I consider this for all intends and purposes a brioche, it just doesn't have any butter. When I decided to work on this recipe I had just a little butter at home but I had enough margarine which worked out beautifully. The dough is super soft and difficult to work with unless you refrigerate it beforehand. You could mix the dough in the afternoon, refrigerate it and shape it by evening or you could mix the dough in the evening, refrigerate it after the first proof and shape it in the morning (the method I prefer). Whichever method you choose , the bread will still bang!
Recipe Yields 2 large loaves
what you need
800g hard/AP flour
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt (use less salt if your salt is fine)
1 teaspoon very good vanilla extract
1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup full cream milk
1 cup water
2 tablespoons instant yeast
3 large eggs (160g)
1 egg, whisked for brushing.
*Total dough weight = 1804g
All ingredients are at room temperature
My bread pan is 10”X5'“X3”
Whip the eggs, salt, sugar, nutmeg, milk, water, yeast, and vanilla extract in an electric mixer at medium speed using the paddle/dough hook attachment just until combined. Turn the speed to low and add the flour gradually until fully incorporated and smooth. Turn the speed to medium and add the margarine a little at a time making sure that it’s fully incorporated before adding more. Knead the dough until completely smooth Cover dough with cling film and place in a warm place to proof until it’s doubled in size. Punch the dough down when it’s done proofing and cover with a cling film. Refrigerate dough.
Refrigerate overnight or at least 4hrs+ to make shaping easier. The dough is a very soft dough so refrigerating overnight makes it easier to work with.
For the initial shaping, divide the dough into 2 equal parts and divide each into 6 balls. Shape the dough into tight balls and cover it with a kitchen towel or cling film. Allow shaped dough to rest on the bench for 30mins. Because this dough is quite soft, you’re really restricted in shaping. Grease 2 bread pans with margarine/oil.
For the final shaping, reshape the dough ball into a tight ball without deflating it. Place six dough balls into the bread pan one at a time arranging it to ultimately look like an X each time a ball is added so it eventually looks like a two strand braid . If you're using a smaller pan, you'll probably use less balls. Alternatively shape your dough into a tight log and place in bread pan. Cover dough with cling film and allow to proof until almost doubled in size. Brush dough with whisked egg before baking.
Preheat oven to 170C when dough is almost done proofing. Bake the brioche for 37 to 45 mins. You'll know it's done when it releases from the side of the pan on its own. Gently roll the bread unto a cooling rack and allow it to cool down or eat it right out of the oven, your call.