Baking is mad. There are a million different things that have a combo of butter, flour, sugar and eggs at their hearts. So, when I set out to make brioche, I wasn’t convinced I’d end up with brioche. Maybe I wasn’t capable of kneading all the butter and eggs in the nuanced way that would result in a soft, buttery loaf. Surely it was more likely that I would just produce “yellow bread” or “chewy bread” or “burned dough”, or “bread that looks like scrambled eggs” or “a fuckery”.
But what came out was a shiny, fat, buttery triumph. “I made a brioche!”, I said, quietly. Then, I cut it, checked the cross-section, got a little louder: “I made a brioche!”. Then I toasted it; the kitchen turned gently sweet: “I made a brioche!”. And then I buttered it, because even when you’ve seen how much butter goes into a brioche, you still need more butter. I definitely made a brioche.
Baking is science, and that’s why you can always rely on it. Dan Lepard’s step-by-step is perfect. Just use that. You need to commit a few days to it (“proving”, etc).