Beautiful Brioche


This is my first attempt at brioche.  The dough is sublime and versatile. The taste? Let me just tell you that I can’t wipe the smile from my face.

4 cups flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

4 ½ tsp. active dry yeast

2 tsp salt

4 large eggs, at room temperature + 2 large eggs and 1 large egg yolk for the egg wash

½ cup whole milk, at room temperature

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, slightly softened; more for the pans.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, yeast, and salt on low speed until well combined. Add 4 of the eggs and the milk and continue mixing on low speed to combine. As soon as the dough starts to clump together, remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook. (There will still be unmixed egg and flour in the bowl.) Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Using a plastic dough scraper or strong plastic spatula, scrape the bowl and hook. Continue to mix until the dough is firm and elastic, about 2 minutes more. The dough may stick to the hook at this point, but that’s OK. Scrape the dough off the hook again.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add half of the butter, a few pieces at a time. Scrape down the bowl and dough hook, and remove the dough hook. Give the dough a few kneads by hand in the bowl, repeatedly folding the dough over on itself, to help incorporate the butter. Reattach the dough hook and add the remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, mixing on medium-low speed. Once all of the butter has been added, increase the mixer speed to medium and mix for 4 minutes. Scrape the dough hook and the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix again until the dough is smooth, soft, and shiny, about 4 minutes more. You’ll hear the dough slap against the sides of the bowl when it’s ready. (If your kitchen is warm, the dough may seem too loose at this point. Resist the urge to add extra flour, or the brioche may be tough.)

Let the dough rise

Use a plastic dough scraper or a spatula to turn the dough out onto a clean, very lightly floured work surface. The dough will be very moist. Knead it by hand a few times and then form it into a ball by folding the sides into the middle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Flip the dough over, place your palms on either side of the dough, and tuck it under itself, turning the dough as you tuck to form a loose ball with a smooth top. Transfer the dough, smooth side up, to a clean large bowl. Cover loosely with plastic and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Let the dough rise again

Use the dough scraper or spatula to turn the dough out, smooth top down, onto a very lightly floured work surface. Again, form it into a ball by folding the sides into the middle at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. Flip the dough over, place your palms on either side of the dough, and tuck it under itself, turning the dough as you tuck to form a loose ball with a smooth top. Transfer the dough, smooth side up, back to the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic. At this point, for best flavor refrigerate the dough overnight. Or let it sit out until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Shape the brioches

If the dough was refrigerated, let it warm to room temperature.

Turn the dough out, smooth top down, onto a clean work surface. Using a scale and a bench knife, divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, about 3 oz each. Cover the dough with plastic to prevent it from drying out.

Roll each piece into an oval and place in a lined muffin tin. Cover and let raise one more time (about an hour).

Meanwhile, position  rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F. It is important that the oven be thoroughly heated so the brioches bake evenly.

Bake the brioches

In a small bowl, make the egg wash by beating the remaining 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk and a pinch of salt. Lightly brush the top of the brioches (without letting the egg wash drip down into the molds or pans, which would make the brioches stick to their molds). Sprinkle with some turbinado sugar. Bake until dark golden-brown on top and golden on the sides (you can lift the brioche slightly to peek in at the edge of the mold), about 18minutes.

I worked with this recipe.

minutes. (The internal temperature should be 190°F.) Let the brioches cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before unmolding. Serve while they’re still warm to the touch.

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