It's been a while since I've participated in the ABC baking group but when I saw this month's challenge, I couldn't resist. I've made no-knead breads before but always with lean doughs consisting only of flour, water, yeast and salt. Would the method work with a dough enriched with all of that butter, sugar and egg? I was especially intrigued since I recently made a traditional brioche for a Tarte Tropézienne using a method that involved upwards of 20 minutes hard labour by my stand mixer.
This dough took only a few minutes to make, used only a whisk, and relied on the stretch and fold technique and time to develop the gluten. The recipe is from Weekend Bakery and can be found here. The site has very good photos and an even better video that shows the process clearly. I shaped the dough after 36 hours of refrigeration.
And 3 hours after that, it was ready for baking. I gave it an egg wash for a little sheen. After the allotted baking time, it looked done but needed an extra 10 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 88°C/190°F.
The loaf had an open, porous texture, much like that of highly hydrated bread (70% or more water relative to the weight of the flour) instead of the closer, more finely wrought crumb that's typical. Of course, if you take into account the water in the eggs, butter and honey in this recipe, that's exactly what this bread was.
But the texture and flavour were all brioche......airy, tender, rich and buttery. I'll definitely be making this again.