This rich, buttery dough forms the most delicious, fine textured bread. I was warned that the dough is sticky…and therefore hard to shape. I attempted the traditional brioche à tête…a roll with a bubble topped head…using Nick Malgieri’s technique in his cookbook, How to Bake. My heads seemed to lack necks, so I moved on to Dorie Greenspan’s suggestion of mimicking the shape of Parker House rolls. MUCH better. So six rolls and one loaf later, it was declared a smash hit.
Brioche…adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1/4 cup whole milk, at 110º
1/4 cup warm water, at 110º
3 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
12 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon of water to glaze
Add the milk and water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add a pinch of sugar and sprinkle the liquid with the yeast. Allow the yeast to sit a couple minutes, then give it a stir and let it sit a few more minutes, making sure it is bubbling..indicating the yeast is alive.
Put the dough hook on the mixer, and pour the flour over the yeast. Sprinkle flour with the salt and then turn the mixer off and on to moisten the flour. Then turn mixer on medium and mix a few minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Next, slowly add the eggs with the mixer on low, till incorporated. Add sugar, and with mixer on medium, beat for 3 minutes or so till dough starts to come together.
Decrease mixer speed to low and add butter in 2 tablespoon increments…you will need to scrape the bowl a couple times with each addition. Once the butter is incorporated, increase the mixer speed to medium high and mix for 10 minutes.
Form the sticky dough into a ball and place into large buttered bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature till doubled in size, about an hour. Punch down, cover with plastic again and place in refrigerator. Let rise for the next two hours, punching down 2-3 times in that time period. Make sure the plastic wrap is completely covering the dough and leave in refrigerator overnight.
Preheat oven to 375º. Butter 12 individual brioche molds or 2 brioche pans. To make rolls, cut dough into 12 equal pieces, then divide each piece into thirds. Roll each third into a round ball and place 3 in each individual mold. To make larger brioches, divide dough in half, form into a rounds and place into pans. Brush with glaze before baking.
Bake rolls for 20-25 minutes…tent with foil if they start getting too dark. Bake loaves for 30-35 minutes. Cool on rack for about 5 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely on rack.