Stir together this one-bowl, Overnight No-Knead Brioche Bread before bed. When you rise, it will be ready to shape and bake. It's the most tender, buttery bread that's wonderful for toast, sandwiches or your next dinner party!
Combine flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a medium-large bowl. Stir well to combine then make a well in the center.
Melt butter in the microwave for 30-45 seconds on high power, until just melted. Remove from microwave and add the ¼ cup of milk. Stir with a fork then add the egg and stir again until well mixed.
Add the milk mixture to the well in the center of the flour. Add the very warm tap water to the well then stir to combine. Continue stirring until all flour is incorporated. Cover the dough rightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight, 8-16 hours.
Generously butter four 3x6-inch loaf pans and set them aside. (Alternatively, you could use two 8x5-inch loaf pans.)
Generously flour a work surface and transfer the dough to the work surface. Turn several times with a bench scraper or spatula until the dough is well coated with flour.
Using a bench scraper or spatula, divide the dough into four equal pieces. Turn each piece in the flour to coat all of the surfaces. Add more flour to the work surface if needed.
Take one piece of the dough and flatten it out with your hands into a rectangle shape with the long side slightly longer than one of your bread pans. Turn to coat both sides with flour if any of the surfaces are sticky.
Roll up tightly like a cinnamon roll, then tuck the ends under and shape with your hands into a loaf. Place in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Cover the pans with a clean kitchen towel and let the bread rise again until the loaves look like they’ve doubled in size, about 1-2 hours (if your house is chilly, it may take a little longer.
When the loaves are close to being doubled in size, preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare the egg wash by vigorously whisking together one large egg with 1 tablespoon of water.
With a pastry brush, brush each loaf over the top with the egg wash. Try to be careful not to let the wash drip down the sides of the loaves into the pan.
Place loaves in the preheated oven for 18-25 minutes or until golden brown. Check it after 15 minutes. If it's getting too brown on the top, cover it with foil for the last 3-8 minutes. (Larger loaves will take longer.) Remove bread from pans and transfer to a cooling rack. (If bread is stuck to the side of the pan anywhere (from the egg wash), loosen it with a small thin-bladed knife.) Enjoy!
See Café Tips above in post for more detailed instructions and tips.
Recipe adapted from Alexandra Cooks.