Monday, June 27, 2011

Brioche Breakfast Plait (Dean Brettschneider)

Here's a recipe for a buttery brioche shaped into a plait from Dean Brettschneider's Global Baker cookbook. I have substituted cranberries for the dried apricots originally called for, and instead of kneading by hand following Dean's instructions, I've turned to my trusty Kenwood to do all the kneading. The texture of  the bread was amazingly soft & tender but somehow felt a tad dry on the palate - this baffled me considering a lot of butter went into this bread. I may have overbaked my bread a little, I'm not too sure. Anyway, I like to eat this bread toasted with a spread of jam ... and cream cheese!  The leftovers were just perfect made into french toasts and I think would be good for bread & butter pudding as well.  If you intend to make this bread, you need to have patience and start preparing the dough a day earlier as this recipe requires overnight refrigeration of the bread dough before baking.

Cranberry Brioche Breakfast Plait
(Recipe adapted from Global Baker by Dean Brettsneider)
Makes 1 plait.

250 grams strong bread flour
5 grams salt
25 grams sugar
5 grams/1 teaspoon dried yeast
4 small eggs, lightly beaten
125 grams softened butter, cut into small dice
150 grams dried cranberries
50 grams flaked almonds, for topping

Egg wash
1 egg
2 tablespoons water

Sift the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a large bowl - make a well in the centre and stir in three-quarters of the egg to form a soft dough.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes resting for 30 seconds every 2 - 3 minutes until smooth and elastic. This is to develop the protein structure of the flour.

Next, knead in the remaining egg slowly. The dough will move from being sticky & slimy to smooth, elastic and shiny over time.

Once this is done, slowly add in the butter bit by bit while kneading until the dough is elastic and silky.

Finally, knead cranberries into the dough.

Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let it rest in a warm place until doubled in size (may take about 1 hour).

Lightly flour your worktop, tip the risen dough onto it  and very gently fold the dough back onto itself  3 to 4 times. Return it to the lightly oiled bowl to rest, covered, overnight in the fridge (for 12 - 15 hours).
The next day, remove the dough from the fridge, cut it into three equal pieces and roll each piece into a rope. Then plait these ropes to form your loaf.

Place it onto a baking paper lined tray, cover, and allow to rise until doubled in size (may take 2-3 hours).

Once risen, brush with the eggwash and sprinkle with flaked almonds.

Look how much it grew!

Bake in a preheated 200°C/350°F oven for about 20-25 minute or until golden and cooked through. (Cover the top of the plait with foil if it gets too brown).

Once baked, remove the plait from oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.


I am submitting this entry to 'Aspiring Bakers #8 - Bread Seduction' hosted by Jasmine of  'The Sweetylicious' (Details here).  Have any bread recipe you'd like to share? Do join in the fun too!


  1. is strong plain flour the same as bread flour? the plait looks beautiful and i love you added cranberries and almonds.. like a great flavour in brioche! the colour looks even! i'm excited to know that we can do the 1st proofing in the fridge too!

  2. hi lena, thanks for pointing out the typo. it should be strong bread flour actually. i'll amend it right away!

  3. actually strong flour means bread flour in japanese, i.e. 强力粉 as oppose to cake flour which is 薄力粉. So I think its fine la. haha

    Did the dough rise by a lot from the overnight proving?

  4. yes you are right Alan. some recipes also call bread flour as high protein flour or high gluten flour.

    and yes, the overnight proving made a difference i noticed. i was amazed how much the dough had risen. it rose a lot more than what i had expected!

  5. How I wish I can have this for breakfast tomorrow.

  6. Hmm, seems like every baker owns a copy of global baker huh ? I need to get my hands on that!


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