David's Recipe for Classic Brioche

Brioche is another easy dish to make which some cookbook writers like to make difficult and mystical. This is the most traditional of all brioche, except that I make it in muffin pans instead of brioche cups.

Breakfast bread, or almost anything else, French

  • 2-4 ounces of cake yeast, depending on the taste you want, or 3-6 soup spoons dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 coffee spoon salt
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 12 egg yolks
  • 1 kg flour, with a little more perhaps necessary during the kneading
  • 200 gm butter, plus a little more for greasing the pans
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water to glue the dough
  1. Have all of the ingredients at room temperature before you start.
  2. Cream together the yeast, sugar and salt until they become liquid.
  3. Heat the milk to lukewarm. This will take a few seconds.
  4. Break the yolks and mix them into the milk.
  5. Add the flour, butter, and the yeast mixture. Knead until the dough is very elastic and only slightly sticky, adding a little flour if necessary. This will probably take at least 15 minutes. Forget about 'pulling away from the sides of the bowl' and the other mystifications they like to write in cookbooks.
  6. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until it has doubled. In a cool room, this may take about an hour.
  7. Punch down and allow to rise again, until almost doubled. It will go much faster this time.
  8. Preheat your oven to medium.
  9. Grease a muffin pan.
  10. Divide the dough into balls about equal to the bottom of each well of the muffin pan in diameter, or to the height of the well. Place each ball in one of the wells of the muffin pan.
  11. From the remaining dough, make balls about 3/4" in diameter.
  12. Dip your thumb in the lukewarm water. Push it deep into the center of one of the large dough balls in the muffin pan, twisting it to make a circular depression which is now also wet. Push one of the smaller dough balls moderately hard onto the larger ball where the depression is, but not so hard as to greatly distort its spherical shape. You now have the classic brioche à tête shape. Do this with all of the individual brioche.
  13. Let rise for about another 15 minutes, mainly so that the shape of the brioche will improve.
  14. Bake until moderately browned, about 15 minutes.
  15. Serve warm or cool.

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