For some reason, every time I decide to make something sweet that's yeast-based, whether it's challah or gooey butter cake, the elements contrive to work against me and the thing turns out to be a huge flop. I end up nervously hovering over my dough, waiting for it to double while I curse the rain and wish I had ever seen what doubled dough should look like so I could be sure I'd recognize it when it happened. And usually I give up and bung it in the oven after waiting an hour past the recommended time, and usually that ends up being a mistake and I can only guess that my dough was under-proved... I don't have this problem with savory breads (but maybe it's just that it's less noticeable when they're a bit under-proved, and they're just a bit denser which isn't such a big deal in my book), but the sweet doughs always seem to elude me.
So I'm not sure why, when Bloomsbury asked me to test a recipe from Paul Hollywood's new book, How to Bake, I chose brioche. It's everything I'm crap at: a sweet dough, with more ingredients than your average bread, and a recipe that requires planning, patience, and 2 days to babysit your kitchen. And yet, somehow, once I saw the photo of that fluffy, gorgeous, golden crown of deliciousness, I just couldn't get it out of my head.