1. Proof your yeast - pour yeast into warm water in a large bowl. Let it sit for about 3 minutes until a foamy thick layer appears. Your yeast is alive and you're good to go.
2. Mix together the milk, sugar, egg and salt and set aside.
3. Cut your butter into tiny chunks and put in the bowl of a food processor (makes this much easier) with flour and pulse until the butter is incorporated and mixture is crumbly. About 10 times.
4. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and VERY gently fold these together. Fold the two mixtures until the dry ingredients are just moistened enough to come together.
5. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.
6. When the time is up, take the dough out and start the rolling and folding. The dough will be very sticky so make sure your surface is floured liberally.
7. Gently latten the dough with the palm of your hands into a small square, this will help it stay in a more rectangular shape, rather than round.
8. Roll out the dough with your rolling pin into a 15in long rectangle. Make sure your dough is not sticking to the counter and add some more flour if needed.
9. Fold the dough together as if it were a business letter. Then, roll out into a rectangle. Do this process one more time.
10. Fold your dough up tightly, wrap in plastic wrap and set in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes minimum and maximum, up to one day.
11. After the minimum time required, take the dough out of the refrigerator and cut it in half. If you are only making one braid, wrap up the second half and put it in the freezer to use another day.
12. Roll out your dough to make a 12x6in rectangle or as close as you can get. Roll it out on a lined baking sheet to begin with because it will be very difficult to transfer the soft braid from the counter to baking sheet.
13. Cut off two corners of the dough on top and then two small triangles at the other end. (If you watch the video I posted down below, it will help you a lot to get a visual of where to cut.)
1. Pour milk in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure milk doesn't begin to burn the bottom of the pan.
2. While the milk heats up, mix the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the egg and mix until smooth. It will be very thick.
3. Add about 1/2 of the hot milk to the egg mix, whisking rapidly, then pour the tempered mix back into milk on the stove.
4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture begins to boil and thicken up. Mix in the vanilla.
5. Pour the pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve and into a bowl to catch any lumps. You may have to help it through a bit because it is very thick.
6. Go back to your prepared dough and spread a thick line down the center. Add lots of strawberries over top of the pastry cream.
7. Start cutting slanting strips along each side of the filling. A pizza cutter works best for this or a very sharp knife. Start overlapping the strips, going from side to side ("braiding"). When you get to the bottom, leave the last two strips and fold the end up to seal the filling in, overlap the last two strips onr top.
8. Beat your egg wash ingredients together and brush over top of the entire braid. This will make it nice and shiny.
9. Preheat your oven to 375° and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Rotate your baking sheet to be sure it is cooked evenly. Watch it carefully!
10. Once braid is out of oven, allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
1. Combine sugar vanilla and cream into a small bowl and mix until smooth.
2. Pour into a decorating bottle for drizzling.
3. Once braid is completely cool, drizzle with glaze and enjoy!