There was no reason to worry about Jimmy, but I was right about the fiddle... This may have had more to do with the recipe I used than anything else, but it was worth it.
After a quick search online, this is the recipe I used. There were others, and I intend to try out this one and this one too (along with some waffle recipes, but that's another story for another day). For the recipe I used, I still needed to search for some methods...
I followed the recipe to the letter, with one exception: I used lemon rind but no lemon essence. The dough was more like cake batter, especially after incorporating the butter using frissage. And the French folds? Well, that was a mess.
I lost a lot of mixture because it was all over my hands and the bench (and we didn't get any photos of the webs of dough between my fingers). Did I mention it was like kneading cake batter?
When I went to bed I was little concerned about how it would all go. Hoping the dough wouldn't rise too fast I turned our heating down ~1 C, but I could have left it as it was.
This is what the brioche looked like in the morning. Not promising, but I went with it. After drizzling a beaten egg white and a little milk, I 'cut' down the middle of the dough. Imagine cutting through cake batter... And into the oven it went!
The recipe made no mention of using a water bath in the oven, but I put one in for 7 minutes. A water bath helps with the initial rising of the bread, and I use a shallow pan with boiling water on the lowest rack in the oven - a quick spray of water will also do the trick. Using the water bath added 10 minutes to the overall cooking time.
The result? It rose beautifully, smelled amazing, and the crumb... oh my goodness...
Jimmy approved too! And we ate it all that day. Ok, we ate most of it for breakfast.
It was also so good that I made it again for Asha, for breakfast, the morning before her early morning flight to LA.