The very tasty brioche is from Clive Richardson from Thornton (first time entrant!) whose Cheese Brioche Loaf was a big hit with judges and public alike, and won first prize in 2012.
(Based on a recipe in ‘The Breads of France’ by Bernard Clayton) – makes two loaves, using a food mixer although it’s possible to make it without a food mixer, as it was for the Show.
Blend the water and yeast in a large mixer bowl; add the sugar, salt and half the flour and beat for 2mins. Add the butter, divided into small pieces, and beat 1min. Add the eggs one at a time and the rest of the flour, beating well after each addition.
Beat at medium speed for 10mins, scraping down the dough from the sides if needed. Stir in the cheese and shallot thoroughly; cover the bowl with cling film and leave to rise to double its size at room temp for 2-3hrs, then place the bowl, undisturbed, in the fridge for at least 5hrs/overnight.
Remove the dough from the fridge, divide into two and put one portion, covered, back in the fridge as the dough works easier when cold. Divide the dough into 3 pieces; roll each into a long strand 14-16” long and plait them, being sure to seal the ends. Place on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Brush the loaves with the glaze and let rise, uncovered, in the warm for 1-2hrs till doubled in size.
Brush again with the glaze and bake for 20mins or less in a pre-heated oven @ 400F/200C – watch out for the loaves scorching. Turn the loaves over and bake for another 10mins or so.
Slide onto a cooling rack – handle carefully as the loaves will be fragile till cold.