Bake or iron? Brioche and playtime.

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Today is one of those days where I plan sewing projects, tidy house while eldest kid plays at Grandma and Grandpa’s for the day and perhaps bake too. 
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Well I must be honest if it’s a choice between tackling the ironing pile and a baking project baking wins every time.  Especially on cold winter days.

My grandmother on my mum’s side would always put her ironing to one side in favour of playing with the kids or having a chat with you. Why do the housework when there are buns to be made or fun to be had. I think that’s such a lovely sentiment for life. I like to combine the two sometimes so regularly have a helper or two in my kitchen.
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So while our potato wedges which we will have with cheese and ham cook I will sort through the ironing and play at jigsaws too then turn to baking
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The only reason and I stress only reason I am even sorting the ironing is to give the eggs and butter chance to come to room temperature.

Today’s baking will be from Paul Hollywood’s How To Bake book and will be Brioche. Enriched dough will be a first for me so fingers crossed.
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One of the things I remember my mum teaching me about baking was to organise myself. To weigh everything out into little bowls so that it’s all ready and to clean up as I go along. She also taught me that baking is like science. You break the recipe into steps and simply follow the instructions.
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I am a Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood fan and love the Great British bakeoff. So today not content with preparing the Brioche dough I will also be diving into one of Mary Berry’s books for shortbread.

Recipe for Brioche:
500g strong white bread flour
7g salt
50g caster sugar
10g instant yeast
140ml warm milk
5 medium eggs or 4 large
250g unsalted butter

This dough seems super easy.

Step 1
I measure the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl careful to keep the yeast and salt separate. So that’s flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Make sure you use your dough hook in your mixer.
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Step 2
Add the milk and eggs to the dry mix. Mix the flour, salt, sugar eggs, milk and yeast for about 2 minutes on slow then 6 to 8 on medium.

Step 3
Add butter bit by bit and keep mixing for another 5 or 6 minutes until the butter is all combined. Keep scraping down the sides to make sure all the butter is mixed in.

Step 4
Now the boring bit. The dough has to chill for minimum 7 hrs? Wow should have done this before bed and left it overnight. So I suggest making this in the evening and leaving it overnight
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Once I had finished the brioche dough and placed it in the fridge to chill I whipped up some shortbread dough too.

Step 5
When you are ready to prepare your dough tip it onto a lightly floured surface and fold it in on itself a few times to knock the air out. I stuck to the instructions and cut 8 pieces forming balls which I arranged into a ring with one piece in the middle.
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If I did this again I might make smaller pieces. I did add some chocolate chips to mine.

Step 6
This needs to go on its tray or tin into a clean bag to prove for another 2 to 3 hrs.

Step 7
Heat your oven to 190oc or 170oc fan oven. Bake your brioche for 30 to 35 minutes.
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Mary Berry Shortbread
I will add this recipe or a link to it another day.
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Meanwhile our potato wedges with ham, cheese and mushrooms for lunch was yummy.
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You can’t beat comfort food at the end of a busy week and on a cold winters day it’s even more perfect.
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