is completely dissolved...
... add to the preparation. The sugar and salt should not come into direct contact with the yeast. Salt and sugar affect enzyme cells and the yeast would lose its rising properties.
Add the whole eggs (at room temperature)...
... then knead gently...
... until the flour is fully incorporated.
Increase the speed and continue kneading for approximately 10 minutes in order to give the dough the appropriate texture. It should come away from the sides of the bowl.
Add the softened butter cut into cubes...
... and resume kneading until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. At this stage, the dough's temperature should be roughly 22-23°C.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise at room temperature, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Knock the dough back with your hand.
Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate overnight.
The following day: Even though the dough is stored in the fridge, it will prove again. Knock it back again.
Divide the dough into 3 equal portions...
... and shape them into thin sausages.
On a baking sheet, join the rolls together at one end...
... and plait them. This will prevent you from having to transfer the brioche onto a baking sheet once plaited.
Join the 3 rolls together at the other end.
Leave to prove in a warm place for about 1.5 or 2 hours, or in an oven at a maximum temperature of 30-35°C.
Glaze he surface of the brioche loaf with egg wash (beaten egg yolk with water).
So if you are using a brush, make sure the movement is light and gentle. Sprinkle some pearl sugar on top. The egg wash will serve as an adhesive for the sugar.
Bake at 180°C (gas 4) for 25 or 30 minutes.
When cooked, let cool before cutting into slices.
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