These plaits may look like a technical, complicated bake… But, they’re actually surprisingly straight forward to make and are guarented to impress family and friends! 🙂
I found this recipe on the Hint of Vanilla blog, and decided I had to try it, after seeing how amazing the finished bake looked.
The recipe is fairly easy to follow and is a good bake to start with if you haven’t worked with brioche dough before. However, it does require over night proving and so it’s a good idea to plan this bake for a weekend! 🙂
This recipe will make 8 brioche plaits..
- 372g plain flour
- 7g ratchet of instant yeast – I use Allinson’s
- 44g caster sugar
- 5g salt
- 186g eggs – roughly three large eggs (free range)
- 63g whole milk
- 167g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 60g unsalted butter
- 30g caster sugar
- 30g cocoa powder (Burnsville is my favourite)
- 10g honey
Start by adding the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, eggs and milk into a free-standing mixer with a dough-hook attachment. (Make sure not to put the yeast and salt in direction contact of one another!) Leave the mixer on a medium speed for about 4-5mins. Next, chop up the butter into 10 small pieces. Add one piece of butter at a time, and mix on a medium speed for a few minutes until it is incorporated. Continue adding the butter one piece at a time until its all mixed in – in total the mixing should take about 30mins. You should now have a shiny and elastic dough (yay!).
Place the dough on a floured surface, and roll into a tight, seam-free dough. Alternatively, fold the dough up like a package – with the dough in a large rectangular shape, fold the right side over the left, the left side over the right, the top over the bottom, and the bottom over the top (don’t worry too much about this stage too much). Place the dough in a large bowl that have been greased, I use my mixing bowl. Ensure the dough has been placed in the bowl seam side down!
Leave for one hour to rise at room temperature. Then, repeat the folding process (sorry), and return the dough to the bowl. Leave the dough covered in the fridge overnight (or for about 8 hours if you make the dough early morning).
Next, make the filling! I found it easiest to do this slightly differently than the recipe said to.. I left my butter in the microwave for too long when I was trying to get it to room temperature (oops), which worked out quite well; with the butter partially melted and partially very soft, beat in the sugar, cocoa and honey. This should give you a very runny consistency. Leave the chocolate mix in the freezer for a few minutes and it will be nice and easy to spread onto the dough!
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and cut into 4 equal sized pieces. Take one piece, and roll into a large rectangle with the dimensions approx. 20cm by 40cm. Spread 1/4 of the filling onto the dough, leaving a 2cm bare gap along the edge of one of the 40cm sides. Brush some water on the bare side, and roll the dough tightly, starting from the opposite end to the watered dough (which will seal the roll).
You should now hopefully have one long roll of dough. Starting with your hands in the middle of the dough, gently roll the brioche from centre towards the ends of the roll. Once the dough is roughly 50cm long, divide in into two equal pieces.
Next, make a cut down the middle of the dough roll, leaving 3cm of the dough at the top uncut (this gives you one dough roll with two ‘legs’, which should be layered with chocolate filling). Plait the dough, playing one ‘leg’ over another continuously (see the picture below!). Wrap the twisted dough into a ring. Dap the ends with water and place one onto of the other.
Repeat with the other 3 pieces of dough!
Place the plaits on a greased baking tray, and leave to prove in a warm place for another 2hours (or an hour and a half if you’re in a rush!).
Bake in a preheated oven at 160°C for 20-25mins!
Remove and enjoy 🙂
(To make the plaits look extra shiny, brush them with some warm apricot jam).
Love, Sofia xxxx