Not only do these brioche taste fabulous, there is the added bonus that the dough can be made the day before and proved overnight in the refrigerator. Have the filling and tins prepared and the assembly can be done in minutes. If, however, you wish to make and bake the brioche on the same day, leave the dough in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk then proceed with the recipe.
2½ cups plain flour
¼ cup caster sugar
1½ teaspoons instant dried yeast
½ teaspoon sea salt
60 grams butter, very soft but not melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup warm milk
100 grams butter, soft but not melted
1 tablespoon strawberry jam
½ cup caster sugar
finely grated zest 1 large lemon
400 grams strawberries, about 1½ punnets
soft butter and caster sugar
Dough: Place 1½ cups of the flour, the sugar, yeast, salt and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk the egg, vanilla and warm milk together and pour onto the flour. Beat, then add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft but not sticky dough that comes away from the side of the bowl. Continue kneading for 2 minutes. If you don’t have an electric mixer, combine the dough in a large bowl. It just takes a little more effort doing it by hand.
Place the dough in a large well buttered bowl, turning to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before rolling.
Filling: Combine all the ingredients except the strawberries, to make a soft paste. Cover and set aside until ready to use but do not refrigerate. Generously butter the base and sides of a 30 cm x 4-5 cm deep fixed-base cake tin and sprinkle with caster sugar, shaking out the excess.
The next day: Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Hull the strawberries for the filling and cut into small pieces.
Roll out the dough on a lightly floured bench into a rectangle approximately 45 cm x 25 cm. Spread evenly with the filling and scatter the strawberries over the top.
Starting from the long side, roll up to form a log. With a sharp knife, trim the ends and cut into 9 rounds. Place 8 around the tin and one in the centre, cut side up. Brush the tops with a little soft butter and sprinkle with caster sugar.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until a good golden colour, lightly covering with a piece of aluminium foil if they start to over-brown.
Remove from the oven and leave for 1 minute then invert the tin onto a large plate. Place a piece of baking paper then another plate over the brioche and invert again so they are now crusty side up. Spoon any juices and strawberries that remain in the tin or are on the plate, over the brioche. Cool for at least 30 minutes then dust with icing sugar before serving. The brioche are best eaten on the day they are made but can be warmed for a few minutes in a 180˚C oven to refresh the flavours if made a day ahead. Makes 9