Traditionally, in countries I come from, we make this brioche on a special occasion like Christmas or New Year’s. Therefore, I decided to play with it and make my little one happy already now.
You can create smaller brioche. It actually tastes even better as the big one, which needs to bake through much longer. The secret is to have good products and enough time for rising.
Inspiration comes from my favourite Chef duo – the Czech tv show called: Kluci v akcii. Check it out and have fun with it.
Festive Brioche is suitable for kids from 2 plus, because of a possible egg white intolerance.
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes + 3 hours rising the Dough
500g of semi-coarse flour, sifted
A pinch of sea salt
40g of fresh yeast
100g of caster superfine sugar
250ml of lukewarm milk + for brushing
2 egg yolks
125g of butter, melted + for brushing
1 teaspoon of lemon zestFew handfuls of peeled almonds, sliced or diced
First, place the flour and salt into a large and wide mixing bowl.
Second, activate the yeast. Place a small part of caster sugar into a small mixing bowl and sprinkle with the yeast. By using a fork mix until you get a liquid sticky texture.
Pour in little bit of lukewarm milk and stir. Sprinkle with a pinch of flour and cover with a clean cloth. Let it rise for about 20 minutes in a warm place.
Once the yeast is risen enough, mold it into the flour mixture.
Add the rest of caster sugar, egg yolks, butter and lemon zest. Start kneading a dough with hands.
Accordingly to the texture, pour in the rest of milk (I used around one coffee mug in total).
The dough shouldn’t stick to sides of the bowl, nor to your fingers. It should have a beautiful, shiny and smooth texture.
Once you get there (depending on your strength, takes around 5-10 minutes), sprinkle with a pinch of flour and cover with a clean cloth.
Let it rise for about 3 hours, at least. During this time, treat your dough nicely. Meaning, knead it from time to time for a bit, for about 3 times in total.
After 3 hours, preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Take your dough and create a long roll. This dough is extremely easy to work with. Divide into 9 equal pieces. If they are not equal, it is OK, it will be delicious anyway.
I used 5 of them for one bigger brioche of 2 floors. Braid 3 equal rolls (strands) and transfer them into a baking tray lined with a baking paper. Press gently in the middle. This way you make better space for another level.
Then, 2 strands on top of them. You can fix the levels and sides with wooden skewers, so it won’t fall apart. If it starts falling apart in the oven, take it out and fix it. No harm done, do not panic.
The remaining 4 pieces I used as per following.
I halved each of them, therefore, I got 8 smaller parts in total. I braid 1+1,1+1,1+1 and 1+1 roll (strand). In result, I created 4 small brioche.
Transfer them into a baking tray and let them all rise (the big one is already waiting) for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, reduce a bit of lukewarm milk with the water. Add a pinch of caster sugar and mix. Brush all the breads with the mixture. It gets nicely smooth and shiny.
Then, sprinkle with almonds (sugar figures optional). The more almonds, the better. They really taste incredibly when roasted. Yummy!
Bake it in the oven for about 1 hour. Smaller brioche should be done in 40 minutes. Check the dough with a wooden skewer.
When they are ready, take them out and brush with melted butter. Let them cool down entirely and keep them nicely wrapped in aluminum foil.
As with any other bread, they will be good for a few days. If the amount is too much, freeze them wrapped in aluminum foil. Just unfreeze them when it suits you and warm them up in the oven. So yummy and soft.
Makes a brioche of 2 levels and 4 smaller ones.