I love Milk Brioche Bread because it is soft, fluffy, and versatile to accompany both sweet and salty fillers.Brioche Bread is a classic of French cuisine but has become a popular product in many other countries. Here I propose to you an ancient baking technique that originated in Japan. Still, with time it has become very used in China, and it is based on an ingredient called Tang-Zhong, a roux (gelatinized starch) prepared with water and flour. Well, this elementary ingredient can transform leavened doughs and make them extraordinarily soft and able to preserve their freshness longer.As a great French tradition lover, I wanted to give the Brioche Bread the characteristic 6-strand braid shape (I show you how I to do it in the video). Still, you can also make a classic 3-strand braid or divide the dough into balls and place them in a plumcake mold!
Mix the flour with one part of the water from the recipe, forming a reasonably compact mixture. Stir it until all lumps are dispersed.
Add the remaining water 2 times, continuing to mix with a whisk.
Pour the mixture into a non-stick pan and cook, stirring, until making it creamy and reaching a temperature of 65°C (149°F).
Pour the roux into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 8 hours. If you want, you can easily prepare the roux up to 24 hours in advance (after that time, it will start to solidify and release liquids and won't be usable anymore).
For the Dough
The Brioche Bread dough can be made either with a stand mixer (saving time and effort) or by hand. In the latter case, go ahead and follow the same steps as the recipe.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and honey in a stand mixer bowl.
Add the well-cold roux, egg, 1/3 of the milk, and let all the ingredients mix together.
After a few minutes, add the remaining milk and knead the dough at medium speed with the hook until it becomes dry and detach from the bowl's sides.
Then take a piece of dough, gently open it. If the gluten mesh is well-formed, you should get a tiny layer that will not break.
If the gluten mesh is well-formed, add the butter and knead the dough for a few more minutes until it is absorbed and the dough becomes elastic.
Place the dough on the work surface, lightly greased with butter. Fold it back on itself several times to reinforce its structure and finally create a tight ball.
Lightly grease a bowl, place the dough in it and brush the surface with a little melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours at 30°C (86°F).
After 2 hours, pour the mixture on the work surface (always lightly greased with butter) and divide it into 6 parts or as many as you need to create the shape you prefer. I chose to make a 6 strand braid, but you can opt for a classic 3 strand braid or place the bread directly into a baking plumcake mold.
After you have divided the dough, gently knead each portion and finally rest for 15minutes, covering them with plastic wrap.
If you want to shape the braid, stretch each dough portion into a cylinder about 1cm in diameter and then let the dough rest for another 15minutes.
After the 15minutes of rising, take each cylinder and stretch it slightly, thinning the ends.
Then predict 3 cylinders and solder them to one end and then do the same with the remaining 3.
Finally, take the ends of both blocks and join them to form a single body with 6 ends, all joined at the top end.
At this point, you can start braiding the ends and form the braid (you can follow the steps in the recipe video).
Close the ends of the braid, tucking the ends underneath. Brush the surface with melted butter, cover, and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
For the Finishing
Whisk together the egg and milk until it forms a fluid mixture
When the Brioche Bread is proofed, brown the surface using a brush and bake at 160°C ( 320°F) for 40 minutes.
During the last 5minutes of baking, open the oven door slightly to let the steam out until completing the cooking.