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At Home but Cooking Up a Storm?
Recipe: Advent Wreath Brioche *from “Edible Theology”
4 ounces whole wheat
1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
4 ounces whole milk
4 ounces egg (about 2 large eggs)
4 ounces all-purpose or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
1 egg, whisked with a bit of water or milk
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, stir together whole wheat flour and yeast. Add milk and mix until flour is fully hydrated. Let rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
2. Add eggs, flour, salt, and sugar to the preferment and stir until fully incorporated. Let rest uncovered for 10 minutes, then mix on a stand mixer with a dough hook for 10-12 minutes, or stretch and fold by hand 20 times.
3. Cut the butter into small pieces. With the mixer running, add the dough in two phases, letting it incorporate fully in between. If mixing by hand, smoosh the butter into the dough and stretch and fold and smoosh until it is fully worked in (this will be messy, but it will come together! If you’d like some assistance, this video might help).
**It’s vital at this stage that you work the butter in completely, otherwise you’ll end up with buttery chunks in your final dough that will create holes when you bake**
4. Cover the dough and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, then in the fridge for 4-12 hours.
5. When you are ready to shape your dough, pull it from the fridge and divide into three equal sized portions. Roll them out like a snake until they are each 10-12 inches long. Press one end of each strand together then braid, wrap the opposite end around to the top and press together into a circle. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375°F while the dough sits for its final proof, about 30-45 minutes. The bread is ready for baking when you can press lightly into the dough and the indentation slowly fills back in. Brush with egg wash then bake for 25-30 minutes, until the dough turns a golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped.
7. Once cool, gently press four purple candles into the braid and place a pink candle in the hole in the center.