By Frances
My first attempt at brioche turned out very well! Thanks to the straightforward recipe by Dean Brettschneider in Global Baker (Random House, 2007). So nice when fresh and still good toasted.

250g bread flour (1 3/4 c)
5g salt (1 tsp)
25g sugar (2 Tbs)
5g active dried yeast
4 small eggs, lightly beaten
125g butter, softened
100g dried apricots, diced
additional flour for dusting
1 egg, for egg wash
2 Tbs water for egg wash
50g flaked almonds

Place flour, salt, sugar and yeast into large bowl, add 3/4 of the egg and mix with wooden spoon to form a dough. Tip dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 mins, resting for 30 sec every 2-3 min, until the dough is elastic. It's important to develop the protein structure of the flour before all of the egg is added.
Continue to slowly add the rest of the egg as you are kneading the dough. It will be slimy and sticky to begin with but gradually the dough will become smooth, elastic and shiny.
Slowly add the softened butter in small amounts, kneading all the time. Finally knead in the apricot pieces.
Place dough in oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and leave in warm place. Once the dough has doubled in size (about 1 hr), tip it onto the bench and gently knock it back by folding it onto itself 3 or 4 times. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover with wrap and put in fridge overnight (or 12-15 hrs).
Remove dough from fridge, cut into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a rope, about 30cm long. Plait the 3 ropes and place onto a lined baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and rise until almost doubled in size (about 2-3 hrs).
Preheat oven to 200C. Beat the egg and water and lightly brush the dough with it. Sprinkle with flaked almonds. Bake for 20-25 min until golden brown. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
This is my entry into April Sweet New Zealand, hosted by Sweets & Brains.