A recipe from the Good Food collection.
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1. MIX the yeast with the warm milk and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Leave for 10 minutes in a warm place until the yeast becomes frothy. If the yeast does not bubble and foam in this time, throw it away and start again.
2. SIFT the flour into a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt and the rest of the sugar. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs, vanilla extract and yeast mixture. Use a wooden spoon to mix all the ingredients together, then use your hands to knead the dough for a minute to bring it together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and gradually knead in the butter, piece by piece. Knead for 5 minutes, then put the dough into a clean bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise in a draught-free spot for 1–1½ hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
3. KNOCK BACK the dough by punching it with your fist several times to expel the air, and then lightly knead it again for a couple of minutes. Shape the dough into a rectangle and place in a 20 × 7 × 9 cm (8 × 2¾ × 3½ inch) buttered loaf tin. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a draught-free spot for 30–35 minutes, or until risen almost to the top of the tin. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F/Gas 6).
4. ONCE the brioche has risen, use a pair of scissors to carefully snip into the top of the dough at regular intervals. Snip three times on each side and twice at each end. The cuts should only be about 2.5 cm (1 inch) deep. This will give the top of the loaf its traditional bubble shape. Brush the top with egg to glaze and bake for 30–35 minutes, or until the top of the brioche is rich brown. Turn the hot brioche out of the tin and tap the bottom of the loaf—if it sounds hollow, it is cooked. Put the brioche back in the tin upsidedown and return to the oven for 5 minutes to crisp the base of the loaf. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.