250 grams strong white bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp dried yeast
60 ml soya milk, warmed slightly
2 medium eggs (beaten)
100g soya margarine
I beaten egg for egg wash (optional)
Activate the yeast with half the milk and one tbsp of the sugar. In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and the remainder of the sugar. Then rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then mix in the yeast starter and add the eggs. Slowly add the remainder of the milk until you achieve a slightly sticky dough. Cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes, after which the dough should be turned out onto a lightly floured board and kneaded for at least 10 minutes until silky smooth. Return to an oiled mixing bowl. cover with clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
Overnight the dough will have doubled in size and become quite firm. Oil your baking tin. Set your oven to 220c or 200c fan. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knock-back with fingertips to remove air bubbles. Divide the dough into three equal portions and, with lightly floured hands, roll each into a ball. Place each ball in the baking tin, cover and leave in a warm place to prove. Once the loaf has more than doubled in size it is traditional to brush the top with a egg wash and gently snip each ball with scissors, although the brioche is perfectly acceptable if you do neither. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, after which time it is wise to check the colouring and turn the oven down accordingly for a further 10 minutes.
The same quantities will also make 6 or 8 brioche rolls, depending on taste. After knocking back divide the dough into the required quantity and roll into balls using floured hands and place on a lightly oiled baking tray to prove
As an alternative, the margarine can be incorporated towards the end of the kneading stage, but I find that this could make the dough very greasy and difficult to handle