I’ve seen this recipe on the French blog Paprikas, which featured it as a Challah bread. Since the original challah recipe was altered to add butter and milk, I think it is more appropriate to call it a brioche. It takes a while to make it because you do 3 rises instead of 2 normally but the result is fantastic! The texture is well aerated and soft. I posted a while back a recipe of brioche and explained how to plait it with 3 strands, which is the easy version. This time, I’ll show you how to plait a 6 strands brioche, which is quite a challenge the first time you try but after a bit of practice, it is actually not that complicated and it looks so beautiful that it is well worth it. I’ll even add a video that someone else made to show you how it’s done.
For 2 loaves
500g strong white flour
80g butter ( you can use salted or unsalted), cut in chunks and softened
2 tbsp sugar
20g fresh yeast or 10g dried instant yeast
2 eggs + 1 yolk
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1 tsp salt
1 egg for the eggwash and seeds of your choice for decoration (sesame, poppy…)
- Place the milk and yeast in the TM bowl and warm 3 min/37C/speed 2.
- Add 250g flour and mix 20 sec/speed 3 to mix.
- Leave to rise in the bowl, lid closed for 30 minutes (it should double in size).
- Add the eggs + yolk, the other 250g of flour, the butter, sugar, salt and orange blossom water. Mix 30 sec/speed 3, then lock the lid and knead 3 min.
- Lightly oil a big bowl and tip out the dough into it. Cover with cling film and heat briefly your oven at the lowest temperature to reach about 37/40C. Leave to rise in turned off oven for 2 hours (it should double in size).
- Divide the dough in 12 equal parts. Roll each part into a snake shape, make sure it is not too thick (it should be about 1 inch thick).
- Take 6 strands and join them at one end. Start plaiting the brioche (see pics below and this excellent video to see how).
- Repeat for the other 6 strands.
- Place the 2 loaves on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper, cover with a tea towel and return to the turned off warm oven (you might need to reheat it a little bit if it’s too cold).
- Leave to rise for 30 minutes and take out of the oven. Whisk an egg lightly (you can take out some of the white before whisking to obtain a stronger colour). Brush the brioche and sprinle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or anything you like.
- Preheat the oven at 170C and bake for 30 minutes (watch that the top doesn’t brown too quickly, if it does, cover with foil).
- You can freeze one loaf once it’s cooled down to keep it fresh for a later use.