This recipe was inspired by this beauty at PBS (the video there is divine). There the filling is a homemade cranberry jam, which I’ve also tried and which is delightful especially with a few drops of rose water. I love to use strawberry rose preserves or any favorite preserve. I always add lemon juice to my preserves, for added tartness to balance the sweet.
In a small bowl, combine the yeast and the milk along with a tablespoon of the sugar. Set aside until frothy and activated.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the sugar, eggs, flour, salt, and activated yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, knead on low speed for about 2 minutes or until the dough comes together and forms a ball.
Increase the speed to medium and slowly add the softened butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, allowing the butter to incorporate before adding the next tablespoon.
Continue beating the dough until it is smooth and supple, about 8 minutes longer.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Leave the dough to rise for 90 minutes.
Refrigerate the dough overnight or up to 2 days. The dough must be very cold when you work with it, so remove it from the refrigerator when you are ready to shape it, and not before then.
Work quickly throughout this process so that the dough does not warm up and soften too much. If it does, simply chill it again for 20 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape them roughly into balls. Lightly flour a sheet of parchment paper and roll one ball into a 10-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Trim the edge using a cake pan as a guide (setting aside the scraps which can then be made into a small loaf and baked after rising).
In a small bowl, stir the preserves with the lemon juice. Spread approximately 1/4 cup of strawberry rose jam evenly on top of the dough, leaving an inch around the edge dry, without jam. Move the parchment with the dough on it to a sheet pan.
Roll out the second ball of dough on a lightly floured work surfac, trimming it to a 10-inch circle and adding the scraps together. Transfer the circle gently on top of the jam-covered first circle and cover it with 1/4 cup of jam, leaving an inch around the edge dry. Repeat this with the third ball of dough. With the fourth, roll and place on top of the stack without any preserves; this is the top of of the brioche star.
Place the whole sheet pan in the refrigerator to chill for about 20 minutes before cutting and shaping the star.
Using a 3 to 4-inch round cookie-cutter (or the rim of a glass turned upside down), make a delicate imprint in the center of the top circle. Using a sharp knife, make imprints to guide where the cuts around the circle will be. Divide the circle into 16 even sections up to the center circle imprint. Start with 4 sections, then divide each of those into 4 sections. Slice 16 even cuts all around the outer edge of the center circle. If needed, slide the parchment paper back onto a board to make it easier to cut.
Pick-up 2 strips at a time and twist them outwards from each other twice. Press the edges together and repeat until you have a lovely star! You can adjust the points of the star to be sure everything is even.
Cover the brioche with a clean towel and place in a warm spot to rise for 90 minutes.
.Heat the oven to 350 degrees
Whisk the egg and milk together. Brush the brioche with a light layer of egg wash.
Bake the brioche for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden. Dust with confectioner's sugar, and serve warm.