AT A GLANCE
Begin this recipe a day ahead to prove the brioche.
|01||Combine yeast and milk in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and stand until foaming (4-5 minutes). Add caster sugar and half the rind, mix to combine, then add flour in 3 batches along with an egg with each, kneading until smooth between each addition, then knead until shiny and elastic (4-5 minutes). With the motor running, gradually add butter and knead until incorporated (3-4 minutes). Add candied rind, mix to combine, transfer to a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place until doubled in size (1½-2 hours). Knock back dough, return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap and weight with a large heavy plate. Refrigerate overnight to prove.|
|02||Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock back, add 40gm pearl sugar and knead to incorporate, then stand for 10 minutes. Divide into 8 even pieces and roll into balls. Place a ball in the centre of a 2-litre, 20cm-diameter fluted brioche tin (see note), then arrange 6 balls around it. Place the remaining ball in the centre on top, cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel, and stand in a warm place until almost doubled in size (1-1½ hours).|
|03||Preheat oven to 180C. Combine fennel seeds in a small bowl with remaining rind and remaining pearl sugar. Brush eggwash lightly over brioche, scatter with fennel seed mixture and bake until dark golden and well risen (20-25 minutes). Serve warm or at room temperature on the day of baking or lightly toasted the following day.|
Note Pearl sugar is available from The Essential Ingredient and select delicatessens. If it's not available, coarsely crushed sugar cubes will achieve a similar result. If you don't have a brioche tin, you can use a loaf tin that's 11cm x 23cm and 10cm deep, arranging the dough balls side by side.